Help from a lawyer in a civil case
It's always a good idea to talk to a lawyer before you sue someone. If you're sued, it can also really help to talk to a lawyer to decide what you should do. Lawyers can also help you along the way. For example, review an offer you get or help you prepare for trial.
Find legal help
Even if you don't hire a lawyer for your case, you can often get a consult for a reasonable price.
Before suing someone
You can save money and time by talking to a lawyer
Before you sue someone, you can talk to a lawyer to get a general sense of if you have a good case and what might be a good outcome. A lawyer will know what questions to ask about what happened and let you know what you should be aware of.
They may be able to help you resolve the issue without going to court by helping you write a "demand letter" or giving you advice on how to negotiate with the other side. They can also give you advice about how to work with an insurance company if one is involved.
A lawyer can help you set expectations of what a court case might involve
A lawyer will also have a better sense of what's a good outcome for this type of case, whether they usually go to trial or get resolved beforehand, and what costs you might have if you do go to court. For example, if you will need an expert and how much an expert costs. Or, they can explain what to expect if you file a lawsuit and move ahead with the case.
A lawyer can review an offer or help work out an agreement
Strategy when dealing with insurance companies and lawyers
In some cases, you may try to work out a payment from an insurance company. A lawyer can help you understand what can help or hurt your case when working with, for example, an insurance adjuster. If they've handled these types of cases or worked with that insurance company before, they may know what a typical offer is and help you decide if you should settle with the insurance company.
Review a written agreement
A lawyer can help you figure out if you've reached a fair agreement based on what's known so far. They can suggest language you might want in a contract to protect your interests.
Once a lawsuit is filed
You can also hire a lawyer to help you with parts of the case that may be more complicated like:
- Asking for discovery, like interrogatories and requests for documents
- Answering discovery requests from the other side
- Doing or responding to a deposition
- Reaching out to the other side to negotiate a settlement
- Going to trial and having to question witnesses (examination and cross-examination)