Bicycle Injury Lawyer, Criminal Defense Lawyer

Milwaukee

230 West Wells Street - Suite 706

Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53203


 

Tel - 414.207.4426

Madison

5976B Executive Drive

Fitchburg, WI 53719


 

Tel - 608.320.6710

 

Ten Questions to Ask Your Personal Injury Lawyer

1. How do you intend to help me?

An injury lawyer should determine your goals before agreeing to represent you. A good lawyer will reject your case if you are unreasonable or want to pursue questionable objectives.

2. Can I call, email, text you anytime?

Some lawyers (generally at small firms) are available to talk in person anytime.  Others require you to call the office and deal with a secretary or paralegal.  Dealing directly with the attorney handling your case saves time and confusion.  Some large firms even have multiple attorneys working on various portions of your case.  While this may seem good, it can lead to problems if one lawyer is just filling in for another and is not familiar with the details of the case.

3. Do you represent insurance companies against people who are injured?

Lawyers who represent insurance companies against injured people get paid to fight against people like you.  They may claim that they see "both sides."  It is common for insurance defense lawyers to hire doctors to examine and injured person and then testify that the person either was not injured, or is exaggerating the seriousness of injuries and length of time needed to recover.  Insurance defense lawyers will use all legal options available to dismiss your case and make it so you get $0.00 and have to pay their costs if possible.  I have never worked for an insurance corporation and never will.  I help people not corporations.  

4. How much of a percentage will you take from my recovery?

Injury lawyers usually have clients sign a written fee agreement that outlines their contingent fees.  Contingent fees mean the lawyer's fee is contingent upon the outcome.  The lawyer only gets paid if they obtain a settlement or verdict for you.  If there is no settlement or verdict you don't have to pay the lawyer.  There are variations that include the lawyer paying for costs, client paying for costs and others.  The best part of a contingent fee agreement is that people who are injured and do not have any money to pay a lawyer can still hire a lawyer.  Many people think they can obtain more money on their own and choose not to hire a lawyer.  In my opinion, unless the amount in controversy in your case is quite small (such as less than $5,000) you will come out ahead/ end up with more money in your pocket if you hire a lawyer to help you.  Also, you will decrease the stress of being responsible for your case and lessen the chance of a major error that results in dismissal of your case.  

5. Do you pay for the costs of handling the case or do I?

Costs include things like filing fee+ jury demand ($337.50), private investigator fees, subpoenas for witnesses, etc.  A good lawyer will inform the client of anticipated costs ahead of time and get the clients approval before spending any money.  Options include the client paying for costs, the lawyer advancing costs and then getting costs back at the end in addition to the fee, splitting costs, or the lawyer paying for costs and not getting anything back. 

6. Can you give me an example of a recent injury case you handled, what the issues were, and how it turned out?

Yes.  I recently handled a case involving a driver not paying attention and crashing into another driver.  Issues included whether treatment received after the crash was related to the crash, proof of missed work and amounts lost, and obtaining a fair amount for the totaled vehicle. 

7. Will you agree to do whatever I want as long as the ethical rules allow?

Yes.  I have not been injured.  I am not the important person.  Whether a client wants to settle for a written apology, $1, or wants $1,000,000 is their decision and not mine.  My job is to advise the process and the advantages and disadvantage of proceeding in a certain manner.  

8. Why do you want to help me with my case?

I am a solo lawyer and take cases after careful consideration.  Because of my background I have the ability to relate to many different types of people.  If I feel I can relate to your situation and believe in you and your case, I will help you.  If you or I don't get a good feeling or you think someone else would be a better fit, I am happy to decline the case. 

9. What happens if we lose?

Injury cases generally involve three possible stages.  1. settlement with insurance company without filing lawsuit in court; 2. filing lawsuit 3. trial.  If an injured person loses at trial in Wisconsin the judge will order the losing party/injured person to pay costs for the other side.  This includes things like copies, deposition costs, and fees for subpoenaing witnesses.  This keeps people from filing frivolous lawsuits.  It also makes it so the person who wins does not have to waste any of their own money on things that should not have had to been paid for in the first place. 

10. How long will it take to get me justice?

Settling without filing a lawsuit could happen within days, weeks, months, or years of getting injured. Settling after a lawsuit would generally take about six months to two years.  Obtaining a verdict at trial could take from several months (unlikely) to several years (likely).  If the losing party appeals it will likely add a year or more onto the time until you get what the jury included in the verdict to make up for what happened to you.  

 

Call or email me anytime.  608 320-6710 or 414 207-4426.  clay@griessmeyerlaw.com