Instead of dueling to the death like historical figures, modern Americans generally resolve their significant differences in court. Still, the thought of entering a lawsuit can seem stressful. After all, legal proceedings can be intimidating, expensive, and a hassle. However, sometimes a civil lawsuit is the best way to resolve a dispute.
Americans file more than 40 million lawsuits each year. Plaintiffs file more than 95% of these lawsuits in state court. Of these lawsuits, 2.4 million happen in Cook County. Chicago is a busy place for lawsuits, so if you face legal action, you’re not alone.
If you face a civil lawsuit, or if you want to file a lawsuit, you probably need a good attorney. According to the Illinois State Bar Association, “only 2% of all civil cases are actually decided by a judge or a jury.” This means that you need a Chicago civil litigation lawyer who is a skilled negotiator since your case will likely reach a settlement before trial.
Find an experienced Chicago civil litigation lawyer who works with an innovative group legal services subscription at Vantage Group. Contact us for a free consultation, and we’ll explain how our affordable, efficient legal services subscription works. We will handpick the perfect attorney for your case from our experienced network of Chicago civil litigation lawyers. Contact us today for a free consultation—the right legal team could make all the difference in your case.
Do I Have a Civil or a Criminal Case?
The United States legal system is divided into two branches, civil and criminal. When you break a law, the government may prosecute you with criminal charges. The government seeks to punish lawbreakers to preserve law and order in society. Criminal punishment includes fines, time in jail or prison, community service, and probation. When you are criminally prosecuted, you face the loss of your freedom.
On the other hand, civil lawsuits cannot take away your freedom, but they can impact your finances. Civil lawsuits are filed by one person or business against another, and they usually seek money. In a civil lawsuit, a victim seeks compensation for the harm they suffered. Civil lawsuits may also seek things other than money, such as an order that stops someone from doing something.
If you commit a crime, you may face both criminal charges and a civil lawsuit. Criminal prosecution seeks to punish you for the crime while the civil lawsuit seeks compensation for the victim.
It is usually easier to hold someone liable for a civil claim than to convict them of a crime. This is because the burden of proof for civil cases is typically “preponderance of the evidence,” meaning the defendant, more likely than not, committed the offending action. However, the burden of proof for criminal cases is “beyond a reasonable doubt,” which requires more convincing evidence of the defendant’s guilt.
Whether you face civil or criminal charges, you want an attorney who has experience in that area of law. At Vantage Group, we focus on civil lawsuits, offering a group legal services model that puts an excellent Chicago civil litigation lawyer on your case at a significantly lower cost to you.
Where Will My Chicago Lawsuit Go?
If your Chicago lawsuit involves a party from another state, you may need to file it in federal district court. For most cases, however, you will file your case with the Circuit Court of Cook County. Chicago courts are busy, so the government divides civil cases into different courts, depending on how much money is at stake in the claim.
The Civil Division hears claims of less than $30,000 if the events on which the lawsuit is based occurred in Chicago.
Pro Se Court
The Pro Se Court in the Civil Division hears claims of less than $1,500. You may also hear this court referred to as “small claims” court. In the Pro Se Court, you can represent yourself or bring an attorney.
The Law Division
The Law Division hears claims over $30,000 if the events on which the lawsuit is based occurred in Cook County.
Steps in a Civil Lawsuit
In most cases our Chicago civil litigation lawyers handle, we seek a settlement to avoid the expensive, lengthy court process. However, our attorneys are prepared to take a case to trial if that solution is in the client’s best interest. When you meet with us for a free consultation, we’ll advise you of the best legal strategy for your case. Whether you want to file a lawsuit or you face a court summons, our attorneys follow similar steps:
- Talk with you about your claim and listen to your experience;
- Gather evidence such as medical records, accident reports, and video footage;
- Calculate damages;
- If you are the plaintiff, present the defendant with a demand letter requesting damages;
- Negotiate with the opposing party to try to settle;
- If a settlement is not reached, proceed with a civil lawsuit;
- Conduct discovery to find more evidence supporting your position;
- Meet with a mediator to try to reach a settlement; and
- Go to trial if mediation does not succeed.
