The following information includes frequently asked questions surrounding wrongful death or personal injury. The answers here are general in nature and are not intended to apply to every situation. Each case is unique and carries its own set of circumstances that must be taken into consideration by competent legal counsel. By contacting The Spence Law Firm, you can receive a personal consultation regarding your specific legal claim.
These are some of the most frequently asked questions we hear from potential clients.
Personal injury is any physical, mental or emotional injury to a person that results from the actions or failure to act of another person or entity. This is often called negligence. Personal injury involves civil law as opposed to criminal law, with different legal burdens and manner of proof. Personal injury can be caused by a wide variety of factors. The following are some of the most common incidents resulting in personal injury:
• Auto Accidents (including multiple vehicle car wrecks)
• Other Vehicle Accidents (Aviation, Bicycle, Boat, Motorcycle, Railroad, Truck)
• Explosions or other similar incidents that can cause burns
• Construction/On the Job Accidents
• Dangerous or Defective Products • Medical Malpractice (Birth Injuries, Misdiagnosis, Surgical Negligence)
• Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
• Premises Liability including slip and fall and inadequate security
• Spinal Cord Injury
• Toxic Exposure
• Traumatic Brain Injury.
Personal injury victims are entitled to recover monetary damages for all losses and expenses sustained as the result of negligent acts or negligent failures to act by others. Depending upon the particular circumstances of your case, damages may include recovery for any of the following:
• Medical bills, both past and future
• Lost income, including overtime wages, past and future
• Pain & suffering
• Loss of enjoyment of life
• Physical disability
• Emotional trauma
• Mental disability
• Property damage.
Wrongful death law provides financial compensation to the family or relatives of a person whose death was caused by the negligent, willful or wrongful act of another. Wrongful death cases are filed as a result of a variety of situations, including:
• Medical malpractice resulting in a patient’s death
• Neglect or abuse on the part of a nursing home that results in a patient’s death
• Automobile, bus, train, airplane or other common carrier fatality accident
• Occupational exposure to hazardous conditions or substances (exposure to asbestos, oilfield and industrial incidents, explosions, etc.) resulting in death
• Death during a supervised or guided activity (sports tournament, field trip, recreational activity, etc.).
We take cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that if there is no monetary recovery, you owe us nothing for our services.
In most cases, The Spence Law Firm will advance the expenses of the case and we will be paid back by you when there is a recovery.
We are fortunate in that we look at many cases every year even though we are not a large law firm. And we like it that way. Unfortunately, however, we are not able to help all of the people who ask for and need our help. We look at each case individually as it comes in. We evaluate the case collectively, involving everyone in the firm. Most importantly, the partners in the law firm all have input in deciding the cases we will take. If we believe that we can make a difference for you, or on behalf of others like you or a loved one, we will take the case. Sometimes, if we are unable to help you, we know of other lawyers who can help, and we will refer you to them.
We don’t make promises, we get results. A lawyer who tells you how much your case is worth before even working on the case is probably making a promise he can’t keep. Depending on the specifics of your case, we may be able to give you some idea of what similar cases have settled for in the past, but the truth is that every case is unique and our job is to maximize your recovery to make sure you get justice in your case. No matter what it takes. To discuss how much your case may be worth, contact us anytime and we will talk with you in detail about how we evaluate a case’s value.
The lawyers at The Spence Law Firm are licensed to practice in many different states and federal courts throughout the country. If, however, you live in a state where we are not licensed, we associate with competent local counsel and work closely with them on your case. When we associate with local counsel we are able to appear and practice in states where we are not licensed. This is commonly referred to as being admitted “pro hac vice.”
The Spence Law Firm brings every asset necessary to fight for you in your case – this means that you will have several of our attorneys working for you to get justice. At any given time, there are many people working on your case. There are lawyers, paralegals and legal assistants with whom you will work directly. There are also investigators, law clerks, technicians and experts who all may be working to bring your case to a successful conclusion. Even though you may never see or have contact with some of these people, they are here committed to you and this noble work.
From the second your case comes in to the office, a team of lawyers is reviewing the facts and law that will be relevant to the case and whether we can help you. We also have legal assistants to assist the lawyers in working on your case. The legal assistants are an integral part of our team. Many times the lawyers who are directly responsible for your case are out of the office or are working on other cases. You should know that any time you want to speak with the lawyer who is responsible for your case, every attempt will be made to have that lawyer call you directly at his/her earliest convenience.
We work in state and federal courts all over the United States. Each court differs in the amount of time it takes to bring a case to trial. Once we know the appropriate court of your case, we are in a much better position to estimate the time to trial. We encourage you to speak with us about the specifics of your case and the jurisdiction/court where the case may be brought to get a better understanding of how long the litigation may take.
Yes, if there is a trial, you must be present. Sometimes, for people who are catastrophically injured it is impossible for them to be present at all times. We have been successful in asking the various courts to accomodate the special requests of our clients, who without fault of their own, have difficulty sometimes with the simplest of tasks, including being present in the court room.
During the course of your case you will most likely have to give a deposition. A deposition is a statement that is given under oath before a certified court reporter. When your deposition is taken one of the lawyers in this office will be there to represent you. It is likely that we will take depositions of the defendant, or their employees, in your case to discover their defenses.
Typically, once a case is settled, documents must be exchanged between both parties of the lawsuit to assure that the settlement is binding. This process usually takes 30 – 60 days, but can take longer if your case involves special circumstances.
Yes, we will never settle your case without your expressed consent. Whenever settlement negotiations are initiated by either party you will be informed, and it is only with your full participation, advice, and consent that your case will be settled.