When you contact Jeff Green Legal, LLC the first thing we do is get your side of the story and work with you to assemble all the documents that will help us prove it. You might think, the truth is the truth, and as long as you’re honest, you have nothing to worry about. However, what if the other side is not honest? The real issue is what we can prove, and that is why we start on day 1 by gathering all the information to be sure we are ready for anything
At our first meeting, you will be asked to sign a contract and some medical release forms. The contract is self-explanatory - I need it to represent you. The medical release forms will allow us to order your medical records immediately and begin assembling your damages case.
At this point, you are probably wondering what our fees are. Before we discuss fees, you should understand a few things. If you are a personal injury client, chances are, you will sign a Contingency Fee contract. A contingency fee contract is one where the attorney fronts all the costs - such as medical treatment, court costs, deposition costs, and other costs needed to get the case to trial. As the client, you do not come out of pocket for most expenses.
In return, on a contingency fee contract, the lawyer is paid only out of a settlement or judgment he achieves for the client. The contract spells out the various percentages the attorney is entitled to. You have no obligation for costs or fees if there is no recovery in a standard contingency fee contract.
If you are a billable client, you will be asked to put down a retainer for services rendered. Attorney fees and costs will be paid out of that retainer. Once the retainer amount is spent, you will be asked to replenish it. Any retainer funds not spent will be refunded to the client.
We attempt to make contact with the other side, usually an insurance adjuster, immediately. Most cases settle, but most complicated cases will never reach their full value until a lawsuit is filed. This is because insurance companies - and some lawyers - are willing to settle your case quickly for 50 cents on the dollar. From the lawyer’s perspective, while they receive only half the fee, they do almost none of the work.
My philosophy is the opposite: I always do the work so the insurance company knows it will never get away with paying my clients half of what their case is worth. I’ll make every effort to settle your case as quickly and efficiently as possible, but I’ll never recommend a settlement to you that I don’t believe in.
This is a good time to mention the inevitable disclaimer: I cannot make you any promises, nor can any other lawyer. If my firm accepts your case, it is because we believe in it, and we believe we will be able to recover for you. But in law as in life, nothing is 100% certain. I cannot guarantee you will receive a certain sum of money or a certain result, and neither can anyone else. What I can tell you is that I will work my hardest to assure the best result possible for you.
If the insurance company would not pay what your case is worth, we will file suit and begin preparing the case for trial. One thing my office does on nearly every case is to serve discovery requests with the lawsuit. Discovery requests are written questions that must be answered by the other side. If I send them out with the lawsuit, we typically get their answers much quicker.
You will also receive a set of discovery requests. My office will work with you to answer those and insert objections if necessary.
Once written discovery is complete, depositions will begin. A deposition is a question and answer session under oath, in front of a court reporter. During your deposition, the opposing attorney gets to ask you questions. You get to have your lawyer by your side to assure those questions are appropriate. We also get to take depositions of the defendant, any witnesses, any doctors, any experts and anyone else related to the case whose testimony we may be interested in.
As your case gets closer to a trial date, you may wonder if the case will settle, or if you will find yourself in a courtroom in front of a jury of your peers. Most people prefer their case to settle, and few actively want to go to trial. However, having a lawyer willing to try your case - as opposed to one always willing to accept the last, best offer - generally results in better case value. The best approach to trial is to be prepared to try the case, but willing to listen if the defense is interested in settlement. Insurance companies will conduct more extensive reviews of cases as they get closer to trial, and this can often increase the dollar value.
We have agreed to settle your case, or a jury has come back and awarded you money. This might seem straightforward, but before you receive a check, we must assure all costs, doctor bills, attorney fees, court reporters and other costs are paid. It normally takes 30 days to receive a check from the insurance company, although sometimes things move more quickly. You will also be asked to sign documents that officially end the case in exchange for the sum of money you are receiving. You will likely come to the office twice during this time, once to sign the check and the release, and another time to pick up your check and the settlement statement. The settlement statement will show you where every dollar was spent on your case and give you an exact calculation for attorney fees and amounts due the client.
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