Frequently Asked Questions
Many common questions we are asked.
Can I talk to you about my case for free?
I offer a free consultation to every person who has a potential injury case. If I decide to take your case, I will meet with you in person and review your case and provide you with honest legal advice. As a Dallas personal injury lawyer, my goal is to help you get back on your feet and also help you maximize your case. When I meet with you, I will explain the entire process and make sure our expectations are aligned. I will also provide you with a detailed list of tips that I have learned during the past ten years of my career to help you recover what you are rightfully owed.
Some clients at other firms do not even know who their attorney is. The first person you meet at my firm will be me and all the people assigned to your case.
What is a contingency fee agreement?
A contingency fee contract is an agreement whereby the attorney gets paid a portion of the settlement if, and only if, he/she obtains a favorable settlement for the client. If the attorney does not win or decides to withdraw from the case, the client owes the attorney nothing. In other words, the attorney only gets paid if he/she wins the case.
What are the benefits of a contingency fee agreement?
There are two main benefits to agreeing to a contingency fee contract.
- It’s affordable. Most people cannot afford to pay an attorney’s hourly rate. The contingency fee agreement works great because the attorney bears the risk (money, time, effort, and chance of losing) while the client is only responsible for paying the attorney a portion of the settlement.
- Since the attorney will be entitled to a percentage of the settlement, we are motivated to get the best possible settlement since we directly benefit from maximizing the case. The way we look at a contingency fee agreement is like a business venture. My firm becomes a part owner of your case, and we want our business to flourish.
How much money is my case worth?
The best way to describe how much your case is worth is by thinking about your case as a three-legged stool. The first leg of the stool is something called “Liability”. Liability, or responsibility, means that someone or some company did something wrong and is responsible for what happened. The second leg is called “Damages”. Damages are money awarded to you for your loss or injury such as medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering. The third leg is called “Pocket Book”. This is exactly what you think it is. You need someone or some company who has enough money to cover for your losses. When you combine strong liability, damages and a big pocket book, you have the potential for a big recovery.
Generally, the most important factor in an injury case is the severity of your injuries and how much your medical bills are. However, there are a number of other factors such as:
- Venue – where the incident occurred
- Credibility of each client
- Credibility of the at-fault party
- Which insurance company is defending the case
- Who your attorney is.
Choosing your attorney is one of the most important factors, and you should be prepared to ask your attorney tough questions so that you can confirm he/she can adequately represent you.
When I meet with an attorney, what questions should I ask?
I treat every single potential client and current client as if they are my family member or best friend. If I am going to give somebody legal advice that may affect their life, it better be honest and from my heart. If I was the client, I would treat the process of hiring an attorney as a job interview and you are the boss. You are not just trying to find any attorney. You are trying to find the best attorney for your case. Similarly, if you were starting your own business and looking to hire someone, you would interview candidates who are experienced, likeable, aggressive, and get you results. The same applies when choosing an attorney.
Here are the questions I would ask the attorney:
- How many cases have you taken to trial in the past year? You want to make sure your attorney is fresh and has played the game recently. You also want to make sure your attorney is aggressive and confident to take your case to trial should the other side devalue your case.
- How many cases have you lost at trial in your career? An attorney who has never lost doesn’t know how to win.
- What can I be doing as a client to maximize my case? There are several things you can be doing to maximize your case. By asking me this question, I know you are serious about your case, and are willing to implement my advice.
- What should I not be doing? One of the things I tell every single client is to stay off social media. For example, some clients kill their case by using social media. I tell every client on our initial consultation to discontinue Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and all other social media. Remember, you are injured. You are not President Donald Trump.
- Who are the best doctors in Texas or Louisiana that can provide me with the best medical care for my injuries? It is important to note that I am an attorney, and I am not a licensed medical doctor. In other words, I cannot refer or recommend you to see a medical doctor or clinic, but I can suggest doctors who I believe can help you get better.
What are the most common questions an attorney gets asked?
Most people only focus on two questions:
- How much is my case worth?
- When will my case settle?
If you meet with an attorney for the first time, and he/she can answer either of the two questions above, it is my advice to run and not walk out of that attorney’s office. It is virtually impossible to answer either of those two questions on our first visit. I can tell you from years of experience that the only thing I can assure you is that the legal process is a slow one. A wise man once told me that, “the wheels of justice turn slowly, but grind exceedingly fine.” In other words, legal cases are a slow process that take time and effort, but eventually my goal is to get you a favorable settlement.
What is the process after I sign up with your firm?
The first thing that will happen is that you will begin treating, if you haven’t already. My firm will begin investigating the accident to ensure we preserve all evidence. For example, we will obtain the police report, visit the scene of the incident, secure photographs of the damage, contact witnesses and obtain witness statements, file letters of representation with all insurance companies to provide them notice of our representation, along with numerous other tasks to help your case. We also research the at-fault party’s criminal record to determine whether the individual will be a good witness at trial.
After you are finished treating, we will begin requesting all of your medical records and bills from each provider. Sometimes, this can take months depending on the provider.
After we obtain all the client’s medical records and bills, including photographs, police report, witness statements, and any other supporting evidence, we will prepare a “demand package” to formally submit a settlement demand to the insurance company or responsible business. After that, the insurance company reviews and evaluates the demand package, and will send an offer of settlement, barring any exclusions to coverage or denials of the claim.
After an offer is made by the insurance company, it typically takes 1 to 2 months to negotiate to attempt to settle the case. We will be in constant contact with you so that you are informed and can make an educated decision on the outcome of your case. If a settlement is reached, the case will be over and we will prepare a distribution sheet which explains in detail who will get paid and how much. If the insurance company offers a low settlement offer, we will provide you with advice to potentially file a lawsuit, but the decision will ultimately be left up to you. Our number one goal is to provide you with excellent service and results. We hope these answers provide you with a better understanding of the process and will assist you in hiring the best personal injury attorney for your case.