What role does a plaintiff play in a lawsuit?

On Behalf of | Oct 28, 2021 | Civil Rights Law

Lawsuits involve two parties involved in a dispute. One party brings a civil claim against another, and the claimant is known as the plaintiff. Those filing a lawsuit in a Pennsylvania court may or may not have a strong case, but all claimants are plaintiffs. Those served with a lawsuit are the defendants, and a judge or jury may ultimately decide the matter.

Plaintiffs seek a remedy

A civil lawsuit brought by a plaintiff could involve many different scenarios, ranging from personal injury to breach of contract and more. When one party fails to deliver on its obligations, the other party might sue to procure a remedy. For example, a contractor paid to renovate a house may face a lawsuit when the job goes unfinished.

Plaintiffs often sue when they suffer harm. A car accident victim might sue a negligent driver to recover medical expenses and lost wages. Sometimes, the plaintiff could seek punitive damages when the defendant’s negligence is egregious.

Proving the case or settling

Although someone brings forth a lawsuit, the individual might not win the case, although questions about “plaintiff rights” may arise. The plaintiff must prove the claim to win in court. However, civil cases don’t involve “guilt beyond a reasonable doubt,” the standard in a criminal case.” Rather, the plaintiff must prove the case by a “preponderance of the evidence,” which is much lower than beyond reasonable doubt.

Lawsuits might not conclude quickly or easily, and defendants might appeal a case after losing. For many plaintiffs, settling the case for an agreed-upon sum of money seems preferable.

Insurance settlements could be preferable to a would-be plaintiff than litigation. The defendant might not have many personal assets, but it may carry sufficient liability coverage on a policy. The insurance company assumed the risk when insuring the client, and the company might end up obligated to pay.

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