Ten Questions to Ask Prior to Retaining a Personal Injury Lawyer

Law Offices of Zev Weinstein

Weinstein Law Firm

My friend, personal injury attorney Zev Weinstein and I, were pondering a universal checklist for potential new clients and the below list is what we arrived at. Let me know if you like it.

  • Will you be able to get me more money, than other lawyers could and how?

Basically personal injury lawsuits are about recovering financial compensation. In some cases it may be possible to be in a position to make actual changes, but the majority is about getting the highest amount of recovery for the victim. This is why you need to retain a personal injury attorney that will provide the best opportunity to obtain the highest amount of money. Your case will only be able to be heard by the court or settled one time. When you are considering hiring an attorney it is essential to be prepared to ask important questions, since it is your lawsuit.

  • Will I participate in the lawsuit?

Lawsuits involve teamwork, so this is an important question to ask. Prior to hiring a lawyer it is essential to know what your expected role will be or if you are not expected to participate. It is your case and you may feel you want to be involved. Asking the lawyer if this will be allowed can be answered by some attorneys that they will permit you to take an active role, while others will not.

  • When consulting a lawyer asking if you will be the attorney handling my case?

The answer may be surprising. There are some firms that have what is referred to as meet and great, which means you, will not see that lawyer again. Ask who will be actually handling your case. Who will you contact? Meaning who will you be speaking to on the telephone and other contact. Another thing to be careful of is meeting the top legal professional in charge, since later you might find out that an associate is handling your case.

  • Questioning what your case is worth

When consulting the legal expert ask this question. The lawyer should have an idea after evaluating your specific circumstances. It is true that there is no firm answer due to unknown medical issues, liability and discovery. They should be able to provide a general range and explain the unknown factors. Do not be fooled by unrealistic promises a lawyer makes, depend on your own judgment.

  • Will my case go to court and when will that happen?

The lawyer you are speaking with, better assume that every case will go to court. If you are told that your case can be settled, then this is someone to be very cautious about. What will the case settle for? It is difficult to recover the proper amount of compensation, if you are not prepared to go to trial. Ask about the amount of time your case will take. An exact answer is difficult, but it is a relevant question. There are many personal injury cases that are resolved within 2 or 3 years, and some that take less time.

  • Asking when my lawsuit will be filed?

This is relevant, insist on specific answers. There are lawyers that do not like to take the time to work on certain cases, until they have a deadline. When there is not a pending statute of limitation in this kind of situation, viable lawsuits may sit for a year or more.

  • Will you have the amount of time required to begin work on my case now?

Watch out going to the attorney everyone knows their name. There are attorneys that focus on signing up clients and then let the cases sit, while they sign up new clients. This is not as rare as you might think, but not all lawyers do this. They will sign up a client and then wait 12 to 18 months before they file the lawsuit, which will be just before the statute of limitations runs out. This kind of delay can harm you; since it will mean delaying the recovery you may be entitled. Question whether the lawyer if they have the time necessary to allocate to your case. You may want to ask the lawyer how many other cases they have pending and how much time will they devote to your case specifically.

  • Ask if they have tried your type of personal injury case before?

Lawyers want personal injury cases. There is a lot of competition and then the cost of advertising. Do not go by the advertising and assume the lawyer has handled or tried cases similar to your type of claim. Ask them about their experience and the kind of results they have had. Request to speak with former clients, if it is possible. Being in control of the consultation is important. Don’t allow them to bully or intimidate you. Remember you are the one hiring the lawyer; it is not the other way around.

  • If my case is lost, will I be responsible for any of the advanced costs?

Lawyers charge a contingency fee and any advanced costs. These costs can be substantial and normally will be deducted from the client’s recovery. Make certain that your attorney takes the case without you being held responsible for the costs, even if your lawsuit is unsuccessful. Ask for a guarantee that you will not have any out-of-pocket expenses that you will be responsible for.

  • Ask what the contingency fee will be

In most personal injury cases the fee agreement will be based upon the contingency fee agreement. What this means is that there will be no upfront fees and no legal fee unless a monetary recovery is obtained. If you have value in your personal injury claim, you will find a lawyer to take your case on a contingency fee basis. Contingency fee agreements are generally between 25 and 40 percent and are negotiable. The more severe the injuries are and the stronger the claim is, the more negotiable the contingency fee will be. Thanks Zev Wienstein Law Offices, for helping me out.

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What Are Your Legal Rights For Compensation Following A Truck Accident?

rights after truck accidentAccidents are sudden and happen without warning. The aftermath of a trucking accident can feel overwhelming and confusing. Most people drive their cars everyday on the roads, sharing space with several huge trucks. Besides a casual passing thought, nobody really thinks of the extensive damage that a 5 ton truck can inflict on your small car.

