Stephen Hasner | Personal Injury | March 29, 2022
When you suffer a personal injury, you might think any lawyer will perform the same tasks and get the same results. But the choice of lawyer for your injury case can often have a huge impact on your outcome.
In some cases, choosing the right lawyer can make the difference between recovering fair compensation and losing the case outright.
Injury lawyers have a range of backgrounds and experiences. You should always choose a lawyer with experience in handling cases like yours. But you should also look at the lawyer’s skill set when picking one for your case.
Here are the top five reasons to hire a litigation lawyer in Savannah for your injury case.
The Job of a Litigator
Any lawyer admitted to the State Bar of Georgia can represent you in Georgia courts. Georgia considers courtroom representation to be a core role that lawyers fulfill.
But not all lawyers represent clients in court. Broadly, lawyers practice in three areas:
Transactional lawyers negotiate and structure legal transactions. They write contracts to memorialize and enforce the transactions they create.
Some types of transaction lawyers include:
- Mergers and acquisitions lawyers
- Commercial lawyers
- Contract lawyers
Transactional lawyers can also help you structure your assets and holdings. For example, a wills and trusts lawyer can help you plan your estate.
Regulatory lawyers represent clients before regulatory agencies. This area of law often sits between transactional practices and litigation practices.
Regulatory lawyers spend a lot of time structuring deals. But these deals involve government agencies such as:
- Environmental protection agencies
- Banking commissions
- Casino regulators
- Planning boards
- Securities regulators
- Taxing agencies
A regulatory lawyer acts as an advocate for clients to ensure they can conduct their affairs without running afoul of laws and regulations.
Litigators spend their time resolving disputes. The American legal system is considered to be an “adversarial” system. In an adversarial system, each side presents its best case, and a neutral fact-finder like a judge or jury resolves the dispute.
5 Reasons to Hire a Litigator for Your Injury Case
Every case has unique facts and issues. As a result, not every lawyer will provide the exact skills, experience, and knowledge required for every case. Instead, you need to look for a lawyer who best fits your needs and expectations.
Litigators bring courtroom experience to your case. Some reasons to hire a litigation lawyer for your case include:
1. Evaluating Damages
Litigators have a good handle on how much you can win. They know these amounts because they have experience trying cases before judges and juries and receiving verdicts.
Instead of simply speculating about how much you can recover, they have direct experience that tells them what you can expect to recover.
When you meet a litigator, the litigator will look at your medical expenses and lost income. This will help the litigator estimate your economic damages.
But the real art in evaluating a case comes in estimating your non-economic damages. These damages compensate you for the diminishment in your quality of life. They depend on the severity and duration of your injuries.
Since the amount of non-economic damages is left entirely to the jury, you have very few clues for guessing a final award amount. But a litigator has prior experience with juries and the amount they will award. This gives a litigator unique insight into the value of your case.
2. Preparing Your Case for Trial
Litigators must know the Georgia Rules of Evidence. These rules govern the documents and testimony the parties can use in court.
When you hire a litigator for your injury case, the lawyer can prepare your case as if it will go to trial. The lawyer can do this by investigating your accident and documenting it with admissible evidence.
If your case settles without a trial, you will have lost nothing. Most injury lawyers charge a contingency fee that depends solely on the amount of compensation you receive. Thus, the additional work a litigator puts into preparing your case for trial comes without any additional charges.
3. Experience in Court
Litigators must also know the Georgia Rules of Civil Procedure. These rules set out the procedures for filing and litigating a case in Georgia state courts.
Some matters covered by the rules include:
- Post-judgment relief
Litigators work within these rules every day. They know how to handle disputes that arise during litigation. They even know the font size and margins for all papers filed with the court.
If your case does not settle and you end up in court, a litigator’s experience with the rules will pay off. A litigator can ensure that you can use all of the court procedures available to you and that the insurance company does not have an unfair advantage.
4. Negotiating a Fair Deal
Litigators have extensive experience negotiating settlements. Only 3% of injury cases reach trial. Over 75% are settled.
This means that even the most seasoned litigators have settled more cases than they have tried. Litigators must have negotiation skills and an ability to craft creative settlements that get you the compensation you need.
5. Advocacy Skills
If you need to fight in court, a litigator has experience advocating for clients. During the discovery period, your lawyer will collect evidence from the other party and third-party witnesses.
Your lawyer can also hire expert witnesses to prepare testimony to support your claim. Oftentimes, a good litigator will assemble such overwhelming evidence that the insurer chooses to settle rather than fight.
Your lawyer will also make motions to set the stage for trial. These motions may exclude evidence or summarily resolve some of the legal issues in the case. Good motions practice can save you time and set your case up for a win.
Finally, your lawyer will present your case to a jury. This involves examining and cross-examining witnesses and introducing evidence. An experienced litigator will present your case so that the jury has no choice but to deliver a verdict in your favor.
Hiring a Litigator
Most injury lawyers offer free consultations. Use these consultations to ask lawyers about their litigation experience.
Litigators have a unique set of skills that help them set up every case for trial. As a result, their clients often go into settlement negotiations or litigation as prepared as possible.