Chris Richard, the managing partner of Graves and Richard, sat down with Kevin Jack during an episode of Legal Matters. Kevin asked Chris several common questions about when to contact a personal injury lawyer if you experience injury, and what to expect during the process of retaining a personal injury lawyer.
If I am injured, when should I contact you?
At Graves and Richard, we hold the philosophy that we will give a free consultation to anyone who has sustained an injury. If you have been involved in a car accident, a fall, or any other accident in which you sustained an injury, it is worth a few minutes of your time to call us and inquire as to what your rights are, and what remedies are available to you.
How significant does my injury have to be before it is “lawsuit worthy”?
There is no bright line that can be drawn as to when your injury is significant enough to pursue a legal remedy. The largest factor is how an injury has affected your life. If a person who has experienced a sprained ankle is forced to take a long time off of work, that relatively minor injury will attract a more significant remedy than for a person for whom no work time was lost.
We have a full range of lawyers at our firm, from lawyers who are new to the practice to lawyers that have been practicing for over 50 years. This enables us to take on cases for people with a wide range of injuries.
Will I be charged if I call you and ask for a consultation?
We don’t charge fees for an initial consultation. We will receive your phone call, and talk to you about your injury and how it has affected your life. If remedies are available to you in law, we will invite you in for an initial meeting. You will not be charged a fee for this meeting either. We don’t charge any fee along the way until the end when a claim is settled.
So, I don’t need to have a big bank account to hire a personal injury lawyer?
No. If you have been injured in an accident and are not working, likely the last thing that you are going to have money for is to pay a lawyer. The fee model in personal injury law allows access to justice for all injured people by providing that fees are paid at the end of the legal process when funds are available.
And I can rest assured knowing that my claim is worthy of pursuit if taken on by a personal injury lawyer?
That is correct. We don’t get paid if you don’t receive compensation for your injuries. At our firm, we do a thorough analysis in the early stages of the claim process, after the first few meetings and after analyzing the first records that become available. If we decide to take on your claim, we will take it through to the end so long as there is no subsequent information that changes our initial assessment.
What fees do you charge at the end?
The vast majority of the personal injury industry is based on contingency fee agreements. This means that a lawyer will charge a percentage at the time the claim is resolved. Our firm charges a total of 30 percent of whatever amount is recovered on your behalf.
Are there advantages to retaining a local lawyer?
Yes, I believe there are many advantages to retaining a lawyer who practices locally. We have created many working relationships with other local professionals, which helps with speedy and optimal resolution of legal disputes. Additionally, travelling is often physically painful or stressful when you have received a serious injury, and choosing a local lawyer eliminates this factor. Because we are all members of a smaller community, we try to provide more personal service than you may receive in a firm in a larger centre.
Chris is a premier personal injury lawyer in St Catharines who has made receiving timely and helpful information a priority at Graves and Richard. Sustaining a life-altering injury can be a very stressful event, and retaining a personal injury lawyer should not create any added stress. Chris ensures that his clients receive timely and important information, and encourages his clients to feel empowered by, and engaged with, the claim resolution process. If you’ve been injured and would like a consultation with our qualified personal injury lawyers in St Catharines, contact us.