A civil lawsuit begins when one party makes an allegation against another. The legal definition of an allegation is when the plaintiff files a complaint against the defendant and presents it to a court of law. A plaintiff can make allegations based on information and belief – not necessarily as a statement of fact.
The plaintiff has the burden of proving that the allegations made are true. If the allegations are true, the court can decide on a suitable remedy, such as monetary compensation.
What Happens When Making an Allegation?
An allegation forms the basis of the claims one can make in any civil dispute. When making an allegation, you should have enough evidence to prove the claims contained in the complaint are true.
Without enough evidence or sufficient facts, the allegations remain unproven. Therefore, the court cannot find the defendant liable, and a motion of summary judgment will automatically stop the lawsuit from moving to trial. When noting your allegations in a complaint, ensure that you have:
- Followed the state or federal requirements for filing a complaint
- Stated the allegations factually and concisely
- Included the damages that you wish to recover
Ensure that the complaint only contains relevant information pertaining to the claims you are making. The complaint must be addressed to the specific defendant or defendants. If you have already compiled your allegations in a complaint, you can file a civl cover sheet.
Once you make a complaint, the defendant will get notified, which will give them an opportunity to respond to the allegations.
Making Counter Allegations
If you are the defendant in a civil lawsuit, you can make counterclaims against the plaintiff. For instance, if there is a car accident where both parties are partly at fault, both parties are in a position to make a claim against each other.
Under Florida Statutes § 768.81, Florida has a pure comparative fault system in which the compensation after an accident is based on the percentage of fault. This law means that if a party alleges that you caused them injury or property damage, you can make a similar counterclaim.
How You Can Respond to an Allegation as a Defendant
If you are a defendant, you have to respond to the initial complaint filed by the plaintiff within 20 days. The right time to make counterclaims is immediately after receiving the plaintiff’s complaint. The answer you give as a defendant should also contain:
- The allegations stated in the complaint that you admit or deny
- Counterclaims and allegations against the plaintiff
The plaintiff can answer the counterclaims and allegations as a defendant—whether that’s admitting or denying the allegations. The defendant has the responsibility of introducing evidence supporting any allegations they make in their response.
If you as a defendant do not answer the complaint, the plaintiff may file a motion for the entry of default. Failure to cure the default means that judge will issue a default judgment. This outcome means that the plaintiff will receive the remedy or relief sought in the complaint.
The Difference Between Allegation and Accusation
An accusation is a usually term used when stating that a party is guilty of a criminal offense. An allegation is an unproven claim that a party has done something wrong. Allegations are commonly used in civil cases, and the burden of proof lies with the plaintiff. The state has the responsibility of showing that the accusation made against an individual is true.
You can make allegations without the necessary evidence to prove if they are true. Accusations require a higher burden of proof as the prosecuting party has to show they have valid reasons for charging the accused.
Allegations do not lead to any conviction, unlike accusations. The purpose of civil courts is to restore the plaintiff to their former position or grant them a suitable remedy. Accusations, if proven, lead to punishment of criminal wrongdoing by the court.
What Happens When Someone Is Falsely Accused
The accused has a right to sue the state or any party that makes false accusations. The accused has to prove the allegation that the accusation caused harm to their reputation. The falsely accused may get compensated for the following:
- Psychological distress
- Lost income
- Damage to earning capacity
If a false accusation has caused led to your imprisonment, you can sue the state. Proving false accusations can be a bit challenging, so consider hiring an attorneyif you want to make allegations of malicious prosecution or false imprisonment against the state.
Proving Allegations Made in the Complaint
If you are a plaintiff, you have to prove that what you have alleged is true. For instance, in a personal injury claim, you have to show that the defendant is liable. The first way of proving the allegations you make is by showing how the defendant’s negligence resulted in injury or property damage.
Call Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers Today for Help With Allegations
Learn more about the legal definition of allegations and accusations and filing a complaint by seeking legal representation. Whether you are a defendant or plaintiff, having one of our lawyers by your side improves your chances of refuting or proving allegations made against you in court.
Get in touch with Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers at (855) 529-0269 today and receive a free, no-obligation consultation. If we take your case, you’ll work directly with our partners.