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5 Steps In Civil Litigation As The Plaintiff

by Layla Bryant

Being injured or suffering a financial loss can be devastating to any person. If you are the victim of this situation, you may want to rely on the legal advice of a personal injury attorney. It may be beneficial to you to know the steps of civil litigation before this process actually begins.

Step #1: File the complaint

As the plaintiff, you are responsible for issuing the lawsuit against the defendant. This will state the allegations against this individual in an attempt to recover your financial losses.

Before filing a complaint, you will need to meet with your attorney and go over your case in great detail.

Step #2: Await a response

Most states require the defendant to reply to a complaint within 30 days of receiving it or file for an extension of time. All of the allegations that have been made against the defendant must be either admitted or denied.

Step #3: Begin the discovery stage

Once the complaint has been filed and responded to, the details of the case will be sought during the discovery stage.

Listed below are the four parts of this stage:

1.    Written interrogatories – This is a set of questions that must be answered by the plaintiff and defendant regarding the details of the case.

2.    Deposition – This is a face-to-face meeting with the opposing side's attorney that will be transcribed by a court reporter. You will also be sworn in under oath, so be prepared to tell the truth.

3.    Requests for admissions – You may be required to admit or deny statements regarding the case.

4.    Requests for production documents – The key to building a strong case will rest in providing an adequate amount of evidence. This should be done during this stage with written documentation.

Step #4: Mediation

The courts require the plaintiff and defendant to attempt to settle the case outside of the courtroom. Courts are busy and would rather the legal disputants work with the assistance of a mediator to resolve the issue.

If the case is still not resolved, it will proceed to a court of law to be tried.

Step #5:  Final verdict

When a case goes to court, it may be heard by a jury or a judge. This will provide the final verdict, and the case will then be resolved.

If you are a plaintiff and need legal assistance regarding an injury, be sure to rely on the expertise of a personal injury attorney to help you through each of these steps.