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Frequently Asked Questions Transcritions

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  • How long does the process take?
    • It is a difficult question to answer how long the process takes, because each case is different and each case is unique. And really, you’ve got look at the complexity of the case, the type of damages involved, the venue that the case is filed on. And once you take into consideration all of those factors, you can speak with your attorney and they’ll be able to give you a time frame or a normal range for a case from beginning to resolution, whether that’d be resolution, be a settlement or a verdict.
  • Who pays if I win my case?
    • In the civil litigation contacts, there’s typically two parties, a plaintiff and a defendant. And that the defendant is the party that is considered the at-fault party. And typically, the way that it works is if you are the plaintiff, and there’s a verdict to our settlement in your favor, the party that plays is the defendant, the at-fault party. Commonly in automobile cases and trucking cases and medical negligence cases, the at-fault party, the defendant, has insurance, and it’s actually the insurance company that provides the actual payment via check to the plaintiff if there’s a recovery via settlement or verdict.
  • How do I know if I need a lawyer?
    • Well, if you think you need a lawyer, if you’ve been injured or harmed by another person’s actions, you should definitely call one of our offices. We either have an office in Waukegan, Illinois, or Chicago, Illinois and we will put you in touch with an intake person who will talk to you about your case, find out if it’s something that we would handle, and put you in touch with the attorney that would be most suited for that particular case.
  • Who do I contact with questions about my case?
    • If you have a question about your case, you should contact your attorney. Each attorney handles their interactions with their clients differently, depending upon the case and what your issue might be. Each attorney has an assistant and usually one to two attorneys are assigned to each case. So you should talk to your attorney that’s been assigned to your case and discuss how questions should be dealt with. A lot of times email is easy. Sometimes people prefer the phone, so you just work out a communication system with the attorney on your case.
  • What are some things I need to do to protect my legal rights?
    • So the first thing you should do to protect your legal rights is contact an attorney who can let you know what your legal rights are. For example, like in an automobile case or in a trucking accident, there are certain statute of limitations that apply to each individual, which basically means you only have a certain time frame in which to file that potential claim in a court or would be forever barred. So to make sure that you are protecting your legal rights to bring a claim and making sure that you bring that claim in the right time frame, the first thing I would suggest that you do contact an attorney to determine what that statute of limitations is?
  • Do you offer free consultations?
    • Yes, we do offer free consultations. You should call either our Waukegan office or the Chicago office, and they’ll direct you to our intake person who will get some information from you, find out if it’s a case that we handle and we’ll direct you to an attorney to call you quickly, and let you know where to go from there.
  • Why should I hire a lawyer?
    • If something has happened to you, and you’ve been injured, and it wasn’t your fault, it was the fault of somebody else or some other company, you need to have a lawyer, especially if it’s a case of any significance. And the reason being is that, unfortunately, you cannot expect to be treated fairly by the defendant, defense corporations, insurance companies. Their goal, their whole business, is to pay you as little as possible, maybe even nothing. They’ll come up with any defense that they can come up with in order to minimize your recovery, or outright make sure you don’t get anything. That’s why you need a lawyer. You need a lawyer that knows how to prosecute your case, who knows how to prove your case, who knows how to tell your story, because at the end of the day, that’s what’s the most important thing. What is the story that’s gonna be told in front of a jury? That is why you need a lawyer.
  • How do you determine if I have a case?
    • When a potential client calls our office, we take that responsibility very seriously. When plaintiffs’ lawyers look into a case, it’s very important that your attorney makes sure that your case is a strong one that ought to be pursued. So, for example, if you come to our firm with a potential medical malpractice case, we’ll listen to everything have to say about the event. We’ll talk about it, we’ll understand completely how this has happened and how it’s affected you, we’ll gather all the medical records, and then have it reviewed by the appropriate experts to determine if there was, in fact, malpractice. For example, if there was a car crash, we’ll get the police report. We’ll talk to witnesses. We will, perhaps, even talk to the police and try to do determine if we can prove a case on your behalf. And if we can, then we will pursue that case very aggressively, very vigorously, and maximize the recovery for you.
  • How long do  have to file a case?
    • There is a time limit that you have for filing your case. It depends on the circumstances. So, it’s a little bit different, depending on various circumstances.

