Most top-of-the-line law firms begin with a thorough interview and meeting with the client. The client needs to understand what the lawyer can do for them, how they’re going to do it, how long its going to take and, last but not least, how much is it going to cost.
We work on a contingency fee basis. That means, until we get our client’s money, they don’t owe us any money and if we are not successful in their case, then they don’t owe us any attorney fees. It’s that simple.
Once the lawyer is in place you start the investigation. In a simple accident, that may only take a few days. In a complex trucking case or a complex coal-mining explosion or death case, it could be a few weeks or several weeks. Sometimes, if you’re waiting on the NTSB – the National Transportation Safety Board – the wait can be as much as six to nine months.
The next step is the filing of a complaint. Sometimes an insurance company or major corporation will approach the Segal Law firm quickly and ask us to provide them with information. This is so they can make an early settlement to the family. We assemble information for them in an effort to get the case settled quickly for the family or the individual.
One important thing to note is, most cases have what’s called a two-year statute of limitations. From the day of your accident you’ve got two years to file a lawsuit. Unfortunately, I’ve gotten phone calls from folks who wait until the last minute. And we can’t take those cases. You don’t have time to investigate them. But sometimes I can file a complaint right under the wire and get them protected and then do some catch up legwork but other times its just too late. And differing states have differing statue of limitations. So you need to have a lawyer involved sooner rather than later.
Once filed, the complaint is a lawsuit. First, there is a period of discovery. It’s just exactly what the word says. You get to ask the other side to look at their documents. You get to ask questions of their witnesses under oath with a court reporter writing down every word. And they get to ask your clients their version of the facts, they get to look at your medical records, they get to talk to your doctor and they can do that while he or she is under oath.
And once that’s done you’re ready for mediation. This is where you see if you can get the case settled. If not, then the next step is a trial. In West Virginia we are fortunate that families are generally offered sufficient monies to settle their case at this point and they are happy with that.
However, at the Segal Law Firm we prepare cases to go to trial. If our client says, “Hey, that’s enough money, you don’t have to go to trial.” Then that’s our client’s decision. And we’re happy with that. But if mediation fails, we are ready to go to the courtroom with our client and present their case to a jury and get them a jury verdict that compensates them for the injuries they’ve been through.
If you have questions, don’t put it, waiting till the last minute, call the Segal Law Firm at 855-344-9100.