Chattanooga Personal Injury Attorneys

What Is a Civil Lawsuit?

What Is a Civil Lawsuit?

Generally speaking, a civil lawsuit starts a process in a court of law. The kind of civil lawsuits handled by Dennis and King involve our firm representing an injured person seeking to hold a negligent person responsible for harming or wronging them. When we successfully represent a client in a civil lawsuit, a judge or jury will award our client compensation for any harm or injury the defendant (the person that caused the harm) caused. A civil lawsuit can be brought over a contract dispute, a residential eviction following a broken lease, injuries sustained in a car accident, atv accident, boating accident, drunk driving accident, and countless other harms or disputes. Civil lawsuits can also be brought by and against businesses as well as other entities.

Dennis and King specializes in representing people injured by the negligence of other people or corporations. Unlike a criminal case, which is looking to punish the wrongdoer for a crime, a civil case is meant to compensate the person harmed (usually in the form of monetary “damages” paid from the defendant to the plaintiff).

How is a Civil Case Different from a Criminal Case?

Civil court differs from criminal court in many critical ways:

Anyone can bring a civil suit. A private party usually starts a civil case by filing a complaint that claims he/she has suffered harm or damages. On the other hand, only a prosecutor representing the state or federal government can bring forward a criminal case.

It takes less proof in a civil case to find the defendant responsible than in a criminal case. Most people have heard the term “ burden of proof .” In a civil car wreck or personal injury case, this phrase encompasses what an injury victim (the plaintiff) must prove, based upon a preponderance of the evidence, in order for the jury to hold the defendant civilly responsible. In a criminal car wreck case, this phrase is what a prosecutor must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, for the jury to hold a defendant criminally responsible for a crime. Proving a defendant’s criminal guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt” is a much tougher standard to meet than proving a defendant civilly responsible based upon a “preponderance of the evidence.”

The defendant in civil cases brought by an injured person pays monetary damages and, unlike the defendant in a criminal trial, does not go to jail. In a civil lawsuit, the plaintiff is asking a jury to decide if the defendant caused her injury and the money value of the injury. In a criminal case, if the defendant is convicted of a crime, he or she is usually facing jail time, probation, the payment of a fine, compelled performance of community service, or some combination of the above.

Personal Injury Lawsuits Are One Type of Civil Suit

A personal injury lawsuit starts in Tennessee by filing a personal injury complaint in the circuit court or general sessions court located in the county where the accident happened or where the defendant lives. In Georgia, a civil lawsuit starts by filing a complaint in the superior court, the state court, or the magistrate court of the county where the accident happened or where the defendant lives.

The great majority of people with a personal injury never file a personal injury complaint in court. This is because the great majority of these cases are settled before they ever see the inside of a courtroom. Instead, the plaintiff reaches a negotiated settlement with the defendant or his insurance company. Learn more about the timeline of a personal injury case and when to expect a personal injury settlement.


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By |2022-03-14T19:36:42-04:00October 30th, 2019|General Info|0 Comments
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Personal injury 

In almost all personal injury claims, insurance companies will offer you significantly less than what you deserve. It’s tempting to accept the first offer, especially if you are in a great deal of pain and unable to return to work. But if you’ve already taken a devalued settlement from the insurance company and your medical bills start to pile up, there’s little legal recourse to ask for more. That’s why it’s crucial to involve a Chattanooga personal injury lawyer before you even file a claim.

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Car Accidents

Chattanooga car accident lawyers Tricia Dennis and Russell King have recovered millions of dollars in Georgia and Tennessee for car and motor vehicle accident victims like you.  If you or a loved one has been injured and need help with your medical bills, then you have come to the right place.   Auto accident victims and their family members in East Tennessee and North Georgia can confidently rely on the experienced auto accident attorneys at Dennis and King. We are the law firm that has compassionately, yet effectively, helped victims and their loved ones navigate the aftermath of difficult situations.