      One of the shorter statute of limitations is if a municipality is involved. So, if you are going to sue a city or some sort of governmental agency within the State of Illinois, you might only have as little as one year after the occurrence. If it’s a medical malpractice case, you may have as much as two years or more because it depends on when you knew, or should have known, that malpractice has occurred and has injured you.

      So, it is very fact-specific as to what the statute of limitations would be for your case, the statute of limitations being the time with which you have to file your case in a courthouse, so it’s important that you talk to an attorney as soon as possible. And I understand these are traumatic events and sometimes it’s hard to do that right away, and we certainly understand that. We can empathize with that feeling. But as soon as you’re ready, you should talk to a lawyer, just to make sure that we can protect the rights that you have because various facts within your case will determine how long you have to file your case.

  • Do all cases go to trial?
    • Not every case goes to trial. Some do, most do not. But what’s important is that when you pick a lawyer, then you have a lawyer that has trial experience, and that has trial skills. And that’s what we have here at Salvi, Schostok and Pritchard P.C. We try cases routinely.

      Now, when cases are initially at our office and we have a client that we’re representing, I prosecute the case as if it’s going to go to trial. You have to be prepared to go to trial. If you’re not, the insurance company, the defendant, whoever they might be, they’ll know that. And you won’t get nearly as good a settlement offer. But if you’re prepared to go to trial, then your settlement offer will be appropriate. And if it is not appropriate, then at least your lawyer is ready to try your case and have the jury until the judgment that mandates that the defense pay you what you deserve.

  • Why should you choose Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard?
    • We handle the whole gamut of personal injury. It might be a car crash, which is a common occurrence, where we’ll have clients and represent them. We represent many people that have had catastrophic injuries in car crashes, or even the families of their loved ones who have died.

      We also handle medical malpractice cases. So, in the event there was negligence by a physician, of any specialty, under any circumstances, you can call us, and we’re very well equipped to investigate and handle those sorts of cases.

      We’ve also handled product liability cases, premises liability cases.

      At the end of the day, if you’ve been injured and it is due to the fault of another or a company, then we will be able to handle your case, and you should call us so that we can investigate your case right away.

  • How much time do I have to file a lawsuit?
    • In Illinois, there’s a limit to the time you have to bring a claim from medical negligence. So it’s very important for us to understand when you think the medical negligence occurred. For an adult, there’s two years to bring your claim. For a child, there’s eight years for them to bring a claim, and for you to bring out the claim on your behalf. Because it’s a very fact specific question, you should consult with us as soon as possible so that your rights are protected.
  • Will I have to go to court?
    • Not every case goes to trial. Some do, most do not. But what’s important is that when you pick a lawyer, then you have a lawyer that has trial experience, and that has trial skills. And that’s what we have here at Salvi, Schostok and Pritchard P.C. We try cases routinely.

      Now, when cases are initially at our office and we have a client that we’re representing, I prosecute the case as if it’s going to go to trial. You have to be prepared to go to trial. If you’re not, the insurance company, the defendant, whoever they might be, they’ll know that. And you won’t get nearly as good a settlement offer. But if you’re prepared to go to trial, then your settlement offer will be appropriate. And if it is not appropriate, then at least your lawyer is ready to try your case and have the jury until the judgment that mandates that the defense pay you what you deserve.

  • Do I have a case?
    • When a potential client calls our office, we take that responsibility very seriously. When plaintiffs’ lawyers look into a case, it’s very important that your attorney makes sure that your case is a strong one that ought to be pursued. So, for example, if you come to our firm with a potential medical malpractice case, we’ll listen to everything have to say about the event. We’ll talk about it, we’ll understand completely how this has happened and how it’s affected you, we’ll gather all the medical records, and then have it reviewed by the appropriate experts to determine if there was, in fact, malpractice. For example, if there was a car crash, we’ll get the police report. We’ll talk to witnesses. We will, perhaps, even talk to the police and try to do determine if we can prove a case on your behalf. And if we can, then we will pursue that case very aggressively, very vigorously, and maximize the recovery for you.
  • How is the attorney paid?
    • Most clients ask, “How is the attorney paid?” In our practice, since it is a personal injury practice, all the fees are paid on what’s called a contingent fee basis. And what that means is that the payment of an attorney’s fee is dependent on whether or not we win the case. It’s contingent on winning. So, there is no fee unless we take the case and we win.

