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The Law Offices of Barry Feinstein & Affiliates, P.C. is a group of highly professional attorneys, paralegals, support staff and investigators. They have over 25 years of experience working with injured clients and have extensive background in all areas of personal injury.
Settling a Claim
Settling a case means that you agree to accept money in return for dropping your action against the person who injured you.
You’ll actually sign a release absolving the other side of any further liability.
To help you decide whether to accept the settlement offer, a lawyer will be able to provide a realistic assessment of whether a lawsuit based on your claim will be successful.
Settlement can also take place at any point in a lawsuit before or after it is filed including before trial or even after a case has been tried but before a jury reaches a verdict.
The decision to accept a settlement offer is yours, not a lawyer’s.
If you win your case, a judge or jury awards you money, known as damages for your injuries. That amount can include compensation for such expenses as medical bills and lost wages, as well as compensation for future wage losses. It can also compensate you for physical pain and suffering. In addition, you may receive damages for any physical disfigurement or disability that resulted from your injury.
Note that an award of damages does not necessarily translate into hard cash. You may have to take further legal steps to actually collect the money. If a defendant against whom you have won a judgment does not pay it or has no insurance, collection proceedings can be initiated. In some states, for example, if the defendant owns property, you may be able to foreclose on it. In other states, wage garnishment may be an option. Ask your attorney for your state’s collection policies and options.
Fee & Expenses
The fees and expenses charged by an attorney should be reasonable from an objective point of view.
The fee should be tied to specific services rendered, time invested, and level of expertise provided.
There are some broad guidelines to help in evaluating whether a particular fee is reasonable:
- The time and work required by the lawyer and any assistants, and the difficulty of the legal issues presented.
- How much other lawyers in the area charge for similar work.
- The total value of the claim or settlement and the results of the case.
- Whether the lawyer has worked for that client before.
- The amount of other work the lawyer had to turn down to take on a particular case.
- A client pays a contingent fee to a lawyer only if the lawyer handles a case successfully. Lawyers and clients use this arrangement only in cases where the money is being claimed – most often in cases involving personal injury or workers’ compensation. Many states strictly forbid this billing method in criminal cases.
A fixed fee is the amount that will be charged for routine legal work. In a few situations, this amount may be set by law or by the judge handling the case.
An hourly fee is the amount that will be charged for legal work actually performed. Rates vary depending upon the lawyer’s experience, reputation, and ability.
Some costs and expenses will be charged regardless of the billing method. The court clerk’s office charges a fee for filing the complaint or petition that begins the legal process. The sheriff’s office charges a fee for serving a legal summons.
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