The legal system can be complex and confusing, and few people relish the prospect of going to court to settle issues or disputes. However, civil litigation sometimes becomes necessary, especially when a person or organization owes money to someone else. If you need to collect money, enforce or break a contract, have suffered damages, or if you need to defend against these types of claims, you will want to work with an experienced attorney who can help determine the best ways to proceed.
At SBK Law Group, our lawyers have more than 25 combined years of legal experience, and we are prepared to represent your interests in civil court. We can ensure that you understand your rights and the steps you will need to follow. Whether you are a plaintiff or defendant, we can assist in preparing and filing documents, represent you in court, and work to reach a positive resolution to your case.
There are a wide variety of issues that may need to be addressed through civil litigation. For instance, if you did not receive payment after you rented a piece of equipment to a colleague, you may need to take legal action to recover the amount owed. If your neighbor claims that you damaged their property, they may file a lawsuit asking for you to provide them with compensation for the repairs. Businesses may also need to address matters such as breach of contract through litigation, or an employee may take legal action to collect pay from an employer who did not properly compensate them for the hours they worked. These are just a few examples, and civil litigation may be used in nearly any situation in which one party wishes to collect money from someone else. A civil lawsuit may involve some or all of the following steps:
A lawsuit can be filed as quickly as a complaint can be prepared and submitted to the court. However, an attorney will likely want to gather information about the case to ensure that all aspects of the legal dispute are considered, and this process may take several weeks or months, depending on the complexity of the case. In addition, an attorney will typically first send a demand letter to the defendant giving them notice of the impending lawsuit and allowing them a certain amount of time to settle the matter before the lawsuit is filed.
A lawsuit will often take around one year to 18 months from the time the complaint is filed to when a trial is held, although this time frame may be shorter for cases heard in small claims court. This time frame includes the amount of time provided to the defendant to respond to the complaint, as well as the time needed for the parties to conduct discovery, depositions, or other methods of uncovering relevant information. The date of a trial may also be based on the court’s schedule and capacity for hearing new cases.
While it is possible to pursue a lawsuit without being represented by an attorney, it is not recommended. By working with an attorney, you can ensure that the correct legal procedures are followed when preparing and filing a complaint or response, conducting discovery, negotiating a settlement, and litigating matters in the courtroom. A lawyer can explain how the laws apply to a specific situation, determine the correct amount of damages to pursue, and ensure that your rights are protected throughout the legal process.
“Tort” is the legal term for damages caused by one party to another party. In civil lawsuits involving the recovery of money, these damages are of a financial nature, and they may include any actions that resulted in financial harm to one party. Civil lawsuits known as tort actions may address issues such as debt default, breach of contract, breach of warranty, fraud, deceptive business practices, intellectual property violations, or defamation.
Taking a case to trial does not guarantee a satisfactory result, so parties may wish to use other methods to reach a settlement. In some cases, they may be able to negotiate an agreement, and this may be done at any time before the trial begins. Mediation, in which a neutral mediator works with the parties to help them reach a mutually agreeable settlement, can also be beneficial. Arbitration is another solution, and in these cases, a less-formal procedure similar to a trial may be followed, and an arbitrator will make a decision about the outcome of the case.
Whether you want to recover money owed to you or need to defend against a civil lawsuit, the attorneys of SBK Law Group can provide the legal help you need. To learn more about how we can help with your case, contact our office online or at 630-427-4407. We represent clients throughout DuPage County, Kane County, Kendall County, Will County, and Cook County.