no win no fee case louisiana

What is a No Win No Fee Case?

A no win no fee arrangement is a common course of action for personal injury attorneys. In a no win no fee case, if you do not receive any damages, you do not have to pay any attorney’s fees. Some attorneys refer to this arrangement as a “conditional” fee arrangement.

At Gordon & Gordon, we understand that a personal injury might leave our clients unable to pay any fees at first. In this post, we will explain the finer points of a no win no fee arrangement, how it works, and answer some common questions.

What Does No Win No Fee Mean?

Most of the time, clients pursuing a personal injury claim are not able to pay attorney’s fees upfront. In essence, if your personal injury attorney does not obtain any damages for you in court, you will not have to pay a fee for their services. 

The idea behind this arrangement is that anyone, regardless of their financial background, can retain excellent legal service. When you sustain an injury as a result of someone else’s negligence and you need legal representation, whether or not you can pay steep legal fees upfront should not matter.

Some of the advantages of a no win no fee arrangement are:

  • Less risk and a higher level of compensation
  • If you lose, you’re no worse off than you were before 
  • Many no win no fee claims are successful 
  • There is no reason not to attempt your no win no fee claim.

This last bullet is the most important element. If you win a no win no fee claim, your attorney gets their fees and you get the remainder as your damages. If you lose, while you do not receive compensation for your personal injury claim, you will also not suffer any further financial injury.

How Does A No Win No Fee Claim Work?

If you reach a no win no fee agreement with your attorney, they will front the costs of your case. These types of costs can include:

If you win your case, your lawyer will take a pre-arranged percentage of the damages the court awards you as their contingency fee. This will cover all the costs the lawyer absorbed while they were working on your case.

Contingency Fees

The legal term for the fee in a no win no fee case is “contingency fee”. 

As we said, a contingency fee is a percentage of the damages the court awards you in your personal injury case. In a no win no fee case, the lawyer getting their fees is contingent on them winning your case. 

How Do Lawyers Determine Their Contingency Fee?

Lawyer’s fees will vary from case to case. It will depend on the time they spend on the case as well as the complexity of the case. 

But in a no win no fee arrangement, your personal injury attorney will explain their fees to you after they have assessed your case. You will not receive any surprise bills or hidden fees once you receive your damages.

How Do I Know If My Claim Will Be Successful?

The short answer is that you don’t. But at Gordon & Gordon, we will not advise you to enter a no win no fee arrangement unless we are reasonably sure it will succeed. 

This is a question we get all the time. Of course, lawyers are not the only ones who need to win a case to get their fees. You need those damages as well. This is why it is wise to speak with an attorney as soon as possible after you sustain the injury in question. Seek medical attention first, and then contact an attorney.

Making A No Win No Fee Claim

No win no fee simply refers to your arrangement with your personal injury attorney. Otherwise, your claim will follow the same simple steps as any other personal injury case. 

We can break down the process of personal injury claims with Gordon & Gordon into three simple steps.

Consultation

You can schedule an initial consultation with Gordon & Gordon at any of our offices. We have locations in Shreveport, Bossier, and Mansfield, Louisiana. During this consultation, our personal injury experts will assess your case and advise you accordingly. 

Investigation 

Gordon & Gordon will research the circumstances surrounding your claim, and gather the documents necessary to file it. This will generally involve obtaining your medical records so that there is proof of your injuries. 

Case Settlement 

Many personal injury clients worry that they will have to attend a trial. This is very rare. The majority of personal injury claims reach a settlement outside the courtroom.

When someone else is liable for your injuries, their insurance company is responsible for paying your damages. Using our knowledge of prior personal injury cases, we will work with you and determine a dollar amount that you feel will compensate you for your injuries. 

The other party’s insurance policy will be doing the same thing. If the two numbers don’t match up, we will negotiate on your behalf until we arrive at an appropriate number for both sides. Only if the two parties cannot reach an agreement will the case go to trial. 

If we do go to trial, Gordon & Gordon will call witnesses and present evidence of your injuries. In a personal injury trial, we must also prove that the injuries were the result of a specific accident and that that accident was the result of the other party’s negligence.

But as we said, a personal injury case going to trial is very rare. More than likely if the facts are reasonably clear, the parties will be able to reach an agreement. 