      Generally, the expenses, we advance, and those expenses are paid out of the settlement. And the client knows all of these amounts when the case is settled, and approves them ahead of time. If the case is not accepted or does not work out, the client owes nothing. So, that is a very important aspect of the contingent fee.

      So, there’s no cost to the client unless we take the case and we win, and that starts from the very beginning, starting with the first consultation until the case is resolved. And so, that is a very important component of a contingent fee relationship.

  • How long will it take?
    • It is a difficult question to answer how long the process takes, because each case is different and each case is unique. And really, you’ve got look at the complexity of the case, the type of damages involved, the venue that the case is filed on. And once you take into consideration all of those factors, you can speak with your attorney and they’ll be able to give you a time frame or a normal range for a case from beginning to resolution, whether that’d be resolution, be a settlement or a verdict.
  • What is the value of my case?
    • Many clients ask, even in the very beginning, “What is the value of my case? How much compensation am I or my family entitled to under these circumstances?” And that’s a very, very difficult question.

      I may have a general idea, and generally, would only accept a case that has significant value and is cost-effective, and makes sense for both the client and the lawyer, and the system. But the value of a case, or how much compensation is full and fair compensation, really is so dependent on so many different things, like how an injury does over the period of time, how much insurance coverage do the at-fault defendants have, how strong is the case in terms of winning or losing, and so many factors that are not known in the very beginning, that it’s difficult for the lawyer to state an opinion, with any degree of real specificity, what the case is worth. A lawyer that does that, really, is just kind of speculating. Now, the lawyer should be able to make a threshold decision about whether or not the case is worthwhile for the client, for the law firm, and for the court system.

  • Is hiring an attorney expensive?
    • There’s a general perception that hiring a lawyer can be very expensive, but in a personal injury and medical malpractice cases, that we at Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard handle, we charge what’s called a contingency fee. A contingency fee is very basically a percentage of the recovery, either by settlement or verdict, after the case has been concluded. And what that means is you will never receive a monthly bill, and there isn’t a scenario under which you will ever lose money by hiring Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard, rather we will only be compensated if there is a recovery by you, the client.
  • Should I hire an attorney?
    • If something has happened to you, and you’ve been injured, and it wasn’t your fault, it was the fault of somebody else or some other company, you need to have a lawyer, especially if it’s a case of any significance. And the reason being is that, unfortunately, you cannot expect to be treated fairly by the defendant, defense corporations, insurance companies. Their goal, their whole business, is to pay you as little as possible, maybe even nothing. They’ll come up with any defense that they can come up with in order to minimize your recovery, or outright make sure you don’t get anything. That’s why you need a lawyer. You need a lawyer that knows how to prosecute your case, who knows how to prove your case, who knows how to tell your story, because at the end of the day, that’s what’s the most important thing. What is the story that’s gonna be told in front of a jury? That is why you need a lawyer.
  • Is the traffic ticket admissible in court?
    • A person who’s injured in a motor vehicle accident and who’s contemplating a lawsuit, often wonders if the traffic ticket issued to the other driver would be admissible in court. And the answer is no, that the ticket that was issued in and of itself is not admissible. However, if the other driver goes to traffic court and admits that they were guilty, that would be admissible. However, the judge would instruct that that is just one factor with all the other facts that the jury is allowed to consider in determining who was negligent in the accident. I hope that was helpful to you, and please call our toll free number for more information.
  • Burden of proof between civil and criminal case.
    • People often wonder what is the difference in the burden of proof in a civil case versus a criminal one. In a civil case, the burden of proof is by a preponderance of the evidence, which is what is more probably true than not true. In a criminal case, the burden of proof is beyond reasonable doubt. An example of this is the O.J. Simpson case. In the criminal case, the prosecution could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he had committed the crimes. In the civil case, however, he was found liable by preponderance of the evidence of wrongful death. If you’d like some information regarding your potential civil case, please call our toll free number. Thank you.