Do I Need to Hire a Litigator?


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At one point or another, nearly everybody has to deal with some sort of legal matter. Some of these matters are minor and can be handled rather simply, without needing an attorney as representation. Disputing a traffic ticket is an example of one situation when you can likely deal with it yourself, and still have a favorable outcome.

There are some situations though, that do necessitate the legal experience of a qualified litigator. Personal injury cases that have resulted in serious injury or death, medical malpractice cases, and car accidents are just a few instances when it’s best to have an attorney to represent you. If you fail to hire a litigator in those cases, you run the risk of a negative legal outcome.

What Exactly is a Litigation Attorney?

With terms like lawyer, attorney, counsel, litigator, and trial attorney, it’s hard to know whether there is a difference or if they are all interchangeable. So before discussing why you might need a litigator, it’s important to know what exactly that role is.

The first thing to note is that litigation doesn’t always mean that a trial is going to happen. Most of the time, lawsuits are settled prior to trial without ever being presented to a jury. This is a result of the work done by a litigation attorney or litigator.

Litigators handle the work that is done outside of the courtroom. This typically includes filing lawsuits, gathering evidence, conducting legal research, meeting with the client, and filing and arguing motions; all of the things that happen prior to the case making it to a judge and jury. They work your case all the way through the settlement process, so if a settlement is reached, then a litigation attorney may be the only attorney you need.

If a settlement is not reached, a litigator may prepare the client and witnesses for trial and take depositions. What may happen if the case goes to trial is twofold. First, and most commonly, the litigator who has worked the case up until now, will hand off the case to a trial attorney to prepare it for court. It doesn’t mean that the attorney you have been working with will no longer be representing you, it just means that another attorney will be brought in to represent you in the courtroom. The second possibility is that your litigator is also a skilled trial lawyer, and he or she will represent you in front of the judge and jury in addition to doing the legwork. But, not all litigators are experienced trial attorneys as well. 

Why You Need a Litigator

Every legal situation is unique, with its own details and complexities. If you find yourself wondering if you need a litigator to help you, then you probably do. Still, the decision to hire a litigator may seem daunting, but there are some specific situations when you absolutely need an attorney to represent you.

  • When injury or death is involved – Whether the injury or death is a result of a car accident, medical malpractice, property liability, or any other situation, you will need a litigator to help you. Anyone who is not an attorney simply doesn’t have the expertise to handle these types of cases. If your case involves injury or death, look for a litigator who specializes in the area specific to your situation.
  • When you need an expert witness – If your lawsuit is going to need the help of an expert witness or investigator, it is best to hire a litigator. It isn’t likely that you are acquainted with expert witnesses who you can call upon, but attorneys are. They often have relationships with experts and investigators whose work they are familiar with and who they trust. 
  • When the other party has an attorney – If the other party in your lawsuit is represented by counsel, and you are not, you are at a definite disadvantage. Attorneys know the law fully, and they will use your lack of knowledge to their advantage, whether working toward a settlement or going to trial.

Navigating the legal system isn’t easy. It requires knowledge of the law, legal procedures and protocols, and valuable time and money. If you don’t have those things, then it is in your best interest to seek help from a litigator who does. Most attorneys offer a free initial consultation to review your case. Before you decide to forego hiring a litigator, take advantage of that and speak to an attorney for advice on how to proceed.

We Can Help You with Your Case

At Ross Feller Casey, we have experienced litigation attorneys who are also skilled trial attorneys, and we can help you with your case from start to finish. If you are looking to file a lawsuit, please contact one of our attorneys for your free case evaluation. All of our cases are handled on a contingency basis, so you will not have any charges unless there is a financial recovery.

Disclaimer: Ross Feller Casey, LLP provides legal advice only after an attorney-client relationship is formed. Our website is an introduction to the firm and does not create a relationship between our attorneys and clients. An attorney-client relationship is formed only after a written agreement is signed by the client and the firm. Because every case is unique, the description of awards and summary of cases successfully handled are not intended to imply or guarantee that same success in other cases. Ross Feller Casey, LLP represents catastrophically injured persons and their families in injury and wrongful death cases, providing legal representation in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.