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How to Handle a Civil Lawsuit

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It doesn’t matter if you are involved in a civil lawsuit because you are the defendant or because you are the plaintiff: either side can be a scary side to be on. There are over 40 million civil lawsuits that are filed in the nation every year, which means that there is a very good chance that you may be involved in one. Knowing what to do beforehand can help you to handle a civil lawsuit with much more ease.

The Plaintiff
If you are the plaintiff, it is your responsibility to prove that the person who wronged you is guilty and needs to provide compensation. There are a number of reasons that you would want to sue somebody or a company. If, for instance, you sent one of your belongings, such as a car, in for repair and it came back even more broken than it was before, you may have a lawsuit. Before you decide to take matters into a court of law, however, you may want to speak with the people whom you are considering suing first. If you do not, the judge or jury may feel that you did not try everything you could before bringing the matter to court.

Make sure that you speak with them and try to resolve the matter, but also keep track of what you do. If you speak with them, mark it on a calendar and write a detailed account of what was discussed. If they call, write down that they did and what was discussed. Having all of the information handy can be the difference between winning and losing a lawsuit.

You may also want to hire a lawyer, especially if the monetary amount due to you is rather large. If you are only suing for a small amount, you can likely avoid this step, unless you want to ensure victory.

The Defendant
People tend to panic when they get sued, but you should not. The key to successfully proving your defense is to stay calm and to get organized. To begin with, find out what you are getting sued over. If you are unsure, do not hesitate to try to contact the person who is suing you to ask for clarification. If they refuse to give it to you, make sure you make note of that fact. As with the plaintiff, it is vital that you keep a record of everything so that you can prove your innocence. You may want to hire a lawyer, especially if you are confused or if the amount you are being sued over is a great deal, as they can help you to know what to do and what not to do in specific situations over the course of the suit.

A lawsuit can be a bit intimidating, but as long as you remain cool and collected and have the information that you need handy, you can make your case and win your side.

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