What is a Civil Lawsuit?
There are generally two types of court cases: civil and criminal. In a criminal case, a prosecutor representing either the state or the federal government will bring the case against the accused. They must establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime in order to secure a conviction.
Civil cases are not held to such a high standard of proof. A civil lawsuit is a legal matter between two parties. One accuses the other of committing wrongs – such as causing a personal injury in a car crash – and seeks to recover damages from them.
In a civil lawsuit, the plaintiff and their legal representative must prove that the defendant caused the accident/incident by presenting evidence to support their claim. Many civil lawsuits are settled out of court, but others may be decided by a jury in a courtroom.
What Are Common Types of Civil Litigation Cases?
Examples of civil litigation cases include the following:
- Bicycle accidents.
- Car accidents.
- Construction site accidents.
- Defective product liability claims.
- Dog bites and animal attacks.
- Motorcycle accidents.
- Premises liability accidents.
- Slip and fall accidents.
- Trucking company accidents.
Should You Hire Professional Legal Counsel?
Legally, you are not required to retain legal counsel for a civil lawsuit. You may file a civil complaint on your own. However, this is not recommended. You stand a much better chance of winning your case with the help of a professional attorney. Plus, a lawyer can make the case go more smoothly, take less time, and even cost less than it might if the plaintiff were to represent themselves in court.
Here’s the simple truth: yes, you can represent yourself in civil litigation. But do you want to win your civil lawsuit? Then hire a lawyer.
At the Attkisson Law Firm, we work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that we only charge you legal fees if we win your case. If you don’t win compensation for your civil claim, you won’t owe us a dime in legal fees. Additionally, the law firm will even advance case expenses on our own as we pursue the maximum compensation for your case.
When is the Right Time to File a Civil Lawsuit?
It is wise to involve a lawyer experienced in civil litigation as soon as possible. The sooner you retain legal counsel, the sooner your lawyers will have the opportunity to examine the facts, gather evidence, review eyewitness accounts, and begin to craft your case. Ideally, your lawyer will attempt to establish your case early on, so there is no need to go to trial. However, if trial becomes inevitable, then you’ve come to the right place.
The Attkisson Law Firm is home to three of Ohio’s most experienced trial lawyers. If you elect to retain our legal services, you can rest assured that we have the knowledge to help you through all phases of your civil lawsuit.
What Are the Steps to Filing a Lawsuit?
The first step of a civil lawsuit involves the plaintiff filing a ‘complaint,’ a legal document that outlines the basics of the case. The complaint accuses the defendant of wrongdoing and attempts to lay out the case. The complaint is then filed with the court. A copy of the complaint is delivered to the defendant as well.
The defendant has 28 days to respond with a legal document known as their ‘answer.’ The answer contains the defendant’s dispute of the claims or maybe even includes a counterargument. The defendant may ask the plaintiff to correct their complaint or ask the courts to dismiss the complaint altogether.
After the complaint and answer have been filed, the case goes to the discovery phase. From there, the case will go to trial unless the judge believes the facts of the case do not merit a trial.
Not every lawyer is experienced in taking a case to trial. The experience of Attkisson Law Firm will be advantageous during this time, as we have some of the most experienced trial lawyers in the state.
Is There a Statute of Limitations for Filing a Civil Suit in Ohio?
There is a statute of limitations for filing civil lawsuits in Ohio. While we believe that the plaintiff should always have a voice, the state does not want anyone to feel indefinitely under threat of civil litigation for their entire lives. Plus, regardless of how you may feel about the prospect of someone who has committed wrongful acts being worried about future litigation, there is the simple fact that evidence and eyewitness testimony loses its integrity over time, so it is generally better to seek legal action sooner rather than later.
In Ohio, there is a statute of limitations of one year for civil defamation claims and a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims. If you attempt to file a civil suit after the statute of limitations has expired, your claim will likely be summarily dismissed.
Contact the Attkisson Law Firm to Schedule a Free Consultation
The Attkisson Law Firm is a highly respected and experienced legal practice in the state of Ohio. We provide clients with compassionate, aggressive legal representation. Additionally, work on a contingency fee basis, so you won’t owe us anything in legal fees if we fail to win a fair settlement for your case.
Please contact us at any time to discuss your case in more detail. You may schedule a free case evaluation by calling our law offices at 937-918-7555.