Posted on: 21 April 2016
In a criminal case, charges are typically brought forth by the county or municipality after a person is charged with a crime, and the defendant faces possible legal consequences. Civil lawsuits are quite different-- anyone can file a civil lawsuit against an individual or company, and if a person wins their case, the other party will be required to pay monetary damages. Civil lawsuits are often brought forth when there is a breach of contract. If you are in a situation where you had a contract with an individual or company and the terms of the contract were breached, use the following tips to file a civil lawsuit:
Hire a Lawyer
If you are serious about winning your case, it is in your best interest to hire an experienced lawyer. While you are allowed to represent yourself in a civil lawsuit, doing so is often a mistake if you do not have a background in law. Your attorney will work on your behalf to gather evidence, file all of the necessary paperwork for the lawsuit, and represent you in court if the case goes to trial. When searching for the right attorney, look for one who specializes in contract disputes and civil litigation.
Be Available for Pre-Trial Preparations
While your lawyer will do a lot of work getting your case ready for trial, it is important for you to be an active participant. Make sure that you gather all of the documentation that your lawyer requests in a timely manner so he or she has ample time to review it. Your lawyer may also request meetings with you to discuss the details of the case and to learn more about the circumstances surrounding the breach of contract.
After your lawsuit is filed, it will move into the discovery phase. During this time the attorneys for the defendant will be allowed to request information and answers from you. Meet with your lawyer to provide the answers to any questions asked, and be prepared to sign an affidavit swearing that all of your answers are truthful.
In some cases, breach of contract disputes do not make it to trial because both sides come to a settlement via their attorneys or through mediation. While you may not always get the exact monetary damages that you are seeking in a settlement, you can avoid a long, drawn out trial and avoid extra legal costs. You lawyer will be able to advise you and let you know if a settlement offer is fair.Share