The questions you should ask will vary with your case. Consider the following list to be a starting point:
- Have you handled cases like mine before? How many? What was the outcome?
- Will you be the only attorney who works on the case? If not, who else will work on it?
- How long will it take for this case to be resolved?
- Will you take my case on a contingent fee basis?
- Are there things I should do to improve my case, or to help you?
- How will you keep me informed about the progress of my case?
- If I contact your office with questions, how long will you take to return my call?
- If you are unavailable or on vacation, who can I speak to about my case?
- How often do you go to trial?
- If I am not happy with a settlement offer and you want to settle, will you go to court anyway?
- If I am happy with the offer but you think we can win more at trial, will you follow my wishes?
- Have you ever been disciplined by an ethics committee, or been suspended from the practice of law? If so, why?
- What "continuing legal education" courses have you attended during the past few years? Have you taught any?
Please note that, as desirable as references may be, it is usually not possible for personal injury lawyers to give references from past clients due to attorney-client confidentiality. However, you may wish to ask for references from other attorneys.
Every case is unique. There are specific, factual circumstances that are measured against the law that determine whether you have the right to pursue compensation in a claim or lawsuit. There are some general rules that are applicable to all personal injury cases. Consulting with an experienced Connecticut personal injury attorney is the best way to determine if you have a case and we are happy to provide you with a free consultation to discuss the details of yours. Answer the questions below for yourself and then give us a call.
- 1. Is there an injury? This is the first question, always. It is not as easy to answer as one might think. Many times in a devastating accident, some lucky person escapes with no injuries. The law does not act to compensate someone for what could have happened, only for what actually happened. With a few rare exceptions, personal injury typically refers to physical personal injury, not just mental injury. Examples include broken bones, burn injuries, catastrophic injuries, paralysis, soft tissue injuries, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injury and wrongful death. If there was physical injury, then this first question has been answered.
- 2. Did you receive medical treatment for the injury?Aside from saying that you were injured we will need to prove that you were injured. This proof can come from a variety of sources: your own statements regarding the injury and how it has affected you; witnesses to your injury; and, most importantly, the medical treatment that you receive. Many people, after an accident, take a "wait and see" approach to their injuries before incurring medical bills. While we understand this, it is not advised. The most important reason is that serious injuries can have delayed reactions. For your own well-being you should be examined by a doctor after an accident. The wait-and-see approach will also be used against you by insurance companies when evaluating your claim. We urge you to seek medical treatment as soon as possible after your injury.
- 3. When did the injury occur? Most lawsuits for a personal injury claims must be filed within two years of the date of the injury. There are exceptions that can both extend the time to file a claim and shorten it. For example Connecticut’s Dram Shop statue has a one year statute of limitations. Also, if you believe a governmental body or agency (state or city) may be responsible for the cause of your injury; the limitations period may also be shorter. Some statutes [e.g., Dram Shop, Claims Against the State, Defective Highways, and Municipal Employee Negligence] have very short “notice requirements” which, if not met, will prevent a successful action even if it is timely filed. In other words, time is of the essence after an accident. An attorney at our firm can discuss your case with you.Contact us.
- 4. Was the other party at fault in causing the injury? We must be able to establish that someone or some entity was responsible for the cause of your injury and that that person was not you. No matter how severe the injuries, liability in a personal injury claim must be proven at trial. We encourage you to contact us in any case for a free consultation. We are happy to evaluate your claim and help make this determination.
Requesting a free consultation and claim investigation will put you touch with a member of our legal team to obtain information about your potential claim. The facts surrounding your case will be reviewed by an attorney to determine if you may be eligible for compensation. You will have an opportunity to speak with one of our lawyers to review any questions or concerns you have.
Often a determination is made during your initial telephone interview. If we believe you may be entitled to compensation, it is your decision whether you wish to move forward with the investigation of your case. Sometimes it is necessary that we review the circumstances surrounding your claim in further detail with our experts and litigation committee before we can determine if we are able to pursue a claim. If that is the case, you will be contacted shortly with our final determination.
Once you decide that you wish to move forward with your claim, an attorney-client relationship will be formed. We will enter into a representation agreement which will include a contingency fee provision. We must have a signed agreement before we can move forward and pursue a recovery for you.
The contingency fee provisions will outline and confirm that there are no fees unless we obtain a recovery for you. All of our fees are contingent upon our obtaining a recovery for you. In some complex cases, we enter into a contingency fee agreement whereby we become responsible for all expenses of litigation with reimbursement of the same only in the event of a recovery. Therefore, you will have no responsibility for either fees or expenses unless we are successful in handling your case.
Once the representation agreement is signed, your claim will be documented and pursued. If we are unable to negotiate a fair and reasonable settlement with the at fault party, we will move forward with litigation and present your case in court. During the course of our representation we may associate with specific co-counsel who have certain expertise necessary for your claim at no additional cost to you. In addition, the top experts will be retained to document your claim and establish liability on the at-fault party.
Once representation begins, the exact time and steps involved in obtaining compensation will be different for every claim. During the course of representation you will be kept advised of the status of your claim and can always speak with us and review your claim.
At the conclusion of your claim, we only get paid if we secure compensation for your injuries. All settlement offers are reviewed with you in detail and you make the final decision whether to accept any offer. Although our fee is based on the recovery obtained, you still maintain complete control over your case and make all decisions about settlement.
After a settlement offer is accepted or a verdict is obtained at trial, you will be provided with a detailed Disbursement Sheet outlining the disbursement of all funds. This sheet will itemize the fees and expenses, and clearly explain the disbursement of all funds.
If you have any further questions at any time during the process of reviewing the claim or pursuing a recovery, our attorneys are available to review them with you. To begin the process, request a free consultation and claim evaluation.
Our representation agreement provides that the contingency fee only covers our work through conclusion of the trial and post-verdict motions. Any appeal of the case will involve a new fee for that work in addition to the existing contingency fee.
If you are ready to learn how our firm can assist you and your family, please call us today for a free consultation. John Logan and J. Paul Vance are experienced trial attorneys who will provide you with wise and compassionate legal counsel and representation through each stage of the process. Remember, you pay no fees to us if we do not win your case. You can contact John Logan and J. Paul Vance by calling 1-860-489-5000 or by filling out the form below.
The results of a particular case cannot be based upon a lawyer's or firm's past results. Each case is different. The value of a case can depend on a number of factors, such as: the facts concerning liability in the case, potential defenses asserted in the case, the harm both monetary and personal suffered by the injured person, the legal complexity of the case, whether the defendant was insured or not, the available insurance coverage in the case, and whether the case was resolved through negotiation, at trial, or in arbitration.