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Trucking Accidents

Truck accidents in the United States are on the rise. Recent statistics show that almost 150,000 people are injured in truck accidents each year, and 6,000 people are killed. The regional area of Georgia and Tennessee is a crossroads and a center for car manufacturing, river traffic, and other industries. Large trucks, semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, and other commercial vehicles are constantly on the road. This has a downside as frequent truck accidents occur on I-75, I-24, I-59, Highway 153, U.S. 27, Amnicola Highway, Corridor J, and other roadways. If you or a loved one has been injured in a Georgia or Tennessee truck accident, you may be eligible for substantial compensation.

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Motorcycle Accidents

Experienced Chattanooga motorcycle accident lawyers Tricia Dennis and Russell King are avid fans of motorcycles, but they also realize how serious motorcycle accidents can be. With over 75 years of combined experience, Dennis and King Injury Law knows the legal process to achieve fair compensation for motorcycle crash victims. Contact one of our lawyers today to learn more about how to start your motorcycle accident claim.

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ATV Accidents

Under both Tennessee and Georgia law, ATVs are not authorized for use on paved road, but children continue to bring ATVs on to our roads and highways. Georgia and Tennessee laws also prohibit the carrying of passengers on most ATVs, require children below the age of 16 to take approved ATV training courses, and require kids younger than 16 to wear helmets, eye protection, and over-the-ankle boots when operating ATVs. However, these requirements apply only when ATVs are operated on public lands, leaving kids essentially without protection when riding ATVs on private property.

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Bicycle Accidents

The most tragic type of bicycle crash is a bike-car collision. Cyclists are completely defenseless traveling on 30-pound bikes when they’re surrounded by 3,000-pound cars and trucks racing by them. Pedestrians, defective bike parts, recalled bike helmets, and other ineffective bicycle safety equipment can also cause bicycle accidents. Bike accidents can result in wrongful death or serious injuries such as broken bones, amputation, traumatic brain injury, neck, back, and spinal cord injuries.

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Boating Accidents

One of three factors usually cause boat accidents: an inexperienced boater, an intoxicated operator, or a boat malfunction. More than a third of both fatal and non-fatal boat accidents are alcohol-related. It is estimated that boat operators with a blood alcohol content of .10 or higher are 10 times more likely to be injured or killed in a boat accident than sober operators.

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Nursing Home Abuse

No one ever expects a family member or friend to be the victim of abuse or neglect in a nursing home. However, abuse and neglect do occur every day and in many ways.

Dennis and King are Chattanooga nursing home abuse attorneys who will fight to recover all that you and your loved one deserve. With our experience in nursing home negligence matters, we thoroughly and carefully assess each individual case. We prepare each case for either settlement or trial in order to obtain compensation for injury, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. We help victims and their families hold these facilities accountable.

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Premises Liability

Premises liability is a vital facet of personal injury law, placing responsibility on property owners for maintaining a safe environment. When accidents occur due to negligence or hazardous conditions on someone’s property, victims have the right to seek compensation. This encompasses incidents like slip and falls or inadequate security leading to assaults. Dennis and King excel in handling these complex cases, tirelessly pursuing justice for our clients.

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Free Strategy Session

During your initial strategy session, we will assist you in creating a strategy in how to best pursue your claim, whether it be the result of a car accident claim, 18 wheeler injury, or, other kind of personal injury claim.

There are 5 points to your free claim strategy session:

  • First, we will listen to your story. You will have a chance to tell everything to someone who wants to hear what happened to you.
  • Based on the information you provide, we will give you our best advice on both what claims you have and the next steps you should consider to go forward with your claim.
  • If you claim is something that we think we can help you with, we will explain the services that we can provide for you, and what the next steps are that we should take. We will start working immediately.
  • If your matter is something that we do not think we can help you with, then we will attempt to put you in contact with another lawyer that might be able to help you.
  • Either way, what should happen is we will put to rest some of the unknowns that you may be experiencing. We will start to shed light on what you can expect and how to best pursue the benefits you deserve.