Legal Disputes 101: The Process of Filing Lawsuits

Most people don't think that they will ever find themselves in a situation where they will need legal representation and go to court until it happens. Whether they are on the giving or the receiving end of a legal dispute, going through the process can always take a toll on the individual.

But that emotional and mental toll can be worth it if the person seeking to be compensated gets what's rightfully theirs in the process. All legal disputes begin with two parties: the plaintiff or the person filing a claim and the defendant or the person receiving the complaint.

In a situation when you feel like you were taken advantage of or wronged, you should know that you have the option to file a complaint against the alleged guilty party to get compensated for your suffering. It can be overwhelming to go through this process alone, which is why it's recommended to get legal representation beforehand.

The process of filing lawsuits or reaching settlements is not discussed in school, so most people are hesitant to get the justice they deserve. To make this complex process easier to comprehend, here is a quick run-through of what you will undergo should you decide to file a lawsuit:

Filing of the Complaint

When it comes to filing a lawsuit, there are different processes for different situations. This is because the law is separated into several branches and fields, as well as varying provisions for each state. For this specific example, the case that will be used is intentional property damage for a substantial loss.

As a plaintiff, you can file a case in civil court claiming that the defendant has intentionally damaged your property and that you're seeking to be compensated for the damages. It won't be difficult to find legal representation for this because property damage cases are one of the most common types of lawsuits filed in small claims court.
But before you can be awarded the monetary judgment, you will first have to prove that your claims are valid and legal, preferably with an eye witness. The monetary judgment can be valued at either the cost to fix or replace your damaged property, which is derived from several cost-effective estimates.

Notification and Response

Once you have filed a lawsuit, you have 120 days to notify the defendant about your complaint before the case will be dismissed in court. This notification process is required by the law to warrant your lawsuit as legal and valid and allow the defendant to find themselves legal representation.

In some cases, defendants can be hard to track down on your own, especially if you don't have the time or resources to look for them. When this happens, it can be better to seek help from professionals who handle service of process all the time so that your legal papers are delivered with no delays.

This is important because there are evasive defendants who can really hide themselves during that time period, which can lead to the dismissal of the case. But if you don't encounter any problems during the delivery, the defendant will need to respond to your claim within a specific time frame before you can continue with the lawsuit.

Settlement or Trial

Most civil lawsuits can be resolved out of court through mediation and settlement negotiation. This is a much better alternative than going to court because it lessens the time and money spent on attorney fees, travel costs, and other expenses often associated with handling lawsuits.

If you and the defendant can reach an agreed-upon amount for settlement during the mediation, then the claim can be dismissed in court. You will no longer have to stand trial and defend your claims because the defendant will have compensated you for the damages they have intentionally caused.

However, if you and the defendant don't see eye to eye on the case, then you might have to wait until your trial before you can seek the justice you deserve. This can be a lengthy, expensive, and taxing process for both parties, which is why most attorneys prefer to settle out of court.

Filing a lawsuit and going to court are not activities that people enjoy because these can take a toll on an individual's overall well-being. But sometimes, it's an uncomfortable process that has to be done because it's the only way people can move on from the sufferings they have endured. So if you believe that you are on the right side of the law, don't be afraid to call out those who have wronged you.

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Posted - 04/16/2021