You begin to think about it after an occasion when you had a narrow escape from a truck accident. Your mind starts imagining the extensive damage your car would have suffered as well as injuries you might have sustained.

Semi-truck attorneys are responsible for dealing with trucking accident cases. The fact is that trucking accidents cannot be compared to car accidents. The imposing weight and size of a big truck renders it capable of inflicting damage and injuries that simply would not be same as a car accident. Truck accidents often result in fatalities or life-threatening injuries. The bulk and velocity involved create a powerful impact that results in serious damage and injuries.

Common causes for trucking accidents include driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Other reasons include driving at unsafe speeds and taking a wide turn while turning the truck. Many truck drivers also prevent smaller vehicles from merging with the lane. Other common causes include trucks that are too old or poorly maintained or trucks that are carrying loads above their limits. Badly maintained trucks could even be running on the road with faulty lights or inefficient brakes. Truck drivers often work with overburdened schedules that tax their strength and triggers negligent driving.

Sometimes, trucking accidents happen when a truck swerves and hits a pedestrian or motorcycle rider. These cases are even worse as the victims do not even have the protection that a car body provides. In such cases, the result is usually very serious injuries or death. Truck attorneys in Chicago are responsible for representing the rights of the victims involved in trucking accidents. If the victim has been deceased as a result of the accident, then the family will need to know their rights through a truck attorney.

You could need help in asking for compensation for personal injuries or seek representation for wrongful deaths. As of 2010, statistics indicated 20,000 individuals who had been injured and 529 who were dead due to truck accidents. An experienced truck attorney will represent your case after a thorough investigation of circumstances and evidence. A good truck attorney will be able to aggressively campaign your case and seek compensation for mental and physical trauma plus other issues such as wage loss. They use professional support of professionals like accident reconstruction experts to ascertain the cause of the accident.

The truck attorney you choose to hire should be completely committed to your particular case and should work towards pushing your case through the court. Trucking accidents can often cause irreparable damage. The effects can be devastating. With the right support from a competent attorney, you can get the compensation that you rightfully deserve.

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Dog Bite Attorneys Help Explain Value Of Cases

Analyzing-the-value-of-a-dog-bite-claim

Scars left behind from dog-bite are constant reminders of the traumatic event and often cause a lifetime of withdrawal and embarrassment for the person effected. Depending on the location of the wound, developments in modern medicine have do not have the ability to erase these scars which are common to the face, hands and arms.

During the process of filing a lawsuit or inducing an insurance provider to pay for expenses involved, the main issue is the process of evaluating a dog-bite scar. Dog-bite statistics in the US indicate that out of 4.5 million dog-bite cases, 800,000 cases require medical intervention.

The main issues are related to calculating and arriving at a monetary value of a dog-bite scar based on mental and physical distress factors. Getting a scar professionally evaluated adds value to your case in front of a jury or insurance company investigators.

After a systematic analysis of multiple dog-attack cases, the following are certain important contributing factors that will decide how a scar can be evaluated.

  • Location of the dog-bite scar: A more visible scar has greater chances of attracting a higher compensation. For example, a dog-bite scar on the face, arms or leg areas is more likely to attract better monetary recompense.
  • Scar size: A raw, gaping scar left over from a dog-bite incident is more likely to get a better compensation especially if the scar had originally required stitches to close it up.
  • Appearance of the scar: Some scars can appear discolored even after years. Healing may occurred intermittently and the area is often noticeable as distinct from the rest of the skin.
  • Age of the dog-bite victim: Younger dog-bite victims are likely to attract better compensation and more sympathy from a jury as compared to an older individual.
  • A scar that has disfigured your appearance: Many individuals argue (rightly) that a hideous scar will make it more difficult to attract a marriage partner. This argument usually holds more weight when the victim has been a female.
  • Gender bias: Women and female victims typically attract more sympathy and consequently better compensation than male victims as juries give more importance to disfigurement issues.
  • Medical diagnosis: A report from a licensed plastic surgeon or a skin specialist explaining the permanency of the condition adds value to your case. The report as a qualified opinion of a specialist and is often more effective in winning compensation. The report could also suggest future medical care or treatment that the scar requires.

Other medical diagnosis may involve pain management as dog-bites often damage nerves in an area and this could lead to lingering pain even after years.

To summarize, factual and visual representation is more likely to predispose the jury in favor of a suitable compensation for the victim. Documentary evidence such as doctor’s prognosis, police report, and reconstructive specialist analysis also tend to add monetary value to a dog-bite scar.

Seeking legal redress for dog bite scars involves pursuing a lawsuit against the dog owners who are expected to be responsible for their pets. All states in the US have their own laws that address and respond to the problem of dog-bites.

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