Legal Case FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions About Filing a Legal Claim
Schatt Hesser Mcgraw is an experienced Ocala law firm that serves Ocala, Marion County, and all of North Central Florida. The legal team at Schatt Hesser Mcgraw prides itself on providing quality legal services to help a variety of client needs. Legal issues are often unexpected and can be overwhelming, and we understand that hiring a lawyer may not come easy to our clients. With these frequently asked questions regarding filing a claim or making a legal case, we hope to help you on your search for a qualified Ocala attorney.
Do I have a legal claim?
Many people wonder if a certain dispute or situation gives rise to a legal claim. Typically, if you have suffered some type of damages, such as financial, personal injury, or property damage, you may have a claim. There are a variety of legal remedies available under state, federal, and case law for different situations. To prevail in a legal claim, you must have sufficient evidence to prove the legal elements of the claim. If you believe you may have a claim, the Ocala lawyers at Schatt Hesser Mcgraw can review your situation and provide insight into whether it may be pursued.
Should I file a lawsuit?
If you have suffered injury or damages as a result of another's conduct and other out-of-court resolution tactics have failed, then a lawsuit may be pursued. Anyone considering a lawsuit should consult with a lawyer in Ocala to assess the risks and benefits involved.
Do I need an attorney?
Anyone has the right to represent themselves in a legal dispute. However, courts will hold you to the same standard as an attorney, which requires compliance with all rules and procedures. While self representation can be done, it is almost always a bad idea. An experienced Ocala attorney can represent you and ensure that you comply with the rules and procedures, while also ensuring that you do not waive important claims or defenses.
What is my case worth?
The potential amount of recovery in a case depends on the circumstances. For example, in a contract dispute, the goal is to place the party in the position they would be in if the contract had been performed. In an injury case, you are entitled to recover compensation for all damages sustained, including special damages such as pain and suffering. An attorney can provide advice to help you know what you can expect in your particular situation.
What is a contingency fee?
In some cases, attorneys will enter into a contingency fee agreement. This means that the attorney will recover a certain percentage of any money judgment or settlement received. These arrangements are common in personal injury cases. Contingency fee agreements give the attorney an incentive to make sure damages are recovered. Otherwise, both the attorney and client receive nothing.
What expenses are involved?
Typically the attorney working on the case has an hourly rate and then there are expenses for overhead, witnesses and other expenses incurred to present your case.
Am I responsible for costs if I lose?
Sometimes. A prevailing party in a lawsuit is usually entitled to recover fees and costs from the losing party. Also, you may be responsible for fees owed to your attorney. The specific financial arrangements depend on the case, and an attorney can assess your situation.
How will I pay for your time and expenses?
There are various payment methods that may be utilized, including retainers, payment plans and contingency fee agreements, depending on the situation.
Will my case go to trial?
The majority of cases get resolved and do not go to trial. However, if the case cannot be resolved and you have a legitimate claim, then the case may go to trial. Trial is expensive and the results cannot always be predicted, so decisions must be made whether to pursue a trial if a case cannot be resolved.
What is a statute of limitations?
A statute of limitations is a time period within which a claim must be brought. The time period depends on the type of claim. For example, some claims must be filed within a certain number of years from the time the damages occurred. If you believe you may have a claim, do not delay consultation with a lawyer. This will ensure that you do not waive a claim based on the time period expiring.
What are the advantages of settling out of court?
Settling out of court is less expensive than going to trial. Settling is also less risky than going to trial where you may walk away with nothing.
Can an attorney settle my case without asking me?
No. An attorney is required to review any settlement offer and receive your permission before accepting any offer.
What kinds of damages can I recover in a lawsuit, and can I recover attorney’s fees?
A variety of damages are available depending on the type of case. For example, in a personal injury action, you may recover medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and funds for future medical treatment. Attorneys fees may be recovered in most cases if you are successful.
What is arbitration?
Arbitration is an out-of-court resolution process where a third party makes a binding decision. In some cases, arbitration is beneficial or mandatory.
What is litigation?
Litigation is the process of resolving disputes using the rules and procedures of the court system.
What is collaborative law?
This is a process to resolve disputes by problem solving outside of court through working together, rather than fighting in court.