Broadly speaking, most people interact with the mechanisms of law for the first time, and frequently only time, in the criminal law system. However, criminal law is only one part of the legal system. It’s very likely that most of the important decisions in your life, in some way, interact with a civil law concept.
That said, when there is a dispute between two parties that cannot be resolved through other means, it may need to go to court. That process is civil litigation. To guide your understanding of this process, we have compiled a few of the most asked questions on this topic.
What does civil litigation cover?
Civil law, and therefore civil litigation, include such issues as:
- Family law
- Personal injury law
- Business law
- Employment law
- Intellectual property law
- Real estate law
As well as many other areas. The idea that anyone can file a lawsuit if there is an injury of some kind is a fundamental part of the American legal system. The definition of injury, in the legal sense, is incredibly wide and could mean an injury from a car accident or it could mean loss of money in a business deal.
How long do civil litigation cases take?
There is no set time limit for a civil case, although there is often a statute of limitations. If you believe that you may need to pursue litigation to recover damages, you should act fast. The case might resolve quickly with a settlement or it could take a long time, but if you do not begin the process as soon as you can, you may lose out.
I was the victim of a crime. Can I sue the perpetrator?
Possibly. In many cases, a civil lawsuit is necessary to recover damages from a crime. While the criminal court may order restitution, that restitution may in no way equal the amount you deserve.
What should I do if I am sued?
If you receive notice of a lawsuit against you, then your very first step should be to consult with an attorney. Civil law may not put your freedom at risk, but improper representation and an incomplete understanding of the law can absolutely put your financial future in jeopardy.