How to know when you should hire a civil litigation attorney.
Did you know a civil litigation attorney is quite different from a criminal defense attorney? In criminal cases, defense lawyers are hired to defend a client against charges or accusations made by governing bodies (think police, state governments, or even federal institutions like the IRS). Generally, the defendant in a criminal case is thought to be some sort of threat to society, or believed to have broken a law.
However, civil attorneys focus more on representation of a party in the midst of a private dispute. While someone may not have broken a law, or pose a threat to society, they can be held accountable for compensating someone they have allegedly wronged.
What Types of Civil Litigation Do Attorneys Handle?
Outside of criminal cases, there are a variety of case “types” which fall under the civil litigation umbrella. We’ve compiled a short cheat-sheet to help you determine if your case falls under the civil litigation umbrella:
- Civil Rights Abuse Cases
Some lawyers specialize in handling cases pertaining to civil rights. Cases like these include an individual, or group of individuals, who believe their basic civil rights have been ignored. Sometimes these cases are filed in addition to criminal cases, and the focus is on collection of damages (i.e. money, an apology, etc.).
An example might be filing a lawsuit against a bakery for denying services to a couple based on their sexual orientation, housing or employment discrimination based on race or age, and even unlawful police searches. Anything that boils down to denial of rights or services based on certain characteristics falls in this category.
- Business Law Cases
This can be more of a preventative measure, focused mainly on setting up a business in the most advantageous way possible: LLC, sole proprietorship, and so on. They will help you file all the appropriate legal paperwork, to ensure your set up is legally valid. However, you may also find yourself in need of a civil attorney to defend yourself against a lawsuit brought by another business, a former partner, or a former customer.
- Personal Injury Lawsuits
To say the term “personal injury” covers an enormous range of lawsuits is a bit of an understatement. However, these suits essentially boil down to harm being inflicted by another party through recklessness, carelessness, or downright willful negligence. These frequently include slip and fall cases, automotive accidents, transportation accidents (bus or plane crashes), medical malpractice, and animal injury (dog bites, cat scratches, and even monkey attacks).
Your attorney will help you seek compensation for any medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering and punitive damages you might be owed. This is completely separate from punishment doled out through the criminal courts, and it is quite common for an individual to be prosecuted for the same offense in both the civil and criminal court.
- Miscellaneous Legal Representation
Sometimes you need assistance that falls outside of just “wrong doing.” This can range from bankruptcy law to estate planning, and even certain kinds of immigration cases. While these types of cases may crossover into the criminal court system, it really depends on the type of representation a person needs.
Still wondering if your case falls into a civil category? Schedule your complimentary consultation with the Wilbanks Law Firm, P.C. by calling (706) 335-2355 to speak with one of our experienced civil litigation attorneys, today.