The psychological and emotional toll of a life-threatening injury is profound. When you’re trying to get better from an injury, the additional stress of dealing with doctors’ visits, hospital stays, insurance claims, and paperwork can make it hard to think straight. The same is true when you’re dealing with a competitor who stole your designs or someone who defamed you. Here’s when different types of lawyers come in.
While the subject of law is broad, with lawyers specializing in various matters, you may only require the services of about five lawyers in your lifetime.
1. Civil Litigation Attorney
A civil litigator is an attorney who focuses on cases in which two or more private entities have a dispute and want to handle it in court.
Consider this: A process server arrived at your home and served you with papers forcing you to appear in court to defend yourself in a case brought by another company or individual. Or maybe you want to file a lawsuit because someone caused you injury. Perhaps, your small business violated the terms of a subcontract by providing services to a federal contractor that failed to pay you. Or, your former worker has launched a rival company despite being legally obligated not to do so.
In such cases, you need a civil litigation attorney, commonly known as a trial attorney, to help you defend yourself in court. Their job is to help build a case that requires monetary compensation rather than criminal prosecution.
2. Criminal Defense Attorney
When the state (represented by prosecutors) accuses you of committing a crime, legal proceedings will be criminal rather than civil. A criminal defense attorney is essential if you have been arrested, given your Miranda warnings, and are now in police custody.
Your criminal defense attorney will attempt to uphold your presumption of innocence and will advocate for a “not guilty” result by, among other things, finding flaws in the prosecution’s view of the case. Do you want to avoid going to prison? Find a competent lawyer to represent your interests in court.
3. Personal Injury Lawyer
Contact a Houston personal injury law firm if you have been hurt in a vehicle accident. These attorneys are well-versed in working with insurance companies and can assist you in obtaining optimum compensation in light of responsibility and damages issues.
Personal injury attorneys handle more than simply auto accident matters. Typically, you will require this type of attorney if you have sustained a physical injury due to another party’s negligence. Examples include “premises liability” claims (such as slipping and falling at a business owing to a hazardous situation), medical malpractice, and animal assaults.
4. Business Lawyer (litigation or transactional)
Although you may want what many refer to as a business attorney, it is crucial to have a firm grasp of the facts. The category “commercial law” is too broad to be helpful. Business attorneys often fall into two mutually exclusive groups: litigation and transactional. Business litigation is a significant subcategory of civil litigation.
Businesses sue one another frequently for a variety of reasons. Suppose your company is being sued for purportedly breaching an agreement with another business. In that case, you’ll have tremendous success obtaining representation if you look for a business litigation attorney instead of a “business lawyer.”
On the other hand, a “transactional” business lawyer is the attorney you need to develop, grow, and prosper your business. The transactional attorney will incorporate your startup, assist in securing finance, create your employment and non-disclosure contracts, issue stock, spin off affiliates, and do countless other operational activities. Contrary to business litigation attorneys, transactional attorneys do not appear in court.
5. Defamation Attorney
The practice of defamation law is a branch of civil litigation law. You need a defamation lawyer if you need to sue someone for defaming your reputation via libel and slander or if you’ve been suspected of causing harm to the image of another person or business through the dissemination of false and defamatory claims. If you find yourself on either side of a defamation-related dispute, contacting a lawyer with specialized knowledge in this area is generally beneficial.
While these are the top five lawyers, you might need now or in the future, this list is inconclusive. It also depends on whether you require the services as an individual or a business entity. Nevertheless, working with trusted and reliable lawyers in any field of law always increases your chances of success.