333 Front Street
90 Conz Street
For several important reasons you should call as soon as possible after you have been hurt. It is important even if you are not sure that you have a valid claim, because if you do have a claim, there are time deadlines that apply to many steps in the legal process. Also, you are likely to receive medical bills and requests for information, including requests for tape recorded and signed statements from insurance companies. The insurance companies, even your own, are trained to look for technicalities and loopholes in the insurance policies to avoid responsibility and to avoid paying what they should. Having your case professionally coordinated from the start increases the likelihood of success and reduces the stress on you, but no matter what the stage of your claim, I welcome you to call and discuss it with me.
There is no charge for you to call or meet with Attorney Shute for an initial consultation. In most injury cases, the legal fee is called a “contingent fee.” This means that the fee is a certain percentage of the amount of money that you receive to compensate for your injury. Since the legal fee is paid at the end of your case, and only out of the money you receive, anyone with a valid case can afford quality legal representation. Further details are explained in the “Legal Fees” section of this website.
Attorney Shute will be in regular contact with you and will be gathering and analyzing the evidence from the beginning of your case. Formal attempts to resolve your case normally begin when you have reached a “medical end result.” This refers to when you have fully recovered from your injury or when you have reached a point in the recovery process where further improvement is not expected, regardless of treatment. When you have reached a medical end result we will have a better idea of the monetary value of your case since the value of a case is partly determined by the severity of your injury and how well or poorly your injury has healed.
Many cases are resolved by settlement which is a voluntary agreement between both sides that the person who caused the injury, or the insurance company for that person, will pay to compensate you for your harm.
If a settlement agreement cannot be reached, cases traditionally are resolved by court trial. Two other possible methods of resolving disputes are mediation and arbitration. In mediation, the two sides agree to meet with an impartial mediator (often a retired judge or an attorney who specializes in mediation) who tries to convince both sides to settle the case, typically by “playing devil’s advocate,” pointing out the strengths and weaknesses of each side. In arbitration, both sides agree to have the case decided by an impartial arbitrator (again, often a retired judge or an attorney who specializes in arbitration.) An arbitrator’s decision is similar to a court decision but the arbitration process is less formal and time-consuming.