It depends on the severity of the injuries and the complexity of the case. Some cases can settle within a few months others can take several years. Generally speaking the bigger the case the longer it takes to resolve but this depends upon whether fault is disputed, whether the injuries are disputed or where everything is clear cut and undisputed. Some large cases can settle quickly if there is no reasonable dispute as to who is at fault and what injuries are suffered by the plaintiff.
Depending on the case and depending on the injuries, if the case can be resolved without litigation it is a matter of gathering all the physical evidence, the medical records and bills, lost wage documents and sitting down with you, the client to discuss valuation and authority to make a demand for settlement.
If the case does not resolve during the prelitigation process I then file a complaint for damages. Next, I have a summons issued and have the process server serve the defendant with a summons and complaint. Once the case has been served and the defendant has answered, I gather more information about the case to prepare for trial.
The information-gathering phase of the case is called discovery, and it involves sending written demands for information to the defendant, taking the depositions of witnesses, and subpoena records. Once discovery is completed, and the expert witnesses have been retained and deposed the court usually tries to encourage the parties to settle because at this point we know the strengths and weaknesses of each side’s case.
If the case does not settle I take the case to trial. Most litigated cases last between 1 and 2 years.
I charge a contingency fee which means you do not pay any money unless I win your case by trial or settlement. I advance the costs of litigation including filing the complaint and hiring expert witnesses. My fees and costs are paid out of your settlement or verdict.
If I don’t win your case, you don’t pay me anything. As far as the percentage that I charge it also depends on the case, generally most personal injury lawyers charge one-third before trial.
Again, I am always open to discussing the percentage of the contingency fee with my client and want to make sure that you are comfortable with my fee and that it is a fair fee for the work performed.
You should call Peter Goldstein before speaking to anyone else to ensure your case is handled by an experienced attorney who can obtain the best result possible. Do not make statements to any insurance company representatives or investigators because generally everything you say will be attempted to be used against you. If possible, take pictures of the accident scene and write down the names and phone numbers of any witnesses.
Do not apologize or admit you did anything wrong. Do not sign anything.
That varies from case to case, but in general compensation for personal injuries depends on:
- The past and future medical bills
- The seriousness of your injuries
- Whether you are able to continue to work after being injured.
Yes, but you are a great deal more likely to get a good result if you let me handle the case so you get the benefit of:
- 30 years of experience as an attorney
- Knowledge of legal procedures and substantive law
- Experience negotiating with insurance defense lawyers
- Knowledge of judges and mediators and jury venues in the courthouse your case will be filed and tried
- A multijurisdictional lawyer with full-time, experienced staff ready to get you the best result possible