+- Why do I need a lawyer?
The truth is that sometimes you don’t. An honest, ethical lawyer will tell you when you may do better by settling a case yourself. In cases involving significant or serious injuries or death claims, the insurance company will offer you a small percentage of the fair value of your case. Sadly, we hear stories every day about accident victims who succumbed to the pressure from insurance adjusters to “settle now, before we withdraw the offer” and later discovered that their injuries were far more severe than they anticipated. An honest, competent lawyer will explain your rights and alternatives – before suggesting that you sign a contract – so you can make an informed decision if you need a lawyer.
+- Once I hire your firm, how will I know what’s going on with my case?
We pride ourselves on keeping our clients informed as much as possible. It is our policy to return client calls within 24 hours. You will also receive copies of any important mail and court papers that we send out. Many of our clients also choose to keep in contact with us by e-mail.
+- How much do you charge?
We handle most cases on a contingency fee. A contingent fee is paid as a percentage of your monetary recovery. A contingent fee is what is meant when you hear "there is no fee unless there is recovery". Our contingent fees vary based upon the type of case you may have. Though we typically charge about one-third of the gross recovery (before lawsuit is filed) to forty percent (after lawsuit is filed), fees may be negotiable in some cases. If you can afford to pay an hourly rate, you have the right to hire an attorney on that basis. We will be happy to discuss with you the exact terms of our contract for representation when we meet with you to discuss your case.
+- Is there a charge for meeting with your firm to discuss my potential case?
We do not charge a fee to simply meet with you to evaluate the facts of your case. If you decide to hire our firm to handle your case, there is no fee unless there is a recovery. If you or someone close to you has been the victim of personal injury, please contact our firm for a free consultation.
+- Does your firm try cases?
Yes. Our firm has extensive experience in the courtroom. Collectively, the attorneys in our firm have tried hundreds of cases. We believe it is important for the insurance companies to understand that not only does our firm have the courage to launch all necessary attacks, we also have the determination and resources to finish the war!
+- What are costs?
Any funds advanced by an attorney in the handling of a case are known as costs. These can include charges to obtain copies of police reports and medical records, fees for expert witnesses, fees charged by court reporters for depositions and charges by the court for filing suit or issuing subpoenas. Costs vary in every case. A competent lawyer should be able to advance all costs to properly prepare your case. You should never be asked to pay interest on costs. Not only do we not charge interest, you have no obligation to repay our costs unless your case is settled or we obtain a favorable verdict following a judge or jury trial.
+- How much is my case worth?
Although one of the most common questions we face, it can rarely, if ever, be answered truthfully right after an accident. A lawyer is hired to provide an expert legal analysis -- not wild guesses. Would you want your doctor to guess on your diagnosis without needed diagnostic tests? You should be very wary and suspicious of any attorney who will be quick to fill your head with big dollar amounts (particularly at the initial consultation). The short answer is that your case is worth whatever the judge or jury will award at trial. There is no magic formula to evaluate the worth of a case. Many factors are considered in determining a case’s value, including the seriousness of the injury, the amount of medical bills, the place where the case may be tried, and whether there are any inconsistencies in testimony or the medical records which could weaken the case. Remember that every case is different and the amount your relative or friend recovered for a similar injury probably has no predictive value in estimating how much you might receive for your injuries. Once the victim's medical condition is better known, and the case fully investigated, we should be able to at least advise you of a “range of value” for your case based upon our extensive experience.
+- Should I talk to the insurance company or give them a statement?
After an accident, the other driver’s insurance company (and possibly your insurance company) will likely try to contact you. Do not, under any circumstance, provide the other insurance company with a statement without the presence of an attorney. Of course we expect that when you are ready to give your statement you will be truthful. Unless we are present during your statement, we cannot protect you from being harassed or badgered by a experienced claims examiner who may be trying to trick you. You should however promptly report any accident to your own insurance company. If you choose to hire our firm (or any other firm) your attorney will cooperate with the insurance company to make sure they have all of the information necessary to evaluate your claim. Rest assured that we have the experience and expertise to work with the insurance company to document your claim while at the same time protecting your rights.
+- Can I trust the insurance companies?
Insurance companies are corporations who profit by taking in more money in insurance premiums than they pay out in insurance claims to people who have suffered injuries or losses. They view anyone with a personal injury claim as an expense, and just like any other corporation they will do everything in their power to maximize profits and minimize their expenses. Insurance companies spend millions of advertising dollars each year trying to convince the public that they are fair and will treat your claims appropriately. The fact is that if insurance companies routinely treated people fairly, plaintiff personal injury attorneys like us would be out of a job. We have years of experience fighting for the “little guy” against these multi-million dollar insurance companies. We know how to protect the rights of injured victims and to ensure that they have the ability to achieve fair compensation for their injuries. Insurance companies can be very difficult to deal with and sometimes they will be unfair and even unscrupulous. Because we have battled them for so long we know their “tricks of the trade” and we are not afraid to take them to court to do what’s right for our clients.
+- What should I do and say when I go to the doctor?
First and foremost you should be truthful. It is important to clearly and accurately explain to your medical providers everything that has happened to you and to list all of your injuries and complaints. You should also be accurate and complete when describing any prior injuries or conditions, even if you no longer suffer symptoms from your earlier injuries which affected you prior to this accident. It is also important for you to follow your doctor’s advice and recommendations.