Do I Always Need a Brain Injury Lawyer?
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- Do I Always Need a Brain Injury Lawyer?
People have likely asked this question since the beginning of the legal system: Do I need a lawyer? The answer depends on the complexity of the case, and some other crucial factors discussed below.
If you decide to hire a lawyer, our team of attorneys can help you maximize your compensation. Your first consultation at Phillips Law Group is provided at no cost, so feel free to schedule your visit at your earliest convenience.
Start chatting online by clicking the “Live Chat” button below or phone us at (800) 706-3000. We are looking forward to answering your questions.
Reasons People Consider Representing Themselves
Taking legal actions in court without professional representation is called “pro se,” a Latin term meaning “for oneself.” People proceed pro se for various reasons, but let’s consider three of the most common.
They cannot afford a lawyer
Some unprincipled law firms charge unreasonably high fees. Even if the attorney fees are fair based on the time and labor spent, you might feel they are beyond your means. Additionally, you might find yourself at a financial low if your brain injury prevents you from earning a living.
Yet, the type of fees your lawyer imposes can make all the difference. In general, there are 3 types of arrangements for payment:
- Fixed: Most fixed fee arrangements mean that the contracted law firm will charge a set price to handle your legal issues for a specific time. These fees might vary from client to client, based on how complex the project is and how long it might take to resolve.
- Flat: A flat fee usually refers to the cost of a single task. For example, an attorney might charge a certain price for preparing wills. Even if one person’s will takes 4 hours and another person’s takes 4 days, both clients will pay the same flat fee.
- Contingent: Contingency fees are based on the outcome of a legal case or settlement. Lawyers are paid a percentage of any damages they win for their clients, or they can set flat or fixed fees that are only collected after a successful verdict.
Each law firm has its policies, so you will need to read the fine print of your contract to determine how it defines its fee structure. You will also need to know when you need to pay upfront, at the end of the job, or in periodic installments.
Phillips & Associates work under a contingency, so our clients only owe legal fees if we recover compensation on their behalf. Otherwise, they pay nothing.
They feel well-qualified
Many who represent themselves in court make similar statements: “Law is common sense. I can do my research. I trust no one as much as I trust myself.” Yet, some pro se litigants are surprised by the many steps of a court case.
Court cases involve:
- Pleadings: Filing formal complaints with the court and defendant
- Discovery: Gathering information about the case from each other or other involved parties, interviewing witnesses, researching applicable laws
- Pre-trial motions: Requesting the court to decide on specific issues before the trial starts and responding to motions made by the opposing party (e.g. motion to dismiss based on lack of evidence, motion to suppress evidence, motion for change of venue)
- Trial or arbitration: Presenting facts to a judge or jury, questioning witnesses, raising or responding to objections, getting a verdict
- Post-trial motions: In the case of an undesirable result, brain injury litigants can motion for a new trial if they meet eligibility requirements
- Appeals: Presenting evidence, such as errors, that affected the original verdict to try to overturn a decision
To represent yourself, you must know the federal and local laws that apply to your brain injury cases. In addition, almost every step of the judicial process has structure and regulations.
If you make a mistake in court procedures, you might not have a chance to correct yourself. You could lose your case, forfeiting compensation you and your loved ones deserve.
They want to give it a try
Some people reason they can try to represent themselves; if things get complicated later, they can hire a lawyer. However, notice this quote from the United States District Court webpage:
“In a civil case, you do not have a constitutional right to appointed counsel. Therefore, if you file a civil case pro se, you should be prepared to pursue it to completion on your own because the Court appoints counsel only under certain limited circumstances that may not be met by your case.”
In other words, representing yourself is a commitment. If you realize the process is too complex for your level of expertise, it might be too late to save your case.
At Phillips Law Group, we encourage potential clients to take advantage of our free consultations. You can acquire free legal advice that might be invaluable to your claim during your initial visit. For instance, you could learn:
- How much your claim is worth
- Your probability of success
- Common pitfalls to avoid
- What evidence you need to prove your claim
- Deadlines that apply to your case
Call 1-800-706-3000 or fill out our Free Case Review form to schedule your risk-free case evaluation.
Advantages of Hiring Legal Counsel
Competent lawyers have a working knowledge of state laws and the rules that govern court processes. Their expertise can save you time, money, and frustration.
Help with tedious paperwork
For brain injury victims or their legal representatives, filling out forms can seem like a never-ending project. You must read everything you get from the court clerk’s office and the opposing counsel. Legal documents are not written in everyday speech, so you need to learn what terms mean to understand what is expected of you.
You could delay compensation for your medical bills and other expenses if you make a mistake. What’s worse, you could make an error that gives the wrong impression to an insurer or a judge. Either way, you could jeopardize your eligibility for collecting compensation.
Teams to handle time-sensitive tasks
Meeting deadlines is essential for brain injury lawsuits. For instance, if the statute of limitations set by your state runs out, you could lose your right to recover any compensation for your losses.
Since lawyers work with a team of talented legal professionals familiar with the tasks, they can often work faster than someone learning as they go. They also know how to formally request extensions in writing if more time is necessary to build a case.
Last but not least, attorneys understand the deadlines that apply to insurance companies. An aggressive lawyer can pressure insurers to ensure you get your money on time.
Knowledge of all your alternatives
Is pursuing a lawsuit the only legal remedy open to you? You might have more options than you realize.
If your brain injury happened due to someone else’s negligence, lawyers could help you pursue a lawsuit. Yet, in most cases, lawsuits are a last resort.
Attorneys skilled in negotiation can often mediate a settlement for you without a court trial. Settlements come faster frequently and are generally less costly than court cases.
Exercise Your Rights Wisely
The Constitution of the United States guarantees your right to legal counsel, and most states also recognize your right to represent yourself.
If you represent yourself, you must familiarize yourself with the process of filing legal action and prepare to meet the requirements of each step.
Yet, we invite you to talk to our legal team about your case before you enter a courtroom.
There is no cost or obligation for a free case evaluation, so why wait? Contact us today to learn how Phillips Law Group can help you pursue the compensation you deserve for your brain injuries.
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They knew exactly how to explain the case to me in a way that I would understand it. They gave me hope that my life wasn’t over.
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Phillips Law Group is a company that has taught me so many things. Here your work, your dedication, effort and discipline are valued, in addition to the fact that, as a woman, as an immigrant and as a human being, I have been given value and empowerment. We are a successful law firm because all workers feel part of a great family. I am very proud and honored to work at Phillips Law Group.
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Phillips Law Group provides a collaborative environment in which both attorneys and staff work together to achieve the best outcome for clients. As an attorney here at PLG, I’m lucky to be surrounded by seasoned attorneys and knowledgeable staff that share my enthusiasm for helping accident victims. The team here at PLG treats clients with respect and empathy while fighting hard to get the results they deserve.