What Is A Plaintiff?

In a civil court case, the person who files a lawsuit because of some grievance is the plaintiff, while the person who is being sued is called the defendant. The plaintiff is the party that initiates legal action by petitioning the court because they believe they’ve been wronged somehow. The plaintiff has to have experienced some sort of damages to sue another party. They are seeking help from the court to receive a legal remedy. The court will typically provide this by delivering fair repayment in the form of compensation. There must be enough evidence supporting the plaintiff’s complaint, allowing the court to issue a judgment that favors the plaintiff. This is different from a criminal case because a plaintiff will be titled a complainant so that the prosecutor can bring the case against a defendant to stand trial under a jury. 

The Five-Stage Process

The plaintiff must initially file a claim with the court, making them a claimant. Once the lawsuit is initiated, a summons is filed as a complaint. The complaint is delivered to all the involved parties and is also called the pleadings. Also, it contains information that explains why the plaintiff is demanding compensation. The process server delivers these documents and then files an affidavit stating that the papers have been served to the defendant according to civil procedure. 

Once a plaintiff files the complaint, they enter a five-stage process. The case is then sent to court before the discovery of evidence. 

During the discovery phase, all parties become aware of the known evidence and all the witness’s testimonies. There is an attempt at the settlement stage that allows all parties to receive the opportunity to settle before the trial begins. If the parties can’t come to an agreement, then they are scheduled for a trial date. At the trial, the plaintiff can provide three types of evidence. This includes clear evidence, a preponderance of the evidence, and proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

Circumstances Where You’re Considered a Plaintiff 

In order to be a plaintiff, you would have to have experienced an accident or bad event due to the negligence or unlawful actions of another. For example, if someone was intoxicated at a theme park and mismanaged a Ferris wheel ride, resulting in you getting injured, then you as the plaintiff could file a lawsuit with the theme park’s company. This is because the theme park attendant owed you a care of duty and breached this duty by being under the influence of drugs, resulting in poor performance and other errors. Because of their careless errors, this directly caused you harm, resulting in damages. 

A plaintiff can work with an attorney to prove how the defendant is responsible for their injuries. The case must be supported with strong evidence showing how the damages were caused, such as photographs, medical bills, repair bills, expenses, and other documented evidence. Attorneys can find additional evidence, such as camera footage, witness testimonies, and other information to support a plaintiff’s claim.