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Potentially, no. The civil litigation process is lengthy, and a client will likely not step foot in a courtroom until the day of trial, assuming the case does not settle before then.
Our firm operates on a contingency fee basis. This means you do not pay unless we win. In other words, you will pay our firm for services rendered only upon money being awarded, whether through settlement or verdict. The amount of the fee is determined at the outset of the litigation and varies by firm. Some firms charge as much as 50% of the recovery. We charge less.
Lawsuits can often be stressful. Our team of experienced, compassionate attorneys is here to help. Once you are our client, we will do the heavy lifting. Leave the stress and worry to us. We will always keep you apprised of the status of your case and stand alongside you at every stage.
Each case is unique, and we cannot set an exact timeframe. While the circumstances surrounding each case differs, the process each case undergoes from inception to trial and/or settlement is fairly uniform.
Every case starts with our attorneys getting information from you. In essence, we will need information about the incident and/or facts giving rise to your potential lawsuit. We will ask – among other things – about the injuries incurred, medical treatment, medical diagnoses, and potential witnesses. Once you are a client and have had the opportunity to review our retainer agreement, we will prepare your case for filing.
Filing a case entails drafting a complaint. Our firm is located in San Francisco, California, but we practice throughout the State and throughout the country. Our attorneys are barred not only in California, but Florida, Massachusetts, and Washington, D.C. During our years of experience, we developed close relationships with attorneys nearly every state in the nation who we work closely with should a case need to be filed outside the confines of California. Depending on the circumstances, we may refer you to another attorney whom we respect and trust to handle your case should that be appropriate.
Once a case is filed, all parties engage in “discovery” which is a legal-ese term for information gathering. We will have the opportunity to send written questions and requests for documents to all defendants, and will have the opportunity to take the deposition of their witnesses. The defendants will also have the opportunity to depose you as the plaintiff. We will guide you through that entire process and be present during the deposition. The point of the discovery stage is to allow each party to obtain information that could subsequently be used in court should the case go to trial.
A case is ready for trial once discovery is complete. Keep in mind, however, that the vast majority of civil suits settle. This is the advantage the discovery process provides; it allows each side to evaluate the strengths and potential weaknesses in a case and often leads to pre-trial settlement. That said, settlement is not without its challenges. Having a pragmatic, strong, and effective advocate is just as necessary during settlement as in the courtroom. An inexperienced attorney, or an attorney with little understanding of the background of the case, the financial impact it has and/or will continue to have on your and your loved ones, your standard of living, and monetary obligations could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars.
If we do not win, you will not have to pay us for our work on your case. However, you will be responsible for filing fees and other costs related to your case. Please call our firm to obtain further information regarding any payment that will or could be owed.