Throughout your civil lawsuit, you should expect to receive frequent communication from your network attorney and Vantage Group legal support team. Your lawyer will not accept a settlement offer without your approval, and our entire team works for your maximum settlement. We are satisfied with a case outcome only once you are satisfied too.
What If I Receive a Summons?
If you receive a court summons, it can come as a shock. You may already know that someone had a problem with you, or the lawsuit may be a complete surprise. Immediately after receiving a summons, you should take these steps:
- Save all paperwork related to the lawsuit, including bills, emails, letters, envelopes, photos, and text messages;
- Write down the date that you received any communication about the lawsuit, including when you received the summons;
- Write down how you received the summons, including whether it was delivered to you or another person in your household;
- Locate the date that you must respond to the summons; and
- Contact Vantage Group to enroll in group legal services.
In Illinois, you have to file an appearance and answer to the summons. This tells the court that you know about the lawsuit and shares your response to the plaintiff’s complaint. If you don’t file an answer, the court may enter a default judgment against you. Your answer will present affirmative defenses and offer any counterclaims.
Your summons will tell you the deadline for filing your appearance and answer to the claim. For claims under $50,000, you usually have until ten days before your court date to file an answer. For claims over $50,000, you must file an appearance within 30 days after you receive your court summons. If the claim is for $10,000 or less, you don’t have to file an answer in Cook County.
What Cases Do You Handle?
Vantage Group helps all kinds of clients, from accident victims to people disputing insurance contracts. We work with clients who are involved in these disputes:
- Employment disputes,
- Workers compensation claims,
- Divorce and child custody,
- Insurance disputes,
- Car and truck accidents,
- Bicycle accidents,
- Motorcycle accidents,
- Business disputes,
- Product liability disputes, and
- Professional liability claims.
If you have any of these disputes, you can contact us for a free consultation. If you decide to sign up for our legal services monthly subscription, you will gain access to our network attorneys to advise you on every aspect of your case.
Find Civil Litigation Legal Support
If you are engaged in a civil lawsuit, you need a skilled Chicago civil litigation lawyer. At Vantage Group, we offer innovative legal services without compromising quality representation. We give you easy access to excellent, affordable legal services. By combining the expertise of our network of attorneys with advanced technology, our innovative solutions can lead to positive case results.
Want to know how Vantage Group works? First, you contact us for a free consultation. Our in-house legal team meets with you and listens to your experience. We let you know how Vantage Group can help and answer your questions. After you have all the information about our group legal services, we give you the opportunity to subscribe.
When you pay a simple monthly subscription fee, you gain access to our network of attorneys and our in-house legal support team. Once you sign up for a legal services subscription, we hand-select the best attorney for your case from our extensive network. We try to choose an attorney with experience in your type of civil litigation, who has a successful record of settling and winning cases. You should receive your attorney assignment and contact information within around 24 hours of signing up for a Vantage Group legal services subscription.
This type of efficiency defines everything we do. We want to make your lawsuit experience as simple and successful as possible. Contact us for a free consultation if you would like to learn more.
FAQs About Vantage Group Civil Litigation
When people hear about our innovative civil litigation services, they’re often curious about how our group legal subscription works. Here are some questions we hear about Vantage Group civil litigation.
What Settlement Award Should I Expect?
We can’t predict an average settlement award until we know more about your case. Every case is different, and settlements or trial awards depend on the facts of the case. When you meet with us for a free consultation, we can give you a better estimate based on your case facts.
What Kinds of Cases Do You Take?
Vantage Group takes all types of civil litigation cases, from motorcycle accidents to divorces. If you’re not sure if we can handle your claim, contact us for a free consultation. We’ll let you know if we can help and explain the benefits of our game-changing way of delivering legal services.
How Is Vantage Group Different from a Law Firm?
Vantage Group offers a legal services subscription that gives you access to a network attorney and our in-house legal support team. Once you sign up for our legal services monthly subscription, we will handle every aspect of your case, all for one simple monthly fee.