What Is a Law Firm?
A law firm is a business operated by one or more lawyers. Law firms help victims of injuries, illnesses, or other wrongdoings pursue financial compensation from those believed to be responsible. This is usually done by filing a lawsuit.
To the general public, law firms may have negative connotations. However, when you work with a law firm, you partner with skilled legal professionals who can help you find solutions to life-altering problems.
What Types of Cases Do Law Firms Handle?
Law firms handle a variety of legal cases. Learn about some of the most common personal injury cases below.
Mesothelioma is a rare but life-threatening cancer caused by asbestos exposure.
Before the early 1980s, the general public didn’t know asbestos was dangerous. However, manufacturers of asbestos-based products knew the health risks as far back as the 1930s and hid them to keep making profits.
Law firms can help you file a mesothelioma lawsuit and receive compensation from these greedy manufacturers. Successful mesothelioma lawsuits award $1 million on average.
The best law firms for mesothelioma can also help those with other asbestos-related diseases, like asbestosis or lung cancer, access money through lawsuits.
Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home staff members are expected to treat older Americans with the respect they deserve. Many nursing home residents suffer from mental and/or physical health problems, so they must rely on others to care for them.
Sadly, nursing home staff members may physically abuse residents, neglect to provide proper care, or even commit acts of sexual violence. All forms of nursing home abuse and neglect are unacceptable and can leave older adults permanently disabled or even dead.
Victims of nursing home abuse and their loved ones can work with a law firm to get financial compensation for medical expenses and seek justice for the harm done.
Injuries at birth can lead to cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, and other conditions that cause permanent disabilities.
Doctors are trained to properly deliver babies and treat conditions that can cause birth injuries. When doctors make mistakes or poor choices in the delivery process, they may be to blame if a newborn suffers harm.
Working with a law firm can help families affected by birth injuries pay for medical treatments, adaptive equipment like wheelchairs, and other expenses.
If someone was hurt due to the carelessness of another person or a company, they may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit. These lawsuits request compensation from the parties responsible for the injuries.
Types of personal injury cases law firms handle include:
- Auto accidents
- Defective medical devices
- Dangerous medications or drugs
- Workers’ compensation
- Slip-and-fall accidents
- Dog bites
- Medical malpractice
- Brain and spinal cord injuries
While compensation amounts vary, personal injury victims may receive significant amounts if they work with a skilled law firm.
Law firms are not limited to just the cases listed above. Many are equipped to handle a wide variety of cases.
Law firms can often file cases related to:
- Disability insurance denial
- Clergy sexual abuse
- Class action lawsuits
- Environmental litigation
Not every law firm accepts all these cases, though. Make sure a firm you are considering can handle your case.
Qualities of a Good Law Firm
Choosing a law firm to work with is a very important decision. It’s in your best interest to find a law firm that can meet all your legal needs. Below are some of the qualities that make the best firms stand out.
Strong Attorney-Client Relationships
Top law firms understand the hardships that their clients face, from fighting life-threatening cancers like mesothelioma to recovering from nursing home abuse.
Lawyers and staff members at these firms will treat you like more than just another client — they’ll go above and beyond to make you feel at home.
No Upfront Legal Fees
The best law firms work on a “contingency basis,” meaning their legal teams don’t get paid unless they secure compensation for their clients. This also means that the firm charges no upfront costs to its clients. Make sure that the law firm you’re considering works on a contingency basis.
The law firm you decide to work with should have years (if not decades) of experience in successfully handling cases similar to yours. Ask a lawyer at the firm to provide examples of past cases they’ve handled, and what the outcomes were.
Hassle-Free Legal Process
Experienced law firms know how to make the process of filing a lawsuit go smoothly, mitigating the stress that comes from an awful event. This is why lawyers at these firms often do most of the work for filing a lawsuit and securing compensation.
- Gathering evidence (such as medical records and work history) to support your lawsuit
- Determining what court system your lawsuit can be filed in
- Filing your lawsuit within set time limits called statutes of limitations
Lawyers at law firms should work to get the most compensation available for your case in a timely manner.
Lawsuits often award compensation in one of two ways:
- Settlements: Lawyers representing the plaintiffs (victims) and defendants (those being sued) come to an agreement without taking the case to trial. The defendant’s team typically must pay the plaintiff a set amount of compensation.
- Trial verdicts: If a settlement isn’t reached, the case may proceed to a trial in court. A judge or jury will hear arguments from the plaintiff’s lawyers and the defendant’s lawyers before determining a winner.
Most lawyers prefer to reach settlements as trials are highly unpredictable and risky. That said, skilled lawyers can prepare cases if a trial does happen.