The Commoner’s Guide To A Civil Lawsuit

Three words that can efficiently define civil lawsuits are emotions, drama, and a whole lot of paperwork. Civil cases are mostly executed with people known to you, which is why the emotional turmoil could be greater here.

Like any other court proceedings, here, too, there has to be a plaintiff and a defendant. The plaintiff party accuses the defendant party of wrongdoings. If the plaintiff party wins, then the defendant is held responsible, and they need to cover all the damages, which is usually in the form of monetary compensation.

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As per lawsuit rules, civil lawsuits can also be filed against businesses or corporate entities. It is brought to cover damages that occurred due to their actions or non-actions, varying from case to case. According to Alistair Vigier, the CEO of Clearway Law, anyone can file a civil lawsuit against businesses, but one should not do it baselessly. It involves money and countless hours in the court seeking justice.

Different types of civil lawsuits

There are four types of civil lawsuit cases that the court hears –

  • Tort claims- Tort or tortures are among the most common types of cases filed under civil law. These cases are filed against tortious acts of someone who has harmed a person physically or mentally, property, etc.
  • Contract breach- If a person fails to fulfill a contract signed between them and the other party, the opponent can file contract breach cases against them. For example, if a person has signed a contract to work with a company for five years, then the company can file a contract breach against them if they leave the work before that time.
  • Equitable claims- Here, the plaintiff comes to the court of law to ask the defendant to perform a particular action.
  • Landlord-tenant claim- As the name suggests, these claims help in settling disputes between landlord and tenant. It is mainly filed when either party fails to adhere to the contract set between them. It is also filed to evict the tenant from the property.

Phases of a civil lawsuit

A typical civil lawsuit follows five phases:

  • Complaint- Here, one party files a complaint against the other party.
  • Case sent to court- The case is sent to court, and the other party is made aware that a case has been filed against them.
  • Evidence discovery- Both parties try to collect evidence on their own behalf so that they can win the case.
  • Attempt to settlement- Out of court settlement, attempts are made to save both parties time and money.
  • Trial- Cases that cannot be settled outside the court of law are sent to the court for trial so that justice can be served.


People assume civil lawsuits not as action-packed as criminal lawsuits, but the truth is far from that. Civil lawsuits are one of the most critical aspects of a country’s legal system that protects its citizens from different civil cases.

Some civil cases can be solved outside the court with conciliation while going to the court becomes inevitable for the other cases.


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