In most cases where you face the possibility of a civil lawsuit, the case itself will never actually make it to trial. Most of these matters end up settled outside of court due to the fact that it saves time, money and airing your personal business.
However, if you cannot reach a settlement outside of court, then your case may end up going through the trial process after all. Thus, it is beneficial to understand this process and what it could mean for you.
Civil trials vs. criminal trials
The American Bar Association breaks down the workings of courts, including civil trials. The trial phase of a civil case actually holds many similarities to the same phase in a criminal case, which may come as a surprise to some.
You have pre-trial conferences in which you can work toward a settlement. You and the opposing party will also have the chance to enter motions and gather evidence to support your side of the case, which is necessary as this is what the court will use to make its decision.
Provision of evidence and witnesses
You can provide witnesses and evidence, and will have the right to examine the evidence of the other party and cross-examine their witnesses. This is also similar to criminal trials. On top of that, you even have the option to have a jury trial, but the majority of civil cases are bench trials where only a judge presides and decides.
Note that even courts will often encourage parties to reach a settlement before taking their case to court, as it ties up resources and costs you a fair amount of money. But it is your right to take it to court if you wish.