Just like doctors, lawyers also have specialties. Most people are familiar with criminal litigation, thanks to shows like Law & Order, but there are many others as well, including tax law, real estate law and our topic for this blog, civil litigation.
In terms of a TV correlation, when you think civil litigation, think Judge Judy. Civil lawsuits are brought by one party, called the plaintiff, against another, called the defendant, due to a disagreement, usually over money or property. Neither side is a criminal, but they need help resolving a legal dispute. If you’re ever watched Judge Judy, you’ll see why having a lawyer in your corner when it comes to civil litigation makes good sense.
Types of Civil Litigation
Civil litigation is a broad specialty that can encompass a wide variety of legal disputes. Here are some examples of when you might hire an attorney experienced in civil litigation:
- Personal injuries: you slipped on a wet floor in a grocery store and broke your arm, resulting in medical bills and being out of work for a month
- Medical malpractice: your doctor prescribed the wrong medication and you required hospitalization as a result
- Disputes between landlords and tenants: your landlord hasn’t fixed the broken heater in over a month but is demanding you still pay rent
- Service disputes: you hired a contractor to build an addition on your home, and they haven’t finished the job and aren’t returning your calls
- Business disputes: you have a non-compete clause in your employment contract but an employee leaves and goes to work for your competitor
Many times, civil litigation cases can be settled out of court with the help of lawyers or mediators, but if not, they are decided by a judge or jury.
Why You Need a Civil Litigation Lawyer
While you may think your case is simple or straightforward, having an experienced attorney on your side can often be the difference between winning and losing. That’s because, depending on the specific case, there are a variety of requirements that must be met. It’s not always enough to be right.
For example, there is usually a statute of limitations on how long after an incident you can file a case. If you miss that window, your case won’t even be heard. In addition, there are certain types of proof and documentation both sides must provide, ranging from contracts to proof of payment, photos and more, depending on the type of case.
Your lawyer will ensure your case is filed appropriately, that you have all the necessary documentation, and advise you about the best course of action. The money you spend on a lawyer will not only increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome, but will likely save you money in the long run and give you greater peace of mind.
If you are thinking about filing a civil suit, or have one filed against you, contact us to ensure your interests are protected.