Litigation is the term used for legal proceedings to decide disputes between persons, business entities, organizations such as not-for-profit and charitable groups, and claims involving federal and state governments. Litigation typically involves formal proceedings with a state or federal court. It can also involve informal proceedings, such as arbitration proceedings. Arbitration is where the parties agree to resolve a dispute outside of the court system, selecting an arbitrator to informally act as a judge and have the arbitrator decide the dispute outside of the court process. But what are the specific types of litigation? Let’s find out:
Litigation includes criminal and civil proceedings, although often when people use the term litigation, they think of the civil side. A criminal proceeding is when the government brings charges against a person or entity for violating a criminal statute. The person or entity charged is subject to imprisonment, probation, the imposition of fines, and related penalties. Only a state prosecutor or federal US attorney can bring criminal charges. Civil litigation involves claims by one person or entity against another person or entity. The remedies available in civil litigation are money damages and, in special circumstances, the entry of an injunction (an order by a court requiring a person or entity to undertake a particular action or to refrain from doing so). For example, a court could order a party to cease engaging in conduct viewed as false advertising.
Discussed below are some other common types of civil litigation seen in the United States.
Personal Injury Litigation
Personal injury litigation includes claims by a person (the plaintiff) against another person, business, or other entity (the defendant) for conduct that results in physical injury to the plaintiff. The defendant, the person or entity that caused the injury, is claimed to have engaged in negligent conduct or intentional wrongful conduct that resulted in injuries to the plaintiff. Negligent conduct is generally defined as engaging in conduct that a reasonably safe person would have avoided.
Individual Personal Injury Claims
A great majority of personal injury litigation is brought by a single person or by a husband or wife against another person or entity for injuries. These cases often involve injuries resulting from auto accidents, slip and fall claims, dog bite incidents, injuries resulting from a defective building or premises, and injuries at a worksite. The plaintiff can recover for his or her medical expenses, pay loss, pain, and suffering, and for future pain and suffering and disability. For auto accidents, you can hire auto injury lawyers for San Antonio.
Mass Tort Litigation
Mass tort litigation involves claims of personal injury brought by many different people typically because of a defective product or a defective condition with a piece of property. The word “tort” is a legal term referring to injury to another person because of negligent or wrongful intentional conduct by another person or entity. Therefore, mass tort litigation can potentially involve thousands of plaintiffs across the country. Such legal proceedings today often involve so-called “multidistrict litigation” proceedings which are overseen by a federal district court assigned to handle the large group of cases performing common investigative and discovery tasks and often engaging in settlement negotiations to see if a group settlement might be reached to resolve the claims of all or many of the hundreds or thousands of plaintiffs’ claims. Another type of group litigation is so-called “class action” litigation where one person or a small group of persons are identified to represent the claims on behalf of hundreds or thousands of persons across the country who only indirectly participate in the litigation. Class action litigation is often seen in business torts where a business has engaged in fraudulent conduct or misrepresentations that results in money being taken or not paid to a large group of persons who were entitled to receive or keep the funds in question.
Persona Injury Litigation
These are civil claims brought by individuals who have suffered an injury, not to their physical person, but to their general persona. Such claims involve defamation, where the plaintiff asserts that the defendant made false and disparaging statements about the plaintiff damaging their reputation. A similar type of claim is for breach of one’s right to privacy where the plaintiff contends that the defendant disclosed personal and private information of the plaintiff which the defendant had no right to do. In these cases, the plaintiff did suffer an injury, though it was not to their physical body, but to their general existence as a person.
Property Loss/Fraud Litigation
These are claims brought by a plaintiff against another person or entity asserting that their property was damaged or taken by another person and include claims where one has had money improperly taken from them or a service not provided which was agreed to be provided. Such claims include fraud, unfair competition, misappropriation, improper interference with the right of contract, and similar disputes.
Business litigation involves claims between persons or business entities and typically involves disputes regarding the performance of services or providing products in exchange for payment or interference with one’s business or property interest. Such claims include breach of contract, claims of infringement upon a copyright or a patent, claims of unfair competition, claims of business fraud, and similar claims involving business affairs between individuals, companies, and other entities.
Government Initiated Litigation
The United States Government and each of the 50 states have the right to bring civil claims and enforcement actions against a person, a company, or other entity for engaging in conduct that may damage or injure the government or its citizens. For example, the United States can bring a civil or enforcement claim on behalf of itself and the citizens of the United States against a company for violating environmental laws, labor laws, banking and security laws, and other statutes which govern the conduct of a particular person or business.
As you can see, there are many types of litigation, each with its specific and unique complexities that anyone seeking a lawyer should know about. We know it’s complicated, which is why everyone at Foley and Small is committed to getting you the help you need and deserve when it comes to your personal injury. We’re here to help you, so if you’re looking for excellent representation in court and family treatment, we hope you’ll contact us.