Tips & Advice
What is the difference between litigation and mediation?
While litigation and mediation are similar in concept, litigation is settled via legal proceedings; mediation is settled outside the court by a neutral third party called a mediator who steps in and helps the two parties come to an agreement. In litigation, typically there is only one winner. In mediation, all parties must agree to the settlement.
What does litigation mean?
Legal litigation is the process in which a legal proceeding (a lawsuit) is initiated between two or more opposing parties with the intention of enforcing or defending a legal right or claim. If you feel you were wronged and suffered injuries or losses, you might sue to recover damages. Or, your attorney might have to defend you in the case.
How much do trial attorneys charge?
Attorney fees vary widely depending on their skill and experience, the seriousness of the offense, the complexity of the legal issue, and, in some situations, the client’s income. Low-income clients might qualify for a court-appointed attorney to represent them at no cost. Trial lawyers generally bill on an hourly rate, or on a percentage of any damages awarded.
What is a civil litigator?
A civil litigator is a licensed attorney who argues in a legal dispute between two or more parties that are seeking monetary damages, rather than criminal sanctions. Civil is different from criminal in that criminal cases are usually prosecuted by the government, or a representative of the government.
What is a trial attorney?
A trial attorney is a licensed, legal representative that argues the merits of a legal complaint before a judge and (often but not always) a jury. Attorneys are licensed state-by-state. Civil attorneys argue in private disputes between people or groups, while criminal attorneys represent a defendant against government charges (state or federal).
What is a survival action?
A survival action is similar to a wrongful death lawsuit. Both seek damages based on the wrongful death of the decedent. However, where a wrongful death lawsuit is brought by the surviving members of the victim’s family, a survival action is brought by the estate of the decedent. The estate is allowed to sue for pain and suffering, and potential loss of wages and income as a result of death. The damages are awarded to the estate, not the family members, which can occur if the estate’s interest and the family members’ interests are not the same.
Is a wrongful death lawsuit settlement taxable?
Damages won as a result of a wrongful death suit are not taxable. According to the IRS, any damages awarded by the court to the plaintiff for physical illness or injury are not taxable, and wrongful death falls under that statute.
What is a loss of consortium?
Loss of consortium means a spouse is no longer able to perform or engage in sexual activity, either temporarily or permanently, as a result of injuries sustained by the actions of the defendant, like in a car accident. It’s not something typically thought of immediately following an accident, but it is a legitimate cause for damages, and stems from a precedent set in 1850 when the wife of the victim of an accident caused by negligence sued and won.
Who has the right to file for a wrongful death lawsuit?
Usually the immediate surviving family members of the victim file a wrongful death suit. However, laws on who can file vary from state to state. Most wrongful death suits are filed for losses on behalf of the family, (immediate family; distant family, such as siblings and grandparents; domestic life partners; parents of a deceased fetus; and financial dependents) or the estate (losses to the estate as a result of death). Again, laws vary from state to state, so research your state laws or consult a wrongful death attorney to understand your rights.
What are wrongful death damages?
Wrongful death damages are monies awarded to the plaintiffs in a wrongful death suit. The surviving members of the victim’s family may file a civil suit and sue the defendant for pecuniary or financial injury. Pecuniary damages relate to the loss of financial support (if the victim was a primary earner of a household), services, lost prospective inheritance, and medical and funeral damages as a result of the death.