Following are the answers to some general questions which may provide you with information on hiring an attorney to help you with your Oregon personal injury, medical malpractice, wrongful death, civil rights claim, or other general civil litigation matter. If you have a specific question regarding your legal matter or need immediate advice and representation, contact Vick & Glantz LLP for a free initial consultation.
Q. What should I expect from my lawyer?
A. From the initial consultation, your attorney should be honest and forthright with you, letting you know whether you have a case, its likely value, and the risks and benefits associated with different strategies for achieving a favorable resolution that meets your needs. Your attorney should listen to your concerns and be responsive to your needs. Your calls should be taken or returned promptly, and you should always be notified when there are developments on your case.
When considering whether to hire a particular attorney, it is perfectly acceptable to ask whether the firm has handled your particular type of case before and what the results were. While specific case information may be confidential, the lawyer should be able to speak knowledgeably about your matter and provide general information about past cases and results. Your role in the matter will be to provide your attorney with all relevant information, keep your lawyer updated on any changes, and make the ultimate decisions, such as whether to accept or reject a settlement offer or go to trial.
Our office offers a free initial consultation, during which time you can find out if you are comfortable with having us represent you. If we accept your case, we can handle your matter on a contingency fee basis, meaning that we only collect a fee if and when we obtain a recovery for you.
Q. How long does the legal process take?
A. We understand your interest in a prompt resolution of your legal matter, and we work to resolve your case as efficiently as possible. At the same time, your overall best interests are our primary concern, and we will not rush a matter merely to see it resolved. In a personal injury case, we do not recommend settling a case until you have become stable in your medical condition, what is known as medically stationary. After your doctor has determined that you are medically stationary, usually meaning that your condition has not changed for two to six months, we will begin settlement negotiations.
Some cases require significant time to gather and examine evidence, and the congestion in the courts themselves will in part dictate the legal process. If your case goes to trial, the trial itself may only last a few days or maybe up to two weeks. Most cases settle before or during trial, although this settlement may not come about until the time for trial is very near.
In matters of civil rights violations, there may be built-in time frames for filing complaints with government agencies. It may be six months or a year before notice is given of a right to sue.
Q. How much is my case worth?
A. Once you have become medically stationary, we can gather all the medical evaluations from treating physicians and other information necessary to properly evaluate your claim for settlement purposes. Each case is different and highly dependent upon the nature and extent of the injury, the cause of the accident, and many other factors.
In general, you are entitled to recover for your property damage, present and future medical expenses, present and future lost wages from missed work or diminished earning capacity, and pain and suffering. Damages in a wrongful death case or other civil matter may be different but are generally designed to compensate you for all losses which you incurred.
You can rest assured that we will negotiate with the insurance company from a position of strength and work to achieve the maximum value of your claim. All offers of settlement will be communicated to you, along with our advice and recommendation as to whether you should accept or reject the offer. No case will ever be settled without your authority.