Why Hire an Attorney?
The cost of legal representation can discourage many people from seeking an attorney when a lawsuit is brought against them. Another factor that may influence people not to seek representation is the belief that the legal matter is not complex or dire enough to warrant paying for an attorney.
Recently a study that examined the rates of court victories between those who were represented by an attorney and those who were not in General District Courts in Virginia revealed a substantial disadvantage for those who did not have an attorney. In fact, 54% of plaintiffs were represented to a staggering 1% of defendants, and plaintiffs won 63% of cases against defendants without an attorney.
More Pros Than Cons
It’s no secret that an attorney can be costly; however, that cost should be weighed against the possibility (very likely possibility) that a loss in court could end up costing a lot more than the attorney’s fees. Some types of cases are even handled on a percentage of recovery basis (“contingency fees”). If the hourly or flat fee costs of cases are too cost-prohibitive, there are legal aid organizations that can provide representation for lower costs (sometimes even free).
If you are appearing in court, we always recommend that you have legal representation, if at all possible. The court system has many procedures that, if not followed properly, can result in a loss before you even have a chance to argue your case.
Sometimes simply having an attorney will lead the other party to drop the case. If the case proceeds, you are much better prepared if you have counsel that knows the procedures and Virginia law on your side. Even if your case is one where the odds are against you, having counsel can lessen the impact and possibly settle the case for less than a trial would cost.
No matter what the situation, hiring an experienced attorney in a civil case can only help you in the long run; whether it be through victory or minimizing the impacts of a loss.