An acclaimed and proven trial attorney. Over $50,000,000 recovered for clients.

What Does It Mean To Sue Someone?

by | Aug 25, 2021 | Personal Injury, Uncategorized | 0 comments

For most people, the legal system is both complex and intimidating. Yet, to properly protect yourself in today’s society, you should have at least a basic understanding of how the courts work. 

The best lawyers not only defend their clients, but also educate them on important topics such as civil suits, criminal charges, and small claims court. In keeping with this notion, the team at Richard J. Hollawell & Associates put together this brief guide into what it means to sue someone. 

What’s the Difference Between Suing and Pressing Criminal Charges?  

Unless you have been involved in a lawsuit, it’s very easy to misinterpret definitions. To this end, people often confuse suing another party with pressing criminal charges. 

When you press charges against another person, you are accusing them of committing a crime. In these situations, you will not get any money from the other party. Rather, their punishment will be fines and/or jail time as administered by a law enforcement agency. Please note, law enforcement will only press charges for you if they believe a crime has occurred. 

Suing is an abbreviation for the term “lawsuit.” When you sue someone, you file a civil case with the courts in hopes of getting financial compensation. As such, the other person won’t go to jail if you sue them, but they could be ordered to pay you a large sum of money. If you feel wrong has been done, you can sue another person, organization, or business for compensation. 

Civil Case Versus Small Claims Court 

Another place where it is easy to misinterpret the legal system is the difference between civil cases and small claims court. While you can sue another person in either type of court, the parameters of the suing process are quite different. 

Small claims court is an option for people interested in suing for smaller sums of money. Some U.S. states like Maryland limit small claims court cases to $5,000, while others only allow up to $1,000. You can hire a lawyer for small claims court cases, although it usually doesn’t make much financial sense. Importantly, filing a case in small claims court is easier, quicker, and more affordable than filing a civil case. 

Filing a civil case with the courts is the most traditional way to sue someone. Civil cases are the appropriate legal route if you are seeking large amounts of money. Please note, while you can be rewarded money in civil cases, they are both expensive and complex. While small claims court is designed for speed, civil cases can get drawn out into months, even years. Due to the overall complexity of civil cases, it is recommended you hire a lawyer if you decide to go this route. 

What Does Insurance Have to Do with Suing Someone? 

In certain instances, insurance agencies get involved with lawsuits. This involvement stems from specific insurance packages related to liability coverage and umbrella coverage

You have probably already heard the term “liability coverage” when dealing with auto insurance companies. In essence, liability coverage keeps you protected if you accidentally harm another person. While auto insurance packages are the most popular type of liability coverage, people can also sue you if injured at your home or business. In any case, liability coverage will cover costs with a certain range if you get sued. 

Umbrella coverage is another insurance option related to civil suits. This type of coverage is utilized by people who feel they need to guard their money and assets against potential lawsuits. In the most basic sense, umbrella coverage protects you in the event that you’re sued for more than your liability plans will cover. Certain umbrella plans also take care of court costs should you get involved in a costly civil case. 


At Richard J. Hollawell and Associates, we understand that the legal system is intimidating. Not only is suing someone expensive, but it also takes up a lot of time. These are all the more reasons to partner with the right lawyer if you get involved in a legal disagreement. 

If you have had wrong done to you, it’s best to at least speak to a lawyer to get their opinion on the best course of action. Small claims court will sometimes be enough to get your problems solved. However, certain cases require civil suits that can only be properly navigated with a skilled lawyer. 

Contact Us with Questions 

Richard J. Hollawell has fought and won over $50 million for his clients. As one of the top personal injury lawyers in Pennsylvania, he and his team will thoughtfully advise you on the best course of action for civil suits. 

Call us at 1-800-681-3550 or fill out our form to get a free consulation about your case today. 




$1.65 Million Settlement

A $4,500,000 jury trial verdict (Settled for $1.65 million while jury was in deliberation) for the family of a client who died as a direct result of a doctor overprescribing highly addictive painkillers in increasing doses.

$1.14 Million Settlement

A $1,140,000 total settlement from a doctor who had been overprescribing prescription painkillers and the dispensing pharmacy that led to the patient becoming addicted and subsequently dying from the prescription drugs.

$1.08 Million Settlement

A $1,075,000 settlement for a dram shop case against a bar/restaurant for over-serving a patron who ultimately got behind the wheel of a car intoxicated, seriously injuring our two clients who were passengers in the vehicle when the driver lost control of his car and crashed.

This website is for informational purposes only. Using this site or communicating with Richard J. Hollawell & Associates through this site does not form an attorney/client relationship. This site is legal advertising.

Copyright © 2021 - All Rights Reserved.