1. What are your fees?
The majority of our cases are handled on a contingency fees basis. That is, if you do not receive monetary compensation for your injuries and/or damages, we do not charge a fee. All initial consultations are free.
Attorney fees in Florida are closely regulated by the Florida Bar and Florida Supreme Court. A Florida lawyer may not enter into an agreement for, charge, or collect a contingency fee which is clearly excessive. The Florida Supreme Court has set forth a contingency fee schedule, which, if utilized by a Florida Lawyer is presumed to be not excessive. As a result, it is the fee schedule that is utilized by our firm and by many Florida attorneys in contingency fee cases.
In practice the fees most typically charged amount to 33 1/3% of any recovery for cases settled pre-suit. For cases in which a lawsuit is filed the fee is typically 40% of any recovery. Fees are less for the amount of any recovery in excess of $1,000,000.
2. What about costs?
Costs are out of pocket expenses necessary for the prosecution of a case. Filing fees, the cost of medical records and deposition expenses are examples of such costs. Costs are typically advanced by our office on behalf of our client's and then deducted from the clients recoveries.
3. Can we settle out of court?
The simple answer is maybe. A claim can be settled at any time. It can be settled before suit is filed, after suit is filed and even after the outcome of a trial is known. In practice most cases are settled after suit is filed but before trial.
4. What is Mediation?
Many courts now require the parties to go through mediation before a trial date is set. Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution. Mediation is an informal proceeding where all parties and their lawyers meet in a conference room or office to attempt to negotiate a settlement.
Brief initial presentations will be made to the mediator by the attorneys for all parties. The mediator will then typically meet with each party and their attorney separately to discuss any offer or demand made and the relative strengths and weaknesses of each party's case. Through this process the mediator will attempt to bring the parties together to reach a resolution of the case. Although it may be required to attend mediation it is not required that the case be settled.
5. How much is my claim worth?
This is a very difficult question to answer without knowing more about your case. Depending on the type of case there may be different elements of damages which you and your family members may be entitled to recover for. Some of these elements of damages may be for economic damages like lost wages or medical expenses. Some may be for non-economic damages, or damages which have no exact measure, like pain and suffering or the loss of enjoyment of life. In order to give you a more accurate assessment it would be necessary for us to speak with you to obtain some information from you.
6. How long will it take?
This is a very difficult question to answer with any certainty and depends in large part on the jurisdiction or jurisdictions in which your case must be filed. Depending on the type of claim, certain jurisdictions may be better than others in helping us to obtain a speedy resolution of your claim. As discussed above many defendants do not get serious about settlement negotiations until trial approaches. This is why it is important to file your claim in the available jurisdiction which will enable us to obtain the quickest trial date. Again in order to give you a more accurate assessment it would be necessary for us to speak with you to obtain some information from you.