What does Defendant mean?

In a civil case the person or entity which is being sued is called the defendant. In a criminal case the defendant is the person who is charged with a crime. In a civil case it is up to the plaintiff to prove the defendant's actions led to their injury or loss. In a criminal case it is up to the state or the prosecutor to prove the defendant is guilty of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.

Defendants are notified of a pending case against them after the plaintiff files a complaint which is then forwarded to the defendant. The dependant must respond to the complaint within a specified time period or the court can make a default judgment against them.

If you are the defendant in a personal injury case in some states you may also receive compensation for your injuries if you can prove the plaintiff contributed to the loss. For instance, in a comparative negligence state the amount of compensation or damages is allocated to the plaintiff and defendant based on their degree of fault.

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Personal Injury Attorneys near Ashburn VA

Eisenhower & Laufer, P.C.

Eisenhower & Laufer, P.C. Profile Picture
10560 Main Street
Suite 218 Fairfax, VA 22030

Brien Roche Law

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8355 Greensboro Dr
McLean, VA 22102


ChasenBoscolo Profile Picture
6402 Arlington Blvd
Suite 600 Falls Church, VA 22042

Term of the Day


Apportionment stands for the dividing, allotting, or distributing of property in the proper way.