The extent of the harm to you or your loved one, and your lack of negligence are two factors. Still, we can make no guarantees. Even the best prepared, most experienced plaintiffs' lawyer can go to trial and lose. This is a normal risk in the jury system. We do fully prepare every case to go to trial, hire the right experts, conduct a thorough investigation and thorough research, and take depositions of all persons with information. Our history speaks for itself. Still, once again, even the best prepared cases cannot guarantee a favorable verdict or settlement. Each case must be evaluated on its merits.
But no two cases are exactly alike, and no case exists in a vacuum. Variables include:
The county or state in which the case must be filed and tried is a big consideration. Larger jurisdictions - South Florida, for instance - sometimes produce larger verdicts than smaller venues. Pressing a case is generally more difficult and time-consuming in federal court than state court.
If we investigate your case and find it meritorious, we will inform you of an appropriate contingency fee. These fees vary, but are often about one third of the total amount of your case. We charge such fees to recoup the often considerable litigation expenses our firm advances. A case may cost $50,000, $100,000 or more to pursue. Please realize these expenses will be recovered from your portion of a successful outcome. Our firm does not get paid until you do. Understand, too, that different states have specific rules and regulations on contingency fees, and we will conform to those rules.
If another lawyer refers you to me, does that mean that my case will cost me more money? It will not. Any referral fees to those lawyers will be paid out of attorneys' fees. You will have to pay no additional money.
The length of a case varies widely, from state to state, and city to city. It is generally from one to six years, and averages perhaps two to three years. Cases can be settled within a matter of months. This is sometimes, but not always, the case in certain high-profile air crashes. Many defendants and insurance companies try to delay a case's conclusion. Although we as plaintiff's lawyers have an incentive to push for an early conclusion, we manage our business carefully to ensure we have enough resources to press a case in our clients' behalf. Courts may be backlogged. Expert witnesses may have schedule conflicts. Aspects of the law can change - particularly with the "tort reform" movements afoot in legislatures. We accept a limited number of cases so we can better advance those we do take. Still, we cannot promise how long your case will take because there is no way to predict how a defendant will respond or whether there will be one or more appeals.
Since we are a small law firm with a small nucleus of lawyers and staff, different trial lawyers, paralegals and investigators may work on different aspects of each case. We work as a team.