A lawyer (or attorney) is someone who practices law. Lawyers are required to undergo extensive schooling and training in order to obtain a license within the state where they intend to practice law.
Lawyers know and protect the rights of their clients and present their case in a courtroom before a judge or jury. In some circumstances, they may also negotiate for a settlement on behalf of their client with an at-fault party, the lawyer for another party, an insurance carrier, or other agency.
Generally, lawyers specialize in a specific type of legal problem. For example, nursing home abuse lawyers specialize in nursing home abuse cases. These cases are known as “torts.” A tort is a case in which one party causes loss or damages to another party, due to recklessness or negligence.
FAQs About Lawyers
Does it matter what kind of lawyer I speak to about my case?
Yes. As previously stated, lawyers generally specialize in a certain type of law. Just as you wouldn’t ask a brain surgeon to do surgery on your heart, you wouldn’t ask a criminal defense lawyer to represent you in a personal injury case.
If I want to appeal a verdict in my case, can I use the same lawyer who represented me in the initial case for the appeal?
Usually, yes. The lawyer who represented you in your initial case is most often trained and prepared to continue representing your case if you wish to file an appeal, or if the defendant in your case files an appeal.
What if I can’t afford a lawyer?
Many lawyers provide a free consultation, in which you can meet with them to discuss the details of your case. During this free session, the lawyer can help you to understand whether your case is likely to be successful. If the lawyer agrees that you do have a case, he or she may work on a contingency fee basis, which means you won’t have to pay lawyer’s fees until and unless you have a successful outcome for your case. It is worth scheduling a free consultation in order to learn more about this possibility.
If I hire a lawyer to represent me, is it guaranteed that my case will go to court?
No. In fact, a large number of cases are settled before they ever reach the courtroom. An experienced attorney will not only attempt to negotiate a fair settlement before the case goes to court but will provide guidance and knowledge that can help you decide whether to accept an offered settlement.
What are some of the things a lawyer does?
In addition to representing you in court and negotiating on your behalf, other responsibilities for lawyers include:
- ensuring that your rights are upheld and protected throughout the legal process
- researching and gathering information or evidence
- getting testimonies from witnesses
- providing their client with advice and counsel
- drawing up legal documents as required by the court or state law
- procuring industry experts to provide testimony in order to help your case
Do I Need a Lawyer for My Case?
People can represent themselves in court, but it’s not always the best idea. Here are a few reasons why it is advised that you get a lawyer to represent you:
- The legal system is complex. Lawyers have specific schooling and training in order to understand that legal system. Furthermore, if your case falls within the scope of their practice, you can rest assured that they have specific knowledge and experience for your type of case.
- Because it is their business, lawyers have more time to get you the best possible outcome for your case. You have other things to deal with in life, and–unless you happen to have equal experience with the legal process as a lawyer does–you will have to spend additional time trying to figure out how to represent yourself.
- Lawyers have experience in determining how likely you are to succeed in filing a claim. They also have experience in meeting deadlines, making the required filings, and determining the cost of your damages.
- Lawyers are skilled negotiators. This is not just a useful skill when it comes to seeking a settlement for you, but a requirement in order to have a successful outcome.
If you or a loved one has suffered nursing home abuse or neglect, call a nursing home abuse lawyer for a free consultation at 1-800-516-4783.
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