The plaintiff is the person who takes legal action in a civil case. They accuse another party of wrongdoing, often negligence. The plaintiff files a lawsuit or files another type of claim to seek compensation for their damages related to the wrongdoing. The person or group accused of wrongdoing in a civil suit is the defendant.
Understanding the Role of the Plaintiff in a Court Action
The plaintiff is the party who suffers injuries or other damages in an accident or incident and goes after the defendant in an attempt to hold them liable. If successful in proving the defendant acted negligently or is otherwise at-fault, the plaintiff can recover damages that may include:
- Medical care costs
- Lost wages and diminished earning capacity
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Repair or replacement of property damages
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
The Burden of Proof Lies With the Plaintiff in a Civil Case
In a civil case, the plaintiff carries the burden of proof. What this means is that the plaintiff and their attorney have a responsibility to prove the defendant caused their accident and injuries. If we handle your case, the Berger and Green team will investigate your accident and collect the evidence necessary to pursue compensation. Without strong evidence to prove negligence, liability, and your damages, we cannot meet the burden of proof to recover the damages you deserve.
The burden of proof in a civil case is based on “a preponderance of the evidence.” This is a lower burden of proof than in a criminal case. For this reason, we may be able to win a civil case even if criminal courts did not convict the potential defendant.
Other Names for the Plaintiff in a Civil Suit
While “plaintiff” is the word most commonly used to describe the person who files a lawsuit and pursues damages in court, there are also other names you may hear. This may include claimant, complainant, or the alleged victim. Many people use these terms interchangeably, and you could hear any or all of them while your case is pending.
Let Berger and Green Help You Take Legal Action in Your Pittsburgh Case
If you suffered injuries in a Pittsburgh accident, you might qualify to take legal action in a civil case. You could hold the at-fault party legally responsible and recover compensation to pay for your accident-related expenses and losses. Let the attorneys from Berger and Green protect your rights and build a case to pursue compensation.
We will investigate your case and collect evidence to support a payout in an out-of-court settlement or through a personal injury lawsuit. We can help you with car accidents, premises liability accidents, workers’ compensation, medical malpractice, and more.
Call or text us today at 412-661-1400 for your free case review and consultation with a member of our team.