Will I have to pay a fee to talk to a lawyer?
No. David Dwork, like most lawyers who handle such cases, consults with a perspective client for no charge. If it is determined that there is a case that can be pursued on the individual’s behalf, then the lawyer and the client will enter into a contingent fee agreement which will provide that the attorney will only get paid if you recover (the “contingency”) and then the method of payment is that the attorney gets a percentage of what you recover. If you lose, the attorney does not get paid for his or her time. This agreement will be in writing and will spell out any other terms of the engagement.
In addition to attorney’s fees, may there be other expenses involved in pursuing a claim?
Yes. To successfully pursue a claim involving traumatic brain injury, the lawyer will generally have to involve a number of experts who charge for their time. Accordingly, neuropsychologists, neurologists, accident reconstructionists, economist, vocational rehabilitation counselors, life-care planners and other professionals may be retained in the pursuit of your case. The cost of these professionals will generally be advanced by the law firm. The law firm will then be reimbursed for these expenses from any recovery obtained on your case. However, you should discuss these costs and other expenses with the attorney because generally these expenses will remain the client’s responsibility.
Is it appropriate to ask a lawyer his or her experience in handling cases of this nature?
Absolutely. The old saying “an educated consumer is the best consumer” is absolutely true. You are the consumer and have every right to know the degree of your lawyer’s experience in handling cases such as yours. It is perfectly appropriate to ask to see information regarding the lawyer’s professional background, the number of cases that the lawyer has handled dealing with head injuries, the lawyer’s experience in trying such cases and other matters concerning the lawyer’s professional background and experience.
Should the lawyer be knowledgeable about and prepared to help you in other aspects of your legal needs?
Yes. Although the lawyer may be primarily retained to pursue a claim on your behalf, for example, arising out of a car accident, the lawyer should be knowledgeable about other private and public benefits to which you might be entitled including social security disability, Medicare, private disability insurance, health insurance and other programs. Lawyers at Barron & Stadfeld, P.C.’s Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group are knowledgeable in these areas and are prepared to assist you in pursuing your right to any other benefits to which you might be entitled.
If I recover, should I expect my lawyer to assist me in preserving and protecting my settlement proceeds, assist me in maintaining public or private benefits and generally concern himself with my financial well-being after a settlement has been reached?
Yes. A knowledgeable and capable attorney will not just settle a client’s case without considering and making appropriate provision for the ability of the client to manage what may be a large sum of money, address the need for a possible guardian, the need for a possible settlement trust or other legal vehicle to preserve eligibility requirements for public or private benefits, the need for long-term financial planning and the possibility of a structured settlement or other vehicles designed to protect the client’s interests.
Can I talk and meet with you regarding my case without obligation?
Yes. Until you are satisfied that attorneys at Barron & Stadfeld, P.C.’s Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group can assist you and you have decided to retain them to pursue your case and a written fee agreement is entered into, you are under no obligation. It is always the client’s choice who to retain and keep as their attorney and there is no charge or obligation to talk with us. We are pleased to talk with you and to answer any questions. You are under no obligation whatsoever. It is the client who controls when and whom they hire to represent them.
Is it important which attorney I hire?
Yes. While all attorneys must pass certain minimum standards to practice law and be licensed by the state, there are vast differences between attorneys in terms of their areas of practice, level of experience and the types of cases they handle. Brain injury cases are unique and one should consider finding a lawyer who is knowledgeable, experienced and concentrates his practice in handling traumatic brain injury cases, in the same way that one would want to find a doctor experienced in these injuries before seeking treatment.
If I have suffered a traumatic brain injury, should my family or I contact an attorney as soon as possible ?
Yes. The sooner you or your loved ones call, the stronger your case will be.