You’re walking through your local grocery store and you slip and fall on some spilled juice. This results in a fractured wrist and hand. You’re a deep sea fisherman so how do you compensate for your lost income, plus potential future pain and joint problems from the injury? Or let’s say you just moved out of your apartment and your landlord claims you damaged some things and didn’t pay for them. However, these things were already damaged before you moved in. The contract and paperwork doesn’t mention these things specifically, so how do you prevent having to pay for or replace these items that you should not be responsible for?
While most courts try encouraging people to resolve their disputes outside the courtroom, which is not always a successful option. When conversation, negotiation and mediation fails then it is time to seek a lawyer. Here at VolkLaw , we are dedicated to the success and satisfaction of each and every client that walks through our door. We will walk you through the process of a lawsuit, discussing all of your options so that you can be sure all the bases have been covered and you are getting the best possible outcome.
Here are the basic steps to the lawsuit process:
- Attempt to negotiate and settle out of court
- File the lawsuit
- Discovery (collection of evidence)
- Pre-trial motions and discussion
- Settlement deliberations
- Trial and judgment
Keep in mind that lawsuits can end up being very lengthy, and in some cases can take years to resolve. The legal process varies from state to state, but we have provided a general summary of how it works. If you need further information that we have not provided, please do not hesitate to contact us at our Melbourne, Florida law office.
Let us first establish the difference between a criminal lawsuit and a civil lawsuit. A criminal trial takes place when an individual breaks a criminal law (i.e. burglary, assault & battery, murder), and a public prosecutor takes him to court. A civil trial happens when one party sues another based on a tort and no laws were necessarily broken (i.e. contract violations, property damage, personal injury). Torts provide the grounds for a lawsuit where a person may not have broken any law, but acted negligently, whether intentional or not, and this negligence resulted in another person being injured emotionally, physically, monetarily, or all of those. Torts generally fall into three categories: negligent torts, intentional torts, and strict liability torts. Negligent torts are when the action was not deliberate, such as with car accidents where one party disobeyed a traffic rule which resulted in the accident and injury of another party. Examples of intentional tort are hitting someone in the face, slander, and fraud. Strict liability torts come into play when one person endangers another, in the absence of negligence which could be due to possession of a dangerous animal, weapon or product.
Tort law was originally intended to compensate the victim (the plaintiff) for their losses and avoid further losses by punishing the person being sued (the defendant). Compensatory damages require the defendant to repay money to the plaintiff that was lost due to the defendant’s negligence, and to compensate for any pain and suffering that was caused as well. There are also punitive damages where the defendant, as his punishment, has to pay for being obviously negligent or acting intentionally, and not just for not being careful or making a mistake.
The matters discussed here are general in nature and are not to be relied upon as legal advice. Every specific legal matter requires specific legal attention. The law is constantly changing and matters discussed today may not be the same tomorrow. Legal matters are also subject to different interpretations by attorneys, judges, jurors and scholars. No attorney-client relationship is intended or created as a result of matters discussed here. You should consult counsel of your choice if you have any dealings in these areas of the law. Volk Law Offices, P.A. and its attorneys make no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the matters addressed.