By Tim O’Hare, Dallas Personal Injury Attorney
“Do I have to sue?” That is a question I get asked frequently. People call my office, tell me about an injury they suffered at the hands of someone else, but say they have never done anything like this (call a lawyer) before and don’t want to file a lawsuit. The simple answer to the question is, no, you do not have to sue. The better question to ask is do you want to hire a lawyer who is not willing to sue, doesn’t normally sue and does not have a successful track record of filing lawsuits? That is answer is also, no. Let me explain.
When you are injured, typically hiring an attorney is the best route to take. But, like every other profession, there are good attorneys, bad attorneys and so-so attorneys. You absolutely want to hire an attorney who knows how to file a lawsuit and has been successful in litigation. Insurance companies keep tabs on the attorneys who file lawsuits and are willing to go to trial. There are a ton of attorneys who will take on your personal injury claim who won’t file a lawsuit on it. This kind of lawyer tries to settle every personal injury claim without filing a lawsuit. Unfortunately for the client, the insurance companies know this lawyer’s habits. Since a lawyer like this never files suits or tries cases to a jury, insurance companies won’t offer this kind of attorney as much money on your case as they will if you are represented by an attorney who files suits and tries cases. The simple reason being there is no threat of having the case go before a jury, which means no chance the insurance company will be hit with a big jury verdict and no need to hire a lawyer to defend the insured in the suit.
There are cases where it is appropriate to try to resolve cases without filing a lawsuit. There are others where it is a bad idea. For example, cases worth $500,000.00+ should almost always be filed. You will get more money on a case like this if a suit is filed. If your case is worth $10,000.00, that can be resolved without filing a lawsuit.
The important thing for a client to do is to hire a firm who can handle lawsuits, a firm that does try cases to verdict, and then sit down with your lawyer and talk about your goals. If the attorney is too busy to meet with you and listen to your goals, choose a different one. Your case may resolve without filing a lawsuit, but don’t sell yourself short from the outset by picking a lawyer who will lower the value of your case, simply because of how that lawyer practices. At The Law Offices of tim O’Hare, we know how to file lawsuits and try cases to juries multiple times a year. Call us at 972-960-0000 and ask to speak to an attorney who does have time to listen to your goals. We will be happy to discuss your case with you for free.