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Should I Hire a Civil Litigation Attorney?

Sarah Edwards | February 07, 2024

Edited by Hannah Locklear

Summary: If you want to initiate a civil lawsuit, it might be best to look into finding legal representation. If you are the one being sued, you don’t need a lawyer to win your case. Use SoloSuit to respond to a debt collection lawsuit and increase your chances of winning by 7x.

You might consider filing a civil lawsuit if you’ve suffered physical or financial losses due to someone else’s actions. While a civil case can’t restore your health, it can entitle you to monetary damages you can use to get back on your feet following an unfortunate incident.

There are numerous examples of civil lawsuits. Some of the most common involve personal injury claims, contract disputes, and product defect claims. In a civil suit, the plaintiff (person suing) must prove that the actions of the defendant (person being sued) caused them harm and led to their losses.

Civil claims differ from criminal cases in that the defendant won’t go to jail if they’re found responsible for an accident or injury. However, a plaintiff who successfully proves their injuries in a civil claim will receive some type of award, usually for monetary damages.

Is a civil litigation attorney expensive?

It can be tempting for some people to handle a civil lawsuit on their own, especially if they don’t have much money or they’re suing someone in small claims court. However, it’s a common misconception that hiring a lawyer is prohibitively expensive and that plaintiffs must pay exorbitant upfront costs for their services.

In reality, most civil litigation attorneys don’t bill by the hour or charge their client's fees upfront. Instead, they offer contingency agreements. Under a contingency agreement, the plaintiff only pays the attorney if they win a settlement or court verdict on their behalf.

The amount the client pays for legal services is a percentage of this award, which will vary depending on the lawyer’s expertise and the case's complexity.

How does a civil litigation attorney help?

A civil litigation attorney is responsible for evaluating the claim, determining which laws apply, and assembling evidence to support the case against the defendant.

Civil litigation attorneys help clients understand their rights and assess the strength of their potential claims. With an attorney, it can be easier to figure out whether someone is at fault for your losses and your various alternatives.

A civil litigation attorney will handle your case from start to finish, ensuring your case has proper support. They may work with law enforcement officials, experts in specific industries, and others to gather the relevant documentation and evidence. They’ll also handle all the paperwork concerned with your claim, which can be excessive.

Your civil litigation attorney can also negotiate on your behalf with the defendant or the defendant’s insurance agency to reach a settlement agreement before the court date. Civil litigation cases often resolve through settlement without needing to go to court.

Lastly, your attorney will know how much your case is worth, so they’ll be able to advise you if a defendant's settlement isn’t fair to you. They’ll also push the defendant to come up with a better offer or risk a challenge in the courtroom.

Do I need a lawyer for a civil case?

It’s best to hire a lawyerz to help you with a civil lawsuit. Civil litigation is complex, and a professional attorney can lend your case the attention and professionalism required to ensure you have adequate representation.

Can I handle a civil litigation claim on my own?

The only time it may be appropriate to handle civil litigation is if you’re pursuing a small amount in damages in small claims court. If an adverse outcome of the case won’t be a severe detriment to you, it may not be worth hiring an attorney.

For instance, hiring a lawyer probably isn't worthwhile if you’re involved in a small claim of less than $500—you’d likely end up owing the lawyer more than your potential loss.

Let’s look at an example.

Example: Tommy is being sued by a debt collector for an old credit card debt of $790. He looks around online to find an attorney, but most charge more than the debt he allegedly owes, and many do not take on cases with such a small monetary amount. So, Tommy decides to use SoloSuit to represent himself in court and respond to the lawsuit. He fills out an Answer form on the website, has an attorney review the document, and SoloSuit takes care of filing for him. A few weeks later, Tommy is pleased to hear that the debt collector has dropped the case.

Watch this video to learn how to represent yourself and sound like a lawyer in your debt collection case:

How long does civil litigation take?

Most civil litigation cases, like personal injury claims, resolve through settlement.

If you’re bringing a claim against a defendant and their insurance provider, the insurer will likely seek to settle rather than go to court, especially if your case is strong. The insurance company will know they have a strong chance of losing a trial. As such, they’ll want to avoid the additional expense of preparing for court.

If a civil litigation matter resolves through settlement, it may take less than a year to recover damages from your claim.

Defendants unwilling to offer a settlement may force the case to court. Typically, a defendant will refuse to settle if they believe they have a winning strategy or don’t want to offer a large payout through settlement. Causes that go to court may take several years to resolve.

An experienced attorney can advise you of the likelihood of your civil litigation settling or ending up in a courtroom.

Should I hire an attorney for my debt collection case?

If you’re the one being sued, hiring an attorney isn’t always necessary. Here’s why.

When you get sued for debt, there is a good chance that you are not in a financial position to hire an attorney to take on your case. As we mentioned before, hiring a lawyer can end up costing more than the debt in question anyways. Plus, it can take a lot of time to find the right kind of attorney, and you have to respond to your case before your state’s deadline in order to avoid losing by default.

SoloSuit empowers people, like you, to represent themselves in court and beat debt collectors. This saves people a lot of money, time, and stress. We provide customized legal documents to help people respond to debt lawsuits and increase their chances of winning by 7x.

Here’s how it works.

To respond to your debt collection lawsuit, use our Answer form to do the following:

  1. Respond to each claim listed against you.
  2. Assert your affirmative defenses.
  3. File your Answer in court and serve the opposing attorney.

You can do all this without hiring a lawyer. To learn more, check out this video:

What is SoloSuit?

SoloSuit makes it easy to fight debt collectors.

You can use SoloSuit to respond to a debt lawsuit, to send letters to collectors, and even to settle a debt.

SoloSuit's Answer service is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your Answer. Upon completion, we'll have an attorney review your document and we'll file it for you.

I need a civil attorney

Even though sources like SoloSuit can empower you to represent yourself in a civil case, there are certain cases where hiring a civil attorney may be in your best interest. If you need a civil attorney, search for one in your area here.

What kind of lawyer do I need for a civil suit?

The type of lawyer you need for a civil suit depends on the nature of the case. Civil law covers a broad range of legal issues, so it's important to choose an attorney who specializes in the specific area relevant to your lawsuit. Here are some common types of civil cases and the corresponding legal specialists:

  • Personal Injury Lawyer: For cases involving injuries from accidents, negligence, or malpractice (e.g., car accidents, slip and fall incidents, medical malpractice).
  • Employment Lawyer: For workplace-related issues like discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, or wage disputes.
  • Family Lawyer: For cases involving divorce, child custody, alimony, adoption, or other family-related matters.
  • Real Estate Lawyer: For issues related to property, including disputes over property ownership, landlord-tenant issues, or real estate transactions.
  • Business/Corporate Lawyer: For matters involving business disputes, such as breach of contract, partnership disputes, or intellectual property issues.
  • Consumer Rights Lawyer: For cases involving consumer issues, like product liability or consumer fraud.
  • Civil Rights Lawyer: For cases involving discrimination or violation of civil rights.
  • Environmental Lawyer: For legal issues related to environmental regulations and disputes.
  • Estate Planning Lawyer: For matters related to wills, trusts, and estate planning.
  • Contract Lawyer: For disputes or issues related to the interpretation and enforcement of contracts.

When choosing a lawyer, it's important to consider their experience, expertise in the specific area of your case, and track record. It can also be helpful to consult with a general practice attorney who can provide guidance on the type of specialist you should seek for your specific case. Remember, a lawyer who is well-versed in the particular area of law relevant to your case will be able to offer the most effective representation and advice.

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