What is a plaintiff?
A plaintiff is the person who initiates a legal claim. The defendant is the person who then defends the claim. Eventually in the course of a normal court case, there will be a trial and then the judge which make a decision about the dispute between the plaintiff and the defendant. If there remains a dispute the decision of the judge can usually be appealed to a higher court, although usually only on a question of law. If there is new evidence which is brought to light, it can be possible to re-open a trial at the same level of the court proceedings.
How do I know if I have a case?
This requires a lawyer to make an assesment of the strength of a case based on their opinion of the application of the law to the facts to the particular situation. This may involve any range of factors such as the applicable legislation, the applicable case law and the types of evidence that can be obtainined in support of the case for the plaintiff, or the evidence that can be obtained to support any possible defence that could arise in relation to the claim made by the plaintiff. Often it can be difficult to give a definitive answer on the status of a legal claim because there are so many factors at work and there may not be black and white answers to the questions which need to be asked to establish if a legal claim exists. Also, there may be the process of pre-trial negotiations involved which is a stage at which many cases are often settled. An example of this might be that the person is injured and obtains a doctors report which shows that the defendant caused the palintiff’s injury. The lawyer for the plaintiff might then write to the defendant saying that they believe that a legal claim does exist. The defendant will then get legal advice on the claim and decide that it will be cheaper, faster and less publicity will be involved if they pay the claim and settle out of court. This will then be arranged and it is an example of how getting good legal advice can give rise to a quick legal settlement. If you think you might have a claim that needs to be pursued, you can ask us using the contact form or by chatting to a lawyer online now.