Providing Skilled Legal Representation for Clients Facing Disputes

An individual gets injured after tripping and falling because of a slippery, uneven sidewalk in front of a store. A vendor promises to deliver merchandise in two weeks after signing a contract, then fails to do so. An employee sues their employer for a wage and hour violation. All of these are examples of common civil litigation cases in Virginia and across the country.

If you need to file a civil lawsuit against someone or have been named as a defendant in an ongoing lawsuit, it is critical that you seek the help of a skilled civil litigation attorney to protect your interests. The attorneys at Ashwell & Ashwell, PLLC have represented countless clients in a variety of civil litigation cases and are ready to assist you with your legal issues. Contact our firm in Warrenton, VA, by calling 540-386-1277 to discuss your case.

What Is Civil Litigation?

Civil litigation deals with cases that are not criminal and are usually various types of disputes between individuals, organizations, or other entities. In civil litigation, one party (the plaintiff) files a lawsuit against another party (the defendant), asking the court to provide a legal remedy or resolution to a specific issue. Civil courts deal with a wide range of matters, such as contract disputes, personal injury claims, property disputes, and employment issues.

The civil litigation process typically involves a series of steps, including filing a complaint, discovery, negotiation, and, if necessary, trial. Civil cases also include torts, where a plaintiff has been a victim of another party’s negligent actions or wrongdoings and suffered harm due to the defendant’s actions. In civil litigation, the burden of proof rests on the plaintiff, meaning it is up to the person filing the complaint to present evidence supporting their claims. Working with a seasoned civil litigation attorney is extremely important for a successful civil case.

What Are the Steps Required for a Civil Litigation Case in Virginia?

In general, a civil litigation case begins with the plaintiff filing a petition with the clerk of the court. The petition contains details about the plaintiff and the causes of the lawsuit. After that, the defendant is served with the plaintiff’s complaint and given instructions on how to file a response. Usually, the defendant has up to 21 days to file a response after being served, and if no response is received, the court may issue a default judgment favoring the plaintiff.

After the defendant submits a response, the case enters the discovery phase, where both sides work to gather information and evidence to support their side of the argument. It is not uncommon for the parties to negotiate and arrive at a settlement at this point. If no agreement is reached, the case moves on to the trial phase, in which a judge or a jury makes the final decisions on the case. The entire process can take approximately a year on average, but some cases may be resolved in more or less time.

What Kind of Remedies or Relief Are Civil Plaintiffs Eligible to Receive?

A civil court does not deal with criminal cases and cannot sentence a defendant to any criminal penalties, such as jail time. Instead, a civil court can award the plaintiff of a lawsuit monetary compensation and/or injunctive relief, depending on the case. Injunctive relief does not usually result in monetary compensation to the plaintiff but allows the case to be resolved by ordering the defendant to take or refrain from taking certain actions. A common example of injunctive relief in a breach of contract case is when the court orders the defendant to uphold their side of the agreement and follow the terms of the contract.

If a plaintiff seeks monetary compensation, they may ask the court for economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages refer to monetary losses sustained by a plaintiff as a result of a defendant’s actions. These damages may include lost wages, medical expenses, property damage, and other financial losses. Non-economic damages refer to the intangible emotional losses that a victim experiences, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.

Punitive damages are another remedy available in some civil cases. A court may order a defendant to pay punitive damages to the victim in addition to standard damages. Punitive damages are a civil court’s way of punishing the defendant for their wrongful actions and preventing the defendant from engaging in similar behavior. Punitive damages are less common and only awarded in cases involving gross negligence. Consult an attorney to determine which types of damages may be available for your specific situation.

What Type of Cases Does a Civil Litigation Lawyer Handle?

A civil litigation lawyer handles cases involving disputes between individuals, organizations, or even government entities, including contract disputes, personal injury claims, employment disputes, landlord-tenant disputes, business torts, intellectual property disputes, and family law matters such as divorce and child custody disputes. Civil litigation attorneys can also represent clients in the areas of real estate law, construction, insurance, and probate litigation.

The attorneys at Ashwell & Ashwell, PLLC are dedicated to helping clients deal with civil disputes of any complexity, representing both plaintiffs and defendants and providing each client with strong legal representation to protect their interests. No matter if you are just looking for advice concerning a difficult legal situation or need an attorney who is not afraid to take your case to trial if needed, you can count on the legal team at Ashwell & Ashwell, PLLC for skilled legal counsel and services to help you resolve your case. Contact us today at 540-386-1277 for an initial case analysis.


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