A civil lawsuit is a legal action brought by one party against another to hold them accountable for injury or wrongdoing. If the plaintiff is successful in their legal pursuit, they may be compensated for the damage caused by the defendant’s actions or inactions.
Once both sides’ arguments have been heard, the judge or jury will decide whether or not the facts offered in court are consistent. The plaintiff can file a lawsuit against the defendant for damages, an injunction, or a court order. There are several reasons to file a civil case, including breach of contract, eviction from a home when a lease is breached, and many more.
There are different types of civil suits in Texas, including personal injury claims, contract disputes, and equitable claims. A Texas civil litigation attorney from the Buzbee Law Firm can guide you through a civil litigation suit and protect your legal rights.
Types of Civil Litigation Suits in Texas
Conflicts between individuals or groups, such as corporations or non-profit organizations, are the focus of civil actions. One party (the “plaintiff”) argues that another party (the “defendant”) has damaged them in some way. The plaintiff can file a “complaint,” a legal document in which they urge the courts to intervene. There is a wide variety of civil cases, which mainly include:
Personal Injury Claims
Among the most prevalent civil lawsuits are those involving personal injuries. You may file a claim for compensation if you suffered as a result of:
- Auto and motorcycle accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Dog bites
- Slip and fall accidents
- Product liability
Claims for breach of contract are brought in civil court when a person or company fails to meet its contractual commitments. In this case, the non-fulfillment of the contract signed by both parties is the basis for the plaintiff’s claim.
A person or organization is seeking the court to compel the at-fault party to perform or refrain from a certain act. In most instances, you might seek an injunction or other kind of relief from the defendant.
Class Action Suits
Civil litigation attorneys in Texas represent large groups of individuals suing an organization for the harm or loss suffered due to their actions. If successful, class action lawsuits result in massive compensation. An example is a class action lawsuit filed by a group of customers injured due to a company’s defective product or equipment.
Divorce and Family Law Disputes
Disputes over marital property, support, and child custody are all examples of civil litigation. A family court decides on divorce, the division of marital assets, the custody of children, and the financial support of those children. In light of the complicated nature of the proceedings, civil litigation attorneys can help get you the compensation you deserve.
Cases involving property disputes revolve around questions of ownership and borders of real estate. If the case involves a trespasser, they may also get a restraining order alongside a fee from the court.
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The Civil Litigation Process in Texas
If you or a loved one has been injured in a vehicle accident caused by a drunk driver or if a loved one has died in a construction accident, Texas has civil litigation in place to handle these kinds of non-criminal legal matters in court. To know your rights, discuss the specifics of your case with legal experts from the Buzbee Law Firm.
There is a legal agreement between both parties, but they want to make it binding in a legal sense by bringing it before a court in Texas. A judge must sign off on the agreement on behalf of both parties. In many uncontested civil disputes, an extensive legal study by both parties is frequently all that is needed for victory.
The parties engaged in the case differ on the conclusion. Each party must bring compelling arguments in support of their positions. To have a decent chance of winning in contested civil proceedings, you should work together with an attorney.
The Stages of a Civil Case in Texas
Texas civil cases have several stages:
- Pre-filing: Before filing for a lawsuit, parties make demands, negotiate a settlement and prepare for possible civil action in court during the pre-filing stage of litigation.
- Initial pleading: The plaintiff files a “complaint,” and the opposing side files a “response” to begin the court process.
- Discovery: Both entities share information and learn about the other side’s case during the discovery period.
- Post-discovery/pre-trial: When the two parties begin preparing for trial, they gather their evidence and witnesses, conduct settlement negotiations, and submit applications with the court to resolve the matter or restrict the issues for trial in this stage.
- Trial: Witnesses and evidence are cross-examined at this stage. The judge or jury finally decides on a verdict and enters it.
- Post-trial: Either one or both parties may appeal or attempt to collect a trial verdict after the conclusion of a trial.
These stages aren’t always strictly followed in civil cases. Some matters (such as summary evictions) have specific processes outlined in the court’s rules or in controlling legislation.
Standard of Proof in a Civil Case
The “preponderance of the evidence” is a legal criterion that judges and juries use to determine which party prevails in civil lawsuits. It indicates that one side’s evidence was more persuasive than the other’s.
The final judgment must be supported by “clear and compelling evidence” beyond a reasonable doubt. This implies that the winner must demonstrate that their interpretation of the facts is very probable.