Call Gordon & Gordon

At Gordon & Gordon, there is no fee unless we win in a personal injury case. To discuss your personal injury claim with us, call 318.716.HELP. Lines are available 24/7. You can also send us a message directly to begin the consultation process by filling out the form on this page. 

hit and run louisiana

Hit and Run in Louisiana: Personal and Criminal Attorney

It didn’t happen on purpose, but when your vehicle collided with another vehicle or person or other property (including a pet), you are required by Louisiana vehicle code RS 14:100 to stop and provide certain information. And if a person was injured, you are required to provide reasonable aid to them. Though it was tempting to leave the scene of an accident—or perhaps you panicked and weren’t thinking straight—, especially if you thought there were no witnesses, the consequences of a hit-and-run accident are severe. Whatever the reason you left an accident scene, you may face stiff fines, suspension or loss of your driver’s license, criminal prosecution and possible imprisonment

Hit And Run Louisiana Vehicle Code Law—Statute RS 14:100

Louisiana Vehicle Code RS 14:100 defines hit-and-run as follows:

“Hit and run driving is the intentional failure of the driver of a vehicle involved in or causing an accident, to stop such vehicle at the scene of the accident, to give his identity, and to render reasonable aid.” 

Also, if you’ve struck an empty, parked car, you are required by law to provide a written notice placed conspicuously on the vehicle with a description of what happened and your name and contact information. This is still considered a hit and run in Louisiana. 

If you collided with other property or hit a pet (the latter is considered “property”), and you can’t locate an owner, you must notify the local police or Louisiana Highway Patrol depending upon where the accident occurred.

A driver must perform all these legal requirements regardless of how or why the accident happened. 

Hit-And-Run Law Defined: Leaving the Scene of an Accident

There are two types of hit-and-run crimes in Louisiana—accidents involving only damage to property and accidents that caused injury or death

Hit and Run Penalty, Louisiana

  • Where there is no death or serious bodily injury a driver shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.
  • When there is evidence that a vehicle operator consumed alcohol, used drugs or a controlled substance prior to the accident, they may be fined up to $500, jailed for not less than ten days and no more than six months.
  • When death or serious bodily injury was caused, and a driver knew or should have known that it did, they will be fined up to $5,000 and maybe imprisoned with or without hard labor for up to ten years.
  • A combination of the above conditions may result in imprisonment for not less than five years nor more than 20 years with or without hard labor. 

Hit and Run Criminal and Personal Injury Attorney

If you fled from an accident and may face charges and/or a civil lawsuit, it is imperative you seek attorney representation for any instance of a hit and run. Just because a person has been cited or charged with a hit-and-run accident, doesn’t mean there is a defense against possible consequences.

For more information about hit-and-run accidents, you don’t have to wait for office hours. Call Gordon & Gordon 24/7 at 318-716-HELP, or schedule a consultation at any of their conveniently located Shreveport, Mansfield, or Bossier City offices! 

 

why a personal injury lawyer wont take your case

Why A Personal Injury Attorney Won’t Take Your Case in Louisiana

No matter how valuable you believe your personal injury claim may be, an attorney has several reasons why they might refuse to take your case. But just because one attorney turns you down, doesn’t mean another attorney will.

Why A Louisiana Lawyer Won’t Take Your Case

While your case may not be considered valuable to one law firm, it may not be necessary for you to give up your search for representation.

If you’ve already been turned down by a law firm, hopefully, they explained why. In any case, it may help you to understand an attorney’s reasons for refusal because it’s important to be realistic when searching for a personal injury attorney. Viewing your case through a prospective attorney’s eyes may improve your chance for financial recovery when you’ve been physically or psychologically impaired because of another’s wrongful act.

Top 4 Reasons Why An Attorney Won’t Accept Your Case

#1 When an Attorney Views Your Case As Impossible to Win (or Unlikely)

When an attorney hears your story, they take into consideration many factors that you may not have thought about. For a personal injury claim to be valid in Louisiana, it must meet certain requirements as follows:

Percentage of Injury Responsibility You must have sustained a serious physical injury and/or financial loss caused by the negligence or recklessness of another. Under Louisiana personal injury laws, if you contributed 51 percent or more to the incident that caused your accident or illness, the other party cannot be held civilly responsible. An example of an injured person being predominantly responsible for their injuries might be that they were intoxicated when the accident occurred.

