Civil Court Case

What is a Civil Court Case?

A civil court case is one in which two or more people or businesses disagree about a personal injury or money. A civil case begins when one party files a “complaint” against another for actions that have caused them harm.

The person or party who files the complaint in a civil court case is referred to as the “plaintiff.” The “defendant” is the person or party against whom they are filing. 

Civil court proceedings may include:

  • Tort Claims for bodily harm, reputational harm, or property damage.
  • Landlord-Tenant Claims claims are made when a tenant sues a landlord or when a landlord attempts to evict a tenant.
  • Breach of Contract Claims are made when someone violates the terms of a contract.
  • Equitable Claims involve asking the court to order someone to do or stop doing something.

Steps In a Civil Court Case

Filing a Complaint 

The plaintiff describes how the defendant injured them and the damages they now face in the complaint filed with the court. The plaintiff claims that the defendant’s actions have caused them harm. 

Often, the plaintiff seeks monetary compensation for their losses. They may also request that the court prohibit the defendant from continuing their harmful actions or provide an order that states their rights based on a legal statute or contract.


A “discovery period” may exist in a civil case. During discovery, both parties exchange information, such as copies of relevant documents and witness identities. They will also collect all evidence for their side and file any requests for evidence or procedural rulings with the court prior to the trial.

A deposition is another type of discovery that involves a witness answering questions under oath before the trial. This stage involves assessing the other side’s strengths and weaknesses.

If the plaintiff has retained the services of a personal injury attorney, they will be crucial at this stage. A lawyer can assist in gathering the necessary evidence of negligence and damages to increase the likelihood of winning the case.


A judge or jury will hear the civil court case during the actual trial. Each party will present evidence, question witnesses, and make closing arguments. Some court trials last only a few hours, while others can last months.

Finally, a decision is reached, and a judgment is entered. If you are the plaintiff and everything goes according to plan, you will be awarded whatever the judge or jury decides. In a personal injury case, you would receive monetary compensation for your losses.

Contact an Attorney for Help With Your Civil Case

If you are the victim of negligence, your best chance at obtaining financial compensation for your losses is to contact an experienced personal injury attorney. 

You only get one chance to file a claim and obtain compensation for your losses. If you try on your own and don’t win, you’ll lose the opportunity to hire legal help. Always speak with an attorney before trying to proceed on your own. 

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