What Does Litigation Mean in a Personal Injury Case?

To understand litigation in relation to a personal injury case, first we need to understand what the term actually means. The definition of litigation is:

“The process of taking legal action.”

Essentially, litigation is just an alternative way of saying ‘lawsuit’ as the persons who are involved are known as the litigants. It is used for solving controversies and disputes between two parties.

Litigation and Personal Injury

Personal injury litigation is when one party sues another after a personal injury occurs. In a broad sense you are requesting the court to decide if the opposing party is to blame for your injuries from an accident of some kind. The end result of personal injury litigation is for damages to be paid by the guilty party. This only occurs if it has been proven that your injuries were the fault of someone else.

Personal Injury Cases and Civil Law

One very important aspect of litigation in a personal injury case is that it’s covered under civil law. In general, civil lawsuits primarily deal with issues of money and rarely deal with jail time. This is very different than criminal litigation, where a judge and jury are used to try someone who is accused by the government (ex. federal, state, city) of committing a crime. The end result of a guilty party in criminal court is often jail or probation which don’t occur in a civil lawsuit.

Arbitration or Mediation Before Litigation

A lawsuit is often the last step in trying to settle a fair personal injury dispute. A thorough investigation by a legal professional should be taken before you decide to bring a matter of personal injury to court. Additionally, there are other methods such as arbitration or mediation that can used to settle matters before a lawsuit. Arbitration is the act of using an arbitrator or neutral middle party to settle a dispute. Mediation is just another term for basically the same thing, but the mediator is the name given to the one in-between who is tasked at resolving the issue. Depending on the type of personal injury dispute, insurance companies can often get involved in the mix of a lawsuit which often make things more expensive for everyone involved. This is why it’s recommended to get all the information from a professional before you decide how to pursue legal action. That being said, civil litigation is a very effective and powerful method of resolving a number of different types of disputes.

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