Choosing The Perfect Counsel

Does It Make Sense To File A Civil Suit?

Filing a lawsuit may be common in the United States, but that doesn't mean it's always a good idea. You can file a civil suit whether there's a criminal case or not, and you can file a civil suit that stays in small claims court or one that goes to a regular jury trial. But you always want to be sure you have a good chance of winning and that your case is justified. A few markers can give you an indication of whether filing a civil suit would be wise.

Damage Type

If the case is one that could result in a lot of financial damage awards, then a civil case would be in order if there were no criminal trial or if the restitution from the criminal trial were not enough to make the victim whole. The civil trial allows the victim of a crime, or the plaintiff in the civil case, to ask the court to award more damages. This may be necessary in cases where there is emotional damage as well as practical expense damage. For example, criminal restitution may pay for lost wages and medical expenses. It will not pay for the loss of companionship in the event of a death.


Are there previous cases like yours in which a civil suit was filed and the plaintiff won? If so, and the wins weren't questioned (past the typical appeal, which seems to happen with every case), then you may have good reason to file the suit and have a good chance of winning. If there's never been a case like yours that's won, however, think twice about filing the suit. Depending on your state, you may end up having to pay the legal costs of the person you sue if you lose.

One word of warning here: Precedent goes only so far. If your case matches closely with another, that's one thing. But if the case you're thinking of only vaguely resembles yours, then you might not have such strong legal backup once you get into the courtroom. Never assume your case is a shoo-in because someone else won a similar case.

Criminal Conviction and Guilty Plea

Also look to see if there's been a criminal conviction or guilty plea. If you're involved in a situation in which there's been a criminal trial and the person was convicted, or there was a criminal charge and the person pled guilty, a civil case is a good idea because that person automatically loses the civil case -- it pretty much goes straight to the damages stage.

There's really no one way to tell if a civil case is a good idea given the circumstances surrounding your own situation. You must speak with a civil litigation lawyer to find out of you really do have a good chance of winning. Check out a website like for more information and assistance. 

About Me

Choosing The Perfect Counsel

If you have ever been accused of a crime, then you know the absolute sinking feeling in your gut. It can be incredibly devastating to cope with the thought of living the rest of your life behind bars, which is why choosing the perfect counsel is crucial. I started thinking about who to work with a few years ago when I was accused of something that I knew I didn't do, and it was scary. However, I knew that by focusing on my innocence and finding the right professional, things would be manageable. Check out this blog for great information on choosing counsel.


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