Everyone knows what a lawsuit is, what trials look like, and how, if you’ve been harmed or believe your rights have been violated, you might have to go through the civil litigation process. Civil litigation can arise from almost any aspect of our lives, but understanding what the litigation process is, and how it might affect you, is important regardless of the particular legal issue you are facing.
Civil Litigation Trials and Settlements
When many people think of civil litigation, they think of lawsuits. In particular, they think of going to trial, listening to witness testimony, and asking a jury to render a verdict. We get this image primarily because it is so often portrayed in popular films, movies, and books.
While civil trials do take place, the popular notion that every case goes to trial is widely off the mark. In fact, the vast majority of civil cases never make it to trial, and get resolved well before anyone steps into a courtroom.
The Litigation Process
How do you start a civil case? If you’ve been injured, think someone has wronged you, or want to sue, how do you go about doing it? The answers to these questions depend on numerous different factors.
When someone comes to us about a legal issue they have, we first sit down with them and discuss their concerns. We will ask what happened, who was involved, and generally try to determine as many facts as possible. Once we understand the facts, we can then give you advice about the options available to you.
For example, if you want to sue someone for breach of contract, the first step will probably not be to go to the courthouse and file a lawsuit. In most situations you will try to resolve your disagreement with the other party through negotiations. If the negotiations fail, you can then file a lawsuit and begin the litigation process.
However, the litigation process doesn’t immediately start with a trial. Long before you ever get to trial you go through a process called discovery. This is where both sides try to find out exactly what happened. As the discovery process goes on and more information is revealed, it’s very common for both sides to enter into a settlement agreement.
If, once the discovery process is complete, you cannot come to an agreement with the other side, you might then have to go to trial. Again, it’s important to point out that most cases don’t actually get to this step, and a trial is usually not necessary.
Contact us Today For Legal Advice
If you are facing civil litigation, considering suing someone, or simply have a question about the civil litigation process in North Carolina, you need to speak to us right away. There are a variety of time limits, deadlines, and time sensitive factors that require you to act promptly whenever you have a civil legal issue. If you need legal advice about your options or want to talk to us about beginning the litigation process, contact us right away.