We’ve represented thousands of clients and get a lot of questions about what they can expect throughout the litigation process. Here are some of the most common questions we receive.
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1Is my case a class action or a mass tort? What’s the difference?
The majority of personal injury cases, like product liability claims against drug and medical device manufacturers, are filed individually in court, not as a class action. A class action is a single lawsuit brought by one person on behalf of a group of others who suffered the same damages from the same product. In product liability claims, each person’s injury affects them in different ways so lawsuits are filed individually. However, a judge may decide to consolidate those individual cases into a mass tort or multidistrict litigation (MDL), so attorneys on both sides can pool their resources and save the courts time and money. Even if your case is consolidated into a mass tort, we will always represent you as your attorneys throughout the process.
2How much money is my case worth?
It’s impossible to know what a case is worth upfront. Factors like medical history, extent of the injury, your age, the state in which the lawsuit was filed, and many other issues affect your case and determine its value.
3I live in a different state than your firm. Can you still represent me?
Yes. We represent clients all across the United States. We work with local attorneys and law firms in your area in order to represent you wherever you live.
4My injury happened years ago. Can I still sue?
It will depend on your state’s Statute of Limitations. The Statute of Limitations is the maximum time after an event within which legal proceedings may be initiated. In most states, the maximum amount of time to bring a personal injury case is two or three years. That’s why it is important to act fast and contact an attorney to discuss your options as soon as possible, before the Statute of Limitations runs out and you’re unable to file a lawsuit.
5Will my spouse be part of the lawsuit?
If you file a lawsuit, your spouse is not automatically part of the suit. Most states recognize Loss of Consortium, which refers to the damage to a marital relationship caused by another’s misconduct. If you live in a state where this is recognized, your spouse has the option to join the lawsuit.
6Do I have to sue my doctor?
No, you do not have to sue your doctor. If you have a personal injury cases involving drugs and medical devices, we will target the manufacturers of the drug or medical device, not your doctor who prescribed the drug or device.
7Can I sue on behalf of a deceased family member?
Depending on which state you live in, you may be able to bring a suit on behalf of your loved one. Most states have laws that allow spouses and minor children of a person who died to sue for lost financial, emotional, and other support. Some states also allow parents and adult children of a person who died to sue for their grief and suffering.
8What’s the first step in the litigation process?
The first step is determining if you have a valid claim. We will conduct a short interview over the phone, gather your medical records, and speak to experts in order to make that determination. If you do have a claim, we will file a Complaint in court against the manufacturer(s), and follow the processes set by the court.
9How involved will I be in the lawsuit?
Bringing a personal injury lawsuit should not be a huge burden to you or your time. However, you will be involved in certain ways in the litigation. You will need to answer questions to help us gather as much detail about your case as possible, and we may ask for your help in obtaining documents to help us strengthen your case. You may also need to fill out a Plaintiff Fact Sheet as part of the litigation process and you may have to give testimony in a deposition. We will keep you updated on your case as it progresses through the courts.
10Will the defendant’s lawyer want to talk to me or my family?
It is not likely that you will need to speak with the defendant’s attorney; however, if your case is selected to go to trial, you will be asked to give a deposition under oath. If this is the case, we will help you prepare for the deposition ahead of time. You will not speak to the defendant's attorney without us present.
11Will I have to testify in court?
It is not likely that you will need to testify in court or be present at the trial. Most of these cases settle out of court without ever going to trial, but we are prepared to represent you every step of the way.
12Will I need to travel anywhere?
It is not likely that you will need to travel anywhere as part of the litigation, even if your case is being litigated in a different state than where you live.
13How will I know what’s happening with my lawsuit?
We will keep you updated on what’s happening with your lawsuit as your case progresses through the court. We will send regular email updates, and are available to speak with you over the phone or text to make sure you’re up-to-date with what’s happening in your case.
14How long will my lawsuit take?
Lawsuits often take years to move through the court system. It is not uncommon to file a lawsuit and wait four or more years for a verdict or settlement. Our firm is experienced in aggressively litigating cases and moving them as fast and efficiently as possible through the court system.
15What does it mean to settle a case?
Most often, personal injury and product liability cases are settled out of court before ever reaching a trial or jury. Settling a case means ending the dispute before the end of a trial. Trials are long and expensive. If the cost of settling is less than the cost and risk of going to trial, the parties may be willing to settle. In mass tort cases, bellwether trials are used to test cases before a judge or jury. When major verdicts are handed down at bellwether trials, the defendant may choose to settle before any other case goes before a jury.
16How much does your firm charge?
Our firm operates on a contingency basis. This means you don’t pay anything unless we win your case. You never pay an hourly rate for our services. Our fee is based on the percentage of the amount recovered in your case. If we win, we receive 40% of the gross recovery. If we lose, we do not get a fee.
17Do I still have to pay even if we lose?
No. If we do not win your casel, you do not owe us anything. Even if your case progresses for years, you do not owe us fees or costs if we are ultimately unsuccessful. If we are successful, you will be responsible for case costs out of your portion of the recovery.
18Do I have to pay to get my medical records?
No. We pay all fees associated with obtaining your medical records as they come. Medical records are necessary in litigating personal injury and product liability cases because they hold important information about your injuries. We are careful to follow all laws regarding HIPAA compliance and never share your private information with anyone outside of the litigation.
19Is there anything that could prevent me from receiving my share of the settlement?
There are certain financial obligations that may be deducted from your share of the settlement. For example, your health insurance company could issue a medical lien against your case to recover money it spent paying for your medical treatment after your injury. Other fees may also be taken out of your settlement share, including the costs of litigating your case: medical records, expert witness fees, court filing fees, depositions, etc. This is why it is important to choose a law firm who will fight to get you the maximum settlement amount.