Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to Your Personal Injury & Medical Malpractice Questions
Personal injury and medical malpractice are both complex areas of law. After an accident or the death of a loved one, you’re likely to have a number of questions about what you can do and what comes next. We’ve put together some of the most common questions we get about personal injury claims in New York and New Jersey and provided helpful answers for you to browse. Take a look at our personal injury and medical malpractice FAQ to learn more!
Is there a consultation fee?
No. We welcome the opportunity to discuss your case with you, and you do not pay any upfront fee for this initial meeting. We work on a contingency fee basis only, which means that at the end of the case when there is a recovery, either through a settlement or a jury verdict, we are paid a percentage of the recovery.
In New York, the standard percentage is 33 ⅓% in personal injury cases; in medical malpractice cases the fee is set by the state legislature and there is a sliding scale contingent arrangement: on the first $250,000 the attorney receives 30%, on the next $250,000 the attorney receives 25%, on the next $500,000 the attorney receives 20%, and the attorney’s share continues to decrease as more money is recovered.
In New Jersey the fee for personal injury and medical malpractice cases is the same:33 ⅓% on the first $750,000.00 recovered; 30% on the next $750,000.00 recovered; 25% on the next $750,000.00 recovered; 20% on the next $750,000.00 recovered; any amount over $3 million, Judge to decide.
Do I have to pay expenses?
No, the expenses, or disbursements, for the case are paid by the attorneys. At the end of the case, the attorney will be reimbursed for a percentage of the money he/she has laid out in advance for disbursements. Also, you can feel confident that the expenses are reasonable and necessary in order for us to properly prepare and prosecute your case. We will account all expenditures to you at the end of the case with a detailed listing of the disbursements.
How long will the case take?
It is in our interest, as well as yours, to prosecute the case as quickly as possible. We do not want cases to linger. Fortunately, because we handle only the cases that we choose, we are able to devote ample time to each case to improve the likelihood that each one reaches a quick and successful conclusion.
Who will be handling my case?
A partner has the primary responsibility for each and every case in our office, including the day-to-day activity and telephone or e-mail communications.
Have you handled this type of case before?
We feel very strongly about only handling cases where we have a high degree of experience and knowledge, which have been developed during the past 30+ years. Each of our partners has worked exclusively in plaintiffs’ personal injury and/or medical malpractice over that period of time. Ted Goodman has also practiced in the same field for more than 25 years.
Who will pay my medical bills?
In many instances, medical bills are paid through various forms of insurance coverage such as no-fault (in auto cases), workers’ compensation (when the accident is job-related), and your personal health insurance (when injuries occur in premises). Rest assured that we will assist you in getting your medical bills paid through insurance when possible.
How much is my case worth?
Most of our cases have significant value. Often, they may yield six- or seven-figure results. At the initial stage, it is impossible to give you a realistic estimate because your medical condition is subject to change. However, we are eager for you to consult with us often during the case, and we will discuss your case’s value when the time is appropriate.
What is expected of me?
It is very helpful for you to do the following: do not talk to anyone about your accident or injuries except one of the lawyers or investigators in our office; keep an accurate record of all days lost from work due to your injuries; obtain and duplicate copies of all medical, hospital, and drug bills; send us the negatives/files of any photographs pertaining to case, such as photographs of your injuries, damaged vehicle, or accident site location; gather your W-2, 1099, and tax returns for us; and, if you change your address and/or phone number, notify us immediately.
FAQs for Referring Attorneys
Will I be entitled to a fee if I refer a client?
Yes. We are extremely thankful for the confidence that you place in us by recommending your client to our office. The ethical rules provide that participation fees are proper and we certainly honor that principle. We will memorialize our arrangement with you in a written document.
Will my clients be well represented?
Throughout our firm’s history, we have prided ourselves on the manner in which clients are treated. We truly believe that your client should be treated the same way we would want to be treated if we were the client. Moreover, we are extremely mindful that the client, in the first instance, is your client, and we endeavor to protect your relationship with them.