The Guardian Legal Network is not a law firm, and our staff cannot provide legal advice to individuals. We work with a network of legal professionals who provide legal services to injured victims. The Guardian Legal Network can connect you to a reputable law firm experienced in your specific case type.
How Does The Guardian Legal Network Find Lawyers For People?
Injured victims who are looking for legal advice from a licensed lawyer about their case can fill out a free case evaluation form on our website. We will then get in touch with our network of legal professionals. A representative from a qualified law firm will reach out to you to conduct a free case consultation.
You can also call (855) 734-0374 to speak with a law firm representative.
Do I need a lawyer to handle my injury case?
There is no absolute legal requirement to be represented by counsel, but hiring a lawyer will undoubtedly help your case. The defendant will likely have counsel, and the complexities of the legal system will be challenging to navigate on your own. Some cases may also require expert knowledge and testimony that you will have a hard time introducing without a legal background. You can proceed on your own, but you will be best served by hiring legal counsel.
When should I hire an injury lawyer?
It takes time to prepare a personal injury case effectively. You will want to engage a lawyer as soon as possible in order to provide them the time necessary to develop your case. If you wait too long to retain a lawyer, it may impair your chances of recovery.
If I call for information, what do you need to know about my potential case?
Try to give us enough information, so we have a good idea of what happened. Use the five w’s – who, what, when, where, why – as a guidepost for the initial conversation. We will need to have a good understanding after a conversation or two whether your case has merit.
Do I have to pay an injury lawyer any money when I hire them?
For most attorneys, the answer to that question is “no.” Personal injury attorneys typically work on a contingency basis, meaning they are only paid if you achieve some sort of financial recovery. In this case, the attorney will be paid a percentage of your settlement or jury award.
How much of my time will a lawsuit take?
You may need to meet frequently with your lawyer, but this will not be a full-time job while the case is proceeding. More time will be required around major milestones in your case, such as depositions or trials. Anticipate that there will be a time commitment necessary and that you will need to be present and prepared when your lawyer needs it.
How long do I have to bring a case?
The precise time you have to file a case depends on the state you are located in and the type of case you are filing. Statute of limitations laws restrict the time frame you have to file your lawsuit. If you miss the deadline, you will not be able to file a lawsuit unless certain limited exceptions apply.
What is a statute of limitations?
The statute of limitations is the timeframe imposed by law that limits the amount of time the plaintiff has to file a case. This will begin when the plaintiff knew or should have known of their injury. The statute of limitations varies depending on the case type and state.
How are my damages calculated?
Damages will depend on the specifics of your claim. For example, if you have high earnings capacity, your claim for lost wages will be valued more. Pain and suffering damages represent a wildcard, as jury assessments in this category of damages vary greatly. Essentially, a jury will attempt to award a damage sum that rectifies the impact of the defendant’s actions.
What are compensatory damages?
Compensatory damages refer to a payment meant to put the plaintiff in the same position as if the injury never happened. These will generally include pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical bills.
What are punitive damages?
Punitive damages are rare in standard injury lawsuits and are used to punish a defendant’s egregious behavior, such as intentionally harming the victim. Some states have limitations or “caps” on punitive damages awards.
What is a settlement?
Sometimes, both parties will be motivated to avoid taking a case all the way to trial. The plaintiff will want to be assured of getting some type of financial compensation, and the defendant will want to reduce their legal risk. Under these circumstances, the defendant will settle the case, typically without admitting liability. In exchange for money or some other consideration, the plaintiff will withdraw their claim.
What do I have to prove to win an injury lawsuit?
You will have to prove that the defendant was negligent. In other words, that the defendant owed you a duty of care and failed to act as a reasonable person would. As a result, the defendant’s actions caused you some type of injury.
How much compensation can I expect to receive?
Compensation depends entirely on the facts and circumstances of a case and a jury’s interpretation of those facts and circumstances. A lawyer is not allowed to make any guarantees of compensation.
Will I have to go to court?
There will most likely be some sort of legal proceeding. Some cases may settle after discovery is complete (which includes depositions) when the defendant wants to reduce their legal risk. There will be a trial conducted in front of a judge or jury if there is no settlement.
How is a decision made regarding whether to accept a settlement or go to trial?
