Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary
A noncriminal lawsuit, usually involving private property rights. For example, lawsuits involving breach of contract, probate, divorce, negligence and copyright violations are just a few of the many hundreds of varieties of civil lawsuits.
Civil cases are cases which do not involve criminal crimes. Common civil cases include debt collection, general personal injury cases, medical malpractice cases, birth injury accidents, motorcycle accidents, car accidents and breaches of contracts.
In a civil case, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff. For instance, if you have filed a personal injury claim you must prove the defendant’s actions were negligent, they were the proximate cause of your injuries and you suffered injury or loss. To prove your civil case you should be prepared to offer evidence which can include witness testimony, medical reports, photographs, video evidence and doctor’s statements. Witnesses, such as expert witnesses, can also be asked to testify to provide additional proof for your civil case.
Civil cases also have a lower burden of proof than criminal cases. While crimes must generally be proved “beyond a reasonable doubt”, civil cases are generally proved through “the preponderance of the evidence.” If you have been sued you can hire a lawyer to defend you or if you have been injured you can hire a personal injury lawyer to help you prove your case. All personal injury cases must be filed within a specified time called the statute of limitations. The statute of limitation varies by state, and if you fail to file your civil case within this specified time frame you will eliminate your rights to compensation for your loss or injury.
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This glossary post was last updated: 22nd April, 2020 | 6 Views.