Types of Lawsuits and What It Means If You Take Part in One
Discover 7 Types of Lawsuits And What Your Involvement Means
Lawsuits are a part of life. Nobody actually likes to be a part in a lawsuit and most of us do our best to avoid them but there are times when there’s no other way out and only a lawsuit can clarify and solve a situation. There are many types of lawsuits, some more popular than others.
The two big categories of lawsuits are criminal lawsuits and civil lawsuits. While the first category deals with criminal cases where the government prosecutes individuals for violating the laws of the state, the civil lawsuits solve conflicts between people or companies. Criminal cases end in punishments, like fines, community service, probation and prison for the person found guilty. On the other hand, civil cases solve complaints and award pecuniary damages to the person entitled to financial compensation.
The most typical civil actions are:
Tort actions (negligence) – a civil wrong that results in unintentionally hurting someone physically, their reputation, their property or the like as a result of negligence, unsafe premises or products, medical malpractice or defective products.
Contract actions – this type of claims derives from a breach of contract, when one of the parts fails to respect their obligations, like not paying on time, not paying in full, not delivering what they’ve promised and other similar situations.
Landlord/tenant actions – all conflicts arising between landlords and tenants, such as evicting a tenant from a rental property or a tenant trying to get back their security deposit.
A private investigator can play an important role in civil cases. Their work and resources can make or break a case. That’s why, private investigators are usually involved in lawsuits, such as:
Car accident lawsuits
One of the most common types of personal injury lawsuits, car accidents can result in injuries that come with expensive medical bills, but also in damage to vehicles and private property, unpaid time off from work, temporary or permanent disability. A private investigator helps with establishing the circumstances surrounding the accident, interviewing the witnesses, and determining who bears liability. They collect all available evidence and help the case with both the insurance company and the civil court.
Since employers are legally responsible to create a safe work environment for their employees, anytime an employee gets hurt on the job, the employer will be held responsible. This can happen if the employee slips and falls, gets hurt by equipment, is exposed to toxic chemicals or even if they get involved in a car accident on the way to work. However, there are times when the employee takes advantage of the employer and pretends to be the victim of a work accident just to get the worker’s compensation benefits and time off work. In both cases, private investigators can conduct thorough investigations, using surveillance, incident analysis, and background checks, that unveil the real circumstances of the accident and establish the truth.
Slip and fall lawsuits
Among the most common lawsuits and injuries, slip and fall cases can happen anywhere, from a grocery store to a parking lot. In order to win a slip and fall lawsuit, your private investigator needs to establish if the owner or manager of the property where the accident happened was negligent. The private investigator needs to prove if the responsible person should have warned people about the existence of a slip and fall danger or if they should have fixed a problem that led to this situation.
Product liability lawsuits
Product liability lawsuits occur when defective products cause injuries. From toys and appliances to car seats and vehicles, every one of these products can become a danger when defective. The person injured can file a product liability lawsuit and receive product liability damages if they can prove the injury was caused by the defective product. The defect can be related to the product’s design, manufacturing, maintenance of repair. Regardless of its origin, once a defective product causes injuries, the manufacturer can be held accountable and forced to pay for medical bills and any other expenses caused by the injury. As expected, it’s difficult to prove product liability, but private investigators can help with evidence if they have experience and knowledge in the industry involved.
Medical malpractice lawsuits
A medical malpractice lawsuit is filed when someone was injured or became sick because of the negligence of a medical physician. A private investigator helps the plaintiff to uncover the truth about the alleged negligence committed by either a doctor or a nurse. Private investigators who take on such cases usually have experience with fraud investigation and insurance investigation and have extensive knowledge in the healthcare field. They collaborate with medical experts that can confirm or deny the alleged errors taking into consideration the proper medical conduct.
Defamation investigations can be slander investigations, libel investigations or both. Slander implies defaming a person, company or organization using the spoken word, while libel occurs when the target is defamed using written words. These actions are meant to affect the reputation of the target. Proving defamation is a complicated matter and you should work only with private investigators who have experience in the field and know what exactly constitutes slanderous or libelous behaviors and what can be considered public expression and simple personal opinion. It’s hard to prove defamation, especially since the proof must be positive and the lawyer needs to prove there was intent and actual damages have been caused, but experience private investigators can make a difference. Slander is usually proved using recorded evidence or first-hand witness accounts, while libel uses the written accounts as proof.
Family law actions
Private investigators often get involved in family law cases. From divorce cases to child custody and alimony cases, these civil cases require thorough investigations to build solid admissible cases in court. A private investigator can help with divorce cases by finding the hidden assets and/or location of a spouse, as well as their place of employment. They can also contribute to a child custody case by conducting an investigation using tools like surveillance, witness statements, and background investigation, to prove if the parent is fit to have the custody of a child.