Have the best possible chance of prevailing your claim in small claims court by understanding the process and being prepared. Yes, but only if both of you agree beforehand. Attorneys settle most personal injury cases through negotiations with insurance companies; these cases rarely require a trial in court. If the lawyer settles the case before going to trial, less legal work is required.
You can try to negotiate an agreement in which the lawyer will accept a lower percentage if you resolve the case easily and quickly or before a lawsuit is filed in court. Learn the six basic steps for filing a small claims case, including how to identify the right defendant, how to determine the exact amount of your claim, how to send a demand letter, how to decide where to file the lawsuit, and how to prepare and file your complaint in court. It's usually best to send a typed letter. Your letter should state how much money you think you are owed and why you are entitled to receive it.
Never include personal attacks or anything else you don't want the judge to read. Your letter must be courteous and professional, with the goal of encouraging an amicable agreement with the other party. End your letter by stating that if you are unable to reach an agreement, you will move forward with the matter in small claims court. Often, a lawsuit needs to be filed for several reasons, such as controversial liability or differences in the valuation of damages.
If you follow these steps to file a complaint with a small claims court, you have a better chance of having your security deposit returned. In doing so, they incur several costs, such as requesting medical records and bills, making copies, shipping fees, and possibly meeting with their doctors to discuss their injuries. If you lose, neither you nor the lawyer will receive any money, but you won't have to pay your lawyer for the work done on the case. The procedures for obtaining a garnishment vary from county to county, so you may find it helpful to consult an attorney.
While personal injury attorneys usually work on conditional fees, other attorneys, such as those who are engaged in family law, may charge by the hour for their work in a case. One of the most common questions a person usually has when hiring an attorney is how much it will cost. You can consult with an attorney or conduct legal research to see if a statutory provision on damages applies to your case. When a law firm anticipates expenses, it pays all the costs as they are incurred and then receives reimbursement for those expenses from the settlement or verdict.
If your lawyer can successfully resolve your case without filing a lawsuit, your expenses are usually still quite low. In this video, his partner Tom Sinas discusses the costs of hiring a personal injury lawyer during an appearance on his “Know the Law” segment on Fox 17 in Grand Rapids. Under a conditional fee agreement, your lawyer receives a portion of any settlement or verdict obtained on your behalf in your case. At your first meeting, the lawyer must calculate the total cost of the case and inform you of the method you will use to charge for the work.
As with any bill, you shouldn't pay without first getting an explanation of the charges that you don't understand.