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Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Timothy Tonkin with Phillips Law Group.
A prayer for relief is the legal term for the part of a civil letter of complaint or lawsuit in which the desired solutions to the problem are listed. In many cases, a prayer for relief may contain requests for compensation regarding expenses caused by a negligent party, or even an injunction to prevent the defendant from behaving similarly in the future.
Prayers for relief are generally only included in civil claims; however, victims of criminal behavior may also be eligible to receive certain damages at the successful conclusion of a criminal case. That said, in many cases, it is possible to pursue both a criminal and civil claim for the same situation, and civil claims generally offer a better chance at financial recovery.
Damages is a term used to refer to losses experienced by the plaintiff in a civil claim. Damages may include the financial cost of medical bills and lost wages, or the cost of a product that turned out to be defective. Damages can be wide-ranging and vary from case to case depending on the type of harm that occurred and how long that harm will hypothetically affect the plaintiff’s life. In general, damages fall into one of four categories:
For a case to go to trial it must first be approved by a judge, and must not have already been settled out of court. When a letter of complaint is written, it generally includes allegations on behalf of the plaintiff, a display of key evidence regarding the issue, as well as a prayer for relief at the end which may include both damages and a request for a trial by jury.
A jury is a group of 12 randomly selected and vetted individuals responsible for evaluating evidence in a case to decide whether the defendant should be held liable for the plaintiff’s damages. Jury trials play a vital role in the United States justice system and is intended to prevent bias from interfering with a just verdict. A prayer for relief may also include the cost of hiring an attorney and any legal fees associated with the case to be paid by the defendant if the plaintiff receives a successful verdict.
To learn more about prayers for relief, reach out to a civil law attorney.
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