What do you charge?
I handle all of my cases on a contingency (percentage) basis, rather than an hourly basis. No attorney fee is charged unless there is a recovery. My standard fee for personal injury cases is 1/3 (33.33%) of the total recovery, before expenses are deducted. Expenses which I advance on behalf of the client are reimbursed from the recovery. In some cases, the maximum attorney fee that can be charged is established by law. For example, the maximum fee in Workers’ Compensation cases and Illinois Court of Claims cases is 20%. Attorney fees in cases involving minors (children under 18) must be approved by the court and typically range between 25% and 33%.
What do I need to do to become a new client?
The process begins with a phone interview. If your case has potential merit, a follow-up meeting is scheduled. An attorney-client representation agreement must be signed before any legal work will be performed. A medical release must also be signed to obtain your medical records. Communications are conducted by phone, mail, fax, email or text, and in person meetings – as needed.
What type of clients do you represent?
I have represented clients of all ages, from just about every walk of life. I represent average working people and their families, not large corporations. My prior clients include a college professor, a doctor, lawyer, engineer, firefighter, police officer, truck driver, factory worker, mechanic, computer technician, nurse, therapist, banker, teacher, construction worker, and the list goes on and on.
What advice do you have for someone looking for a personal injury attorney?
Make a well informed decision. Talk to several lawyers. Meet with the attorney. The initial consultation is usually free. Select a lawyer you feel comfortable talking to and who has experience with your particular problem. There will be less of a learning curve. Compare what the lawyers say and how they interact with you. Be skeptical of lawyers who make big promises before they have all the facts. Ask who will handle your case. Will it be the person you met with or a less experienced attorney or paralegal? Ask how much of the attorney’s practice involves litigation. Does he or she plan to refer your case to another lawyer? It shouldn’t take you very long to make a decision.