From contract disputes to the aftermath of car accidents, civil litigation is the means by which Texans resolve their disputes through the court system. Since understanding the ins and outs of the civil court process in Texas is key for anyone involved on either side of a lawsuit, here’s what you should know about civil litigation in Texas – and what to expect as a plaintiff or defendant.
What Is a Civil Case?
A civil case is a legal dispute between two or more parties that does not involve alleged crimes against the state. Civil cases typically include one individual or organization claiming another party has harmed them or owes them something. The party who files a civil case (the plaintiff) usually seeks a remedy, often in the form of cash or a specific action from the other party (the defendant).
Critically, civil cases have a lower burden of proof than criminal cases and do not result in jail time for the losing party. The remedies in civil cases usually include monetary awards or court orders rather than incarceration or other criminal penalties.
What Is Litigation?
Litigation is the process of taking a civil case to court to resolve a legal dispute between parties. Instead of the parties settling their differences informally or through out-of-court negotiations, they use the formal legal system to determine the outcome.
Litigation begins when the plaintiff files a complaint with the court detailing their allegations against the defendant. The defendant then has an opportunity to respond to the complaint and refute the allegations. Eventually, the case goes to trial, where lawyers question witnesses and make arguments before the court, which then decides whether the plaintiff has met the burden of proof and, if so, what the plaintiff should be awarded.
Common Types of Civil Litigation Cases
Civil litigation covers a wide range of legal disputes between private parties, including disputes over the following:
- Personal injury
- Medical/professional malpractice
- Product liability
- Employment discrimination
- Wrongful termination
- Landlord-tenant agreements
- Real estate
- Intellectual property rights
- Civil rights
- Class actions
- Family law matters
- Will, trust, and estate administration
- Workers’ compensation
- Commercial arrangements
- Insurance agreements
How Do I Know If I Have a Possible Civil Litigation Case in Texas?
How do you know if you have grounds to bring civil litigation? First, ask yourself whether you suffered harm or lost something. This could be a physical, financial, emotional, or even reputational loss. Next, consider whether another person or entity caused this harm through negligent, reckless, or malicious behavior.
While you can begin this evaluation yourself, the best and most constructive way to determine if you have a civil litigation case is to consult a lawyer. They can provide professional advice that accounts for all the relevant laws and legal precedents and guide you on the best course of action.
How Can a Civil Litigation Attorney Help Me?
If you know or suspect you have a civil litigation case in Texas, a lawyer can help you pursue your case by:
- Conducting a thorough legal analysis of your situation
- Gathering evidence and interviewing witnesses
- Drafting and filing the civil complaint on your behalf
- Representing you in court hearings and trial
- Negotiating settlements with the defendant
- Drafting and responding to discovery requests
- Advising you on potential outcomes and risks
- Conducting legal research on precedents and statutes
- Preparing you for depositions or court appearances
- Interpreting and applying relevant laws to your case
- Enforcing judgments if you win
- Appealing court decisions, if necessary
Contact a Texas Civil Litigation Lawyer Now
If you are considering filing a civil lawsuit in Bedford, Texas, or have been served with a complaint, contact the experienced litigation team at Hargrave Law, PC today. Our civil litigation attorneys can evaluate your case and provide the trusted guidance you deserve throughout the legal process.