The client makes the settlement or trial decision in consultation with their attorney. The lawyer is not allowed to decide on their own. They must provide the client with their professional opinion of the settlement to aid in the client’s decision. Presumably, the decision will hinge on the chances of success at trial versus the value of the settlement offer. Many defendants attempt to make a low-ball settlement offer when they expect a jury to assess extensive damages.
Do I still have a claim if my medical bills were paid by insurance?
Medical bills are only part of the potential compensation in a personal injury claim. First, some of your medical bills may have been unreimbursed, which you can be compensated for in a case. Second, there are other things like pain and suffering damages and/or lost wages that the defendant can be required to pay in a personal injury case.
Can I bring a claim if I am in the country illegally?
There is no difference in the eyes of the law whether one is a citizen or an undocumented immigrant. One’s immigration status has no bearing on the merits of their case. Many states have laws that protect an undocumented immigrant’s ability to file a lawsuit.
Who pays my medical bills and lost wages?
Most people will have insurance that will cover their medical bills. However, insurance may not cover everything, and the balance is your responsibility. If you successfully file a personal injury claim, your insurance will be reimbursed for what it paid out. It will likely be the other party’s insurance that will cover your lost wages, but the defendant may be responsible if they have inadequate coverage.
Under what circumstances am I able to recover damages?
If the defendant is found to have been negligent and a cause of your injury, you will be able to recover damages. In many cases, you can also recover damages through a settlement even if the defendant has not been found negligent.
Who pays for case-related out-of-pocket costs while the case is pending?
Generally, if it relates to the case, the lawyer will advance the costs associated with the case and then will be reimbursed for these expenses when there is a jury verdict or a settlement. If you are not successful in your case, you will not be obligated to reimburse the lawyer for these costs. This holds true when the lawyer has accepted the case on a contingency basis.
What is a claim?
A claim is a request for money and damages after an injury has been suffered. A claim can be filed with an insurance company or brought as part of a lawsuit.
What is a co-counsel?
Sometimes, there are multiple plaintiffs in a case, or there is a need for several lawyers because the primary lawyer is not licensed in the jurisdiction where the case is being heard. Co-counsel can be representing different plaintiffs or the same plaintiff in other circumstances. The co-counsel will work together for the benefit of the client to achieve the most effective result.
What is a bellwether trial?
A bellwether trial is a case selected as part of multidistrict litigation (MDL) to be one of the first cases to go to trial. A bellwether trial results give plaintiffs and defendants an idea of how juries will view their arguments and aid in streamlining the process for subsequent lawsuits and settlements.
What is a tort?
A tort is an act or omission by a person that causes injury to another. There are various types of torts, such as assault, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and false imprisonment. Each tort will have distinct elements that must be proven for a claim to be successful.
What is a class action?
A class action is a single lawsuit filed by commonly situated people whom a defendant has identically harmed. For example, a manufacturer may have sold a defective product that inflicted the same damage to thousands of people. Instead of filing thousands of separate lawsuits, the plaintiffs file a single case to capitalize on the advantages of efficiency.
Why file a class action instead of many different cases?
Simply stated, a class action is easier and more effective. One common legal strategy and representation among many plaintiffs stands a greater chance of succeeding at trial than thousands of smaller cases. When it comes to litigation, there is strength in numbers, and considerable economic benefits result from economies of scale.
What is multi-district litigation?
Multi-district litigation (MDL) has features similar to class actions but are not consolidated and remain independent cases throughout the process. For efficiency purposes, MDL cases will all proceed together during the discovery phase of the case. In other words, all plaintiffs will get the same information from the defendant. The judge will select some cases to go first (bellwether cases) so both the plaintiffs and defendants can get a sense of how juries perceive their arguments.
Why should I file an injury claim?
An injury claim is the only way to receive compensation for the damages that you have suffered. Filing a claim begins the legal process whereby you can be compensated.
Do you offer free case evaluations?
We will connect you with a law firm that will review your case to aid in figuring out the best way to proceed.
A family member died. What are my options?
You can file a claim on behalf of the family member’s estate. Surviving family members may also be able to file a wrongful death claim to receive compensation for their loss.
What if we lose? Do I have to pay anything?
If the lawyer has taken your case on a contingency basis, the lawyer will only be paid if there is a jury award or settlement. This means that the lawyer will not be paid otherwise.
Our mission is to inform the general public about dangerous drugs, defective medical devices, and consumer product liability so that they may make informed decisions based on the evidence available.