The significance of Financial Loss Incurred If there are no significant monetary damages associated with your case, an attorney won’t be interested in pursuing it. For instance, if you suffered an abrasion that required no medical treatment other than antibiotic cream and a band-aid, there is no compensable financial loss that would warrant a lawsuit no matter who or what caused the injury.

The Statute of Limitations Expired You can’t pursue a personal injury case if you missed Louisiana’s one-year statute of limitations deadline. Though there might be some exceptions that allow for an extension beyond a deadline, such exceptions are extremely rare.

#2 When the Attorney Won’t Make Any Money

Most personal injury attorneys take cases on a contingency basis and cover all negotiation and litigation costs up-front which may include hiring high-priced investigators, accident re-constructionists, and medical experts. That means they don’t get paid in full (or at all) unless they win a settlement substantial enough to cover the attorney’s fees, costs, and expenses. So, understandably, they won’t be interested in your case.

#3 When A Conflict of Interest Is Inherent in Taking Your Case

The Louisiana State Bar Association’s ethics rules bar an attorney from handling a case when they have already agreed to represent another party associated with your claim. Or if an attorney has previously represented someone you want to sue, the same ethical issues of conflict of interest may apply. Because the Bar Association code of ethics’ violations could cause an attorney to lose their license to practice law or subject them to disciplinary sanctions, they will turn your case down.

#4 When the Cause of Your Injury is Not the Attorney’s Practice Area of Expertise

Many personal injury attorneys only represent injured people for certain causes of accidents or illnesses and have developed expertise in those areas. For instance, a personal injury attorney may only handle product liability cases but not vehicle accidents. If your case doesn’t fall under their practice area(s), they may refer you to an attorney who does.

Ask Gordon & Gordon About Your Personal Injury Case for Free

Although we can’t accept every personal injury case presented to our law firm, even if other attorneys have turned down your case, we may be able to help.

For a free, friendly assessment of the merits of your personal injury case, the tenacious, knowledgeable attorneys at our Shreveport, Bossier City, and Mansfield offices can determine if you have grounds for a substantial monetary action against the person or entities who were responsible for your injury. But the statute of limitations deadlines is strict. So, it’s important to act quickly. Call the Gordon & Gordon legal team at 318.716.HELP (318.716.4357), and we’ll listen to your story attentively and respectfully.

Or if you’d rather send us a confidential message, use our contact form here. And if you’re too injured or sick to visit one of our three offices, we may be able to meet you at your home, hospital, or treatment facility.

Medical Records to Collect & Keep

Medical Records to Collect & Keep

After you’ve been injured, or a loved one killed, because of the negligence and recklessness of another person, corporation, or property owner, your relevant medical records are critically important.

When it becomes time to file an insurance claim or pursue a personal injury civil lawsuit, documentation of your medical diagnosis, treatment, prognosis, and expenses is necessary in order to calculate and recover monetary damages for your injuries. The more detailed, specific, and comprehensive your medical records are, the greater your chance of winning a fair monetary settlement is.

Extensive Medical Records Are Imperative for Successful Claim Negotiation and Litigation

Your medical records are evidence and should include, if applicable, the following documents and reports:

▪ Ambulance EMT intervention report
▪ Emergency room records
▪ Medical diagnosis and treatment
▪ Prognosis, short- and long-term
▪ A recommended course of treatment
▪ Physician’s notes
▪ Record of treatment pain you experienced
▪ Explanation of your emotional trauma
▪ Physician -predicted necessary future medical treatment
▪ Predicted need for physical and occupational therapy
▪ Copies of all medical bills
▪ Physician -documented future medical bills
▪ Professionally estimated, written future medical bills
▪ Psychiatric or psychology reports
▪ Current and future bills for necessary medical apparatus
▪ In-home nursing care expenses

In the event your loved one has been killed in an accident, the applicable above documentation is also necessary, including the deceased’s funeral expenses.

Keep a Journal for Personal Injury Claims

As you begin your recovery, if you are able, journal how you feel, including your pain and emotional state because of your injuries and trauma. Also, attend all doctor appointments and receive all recommended treatment and rehabilitation. Not following through with these suggestions, may negatively impact your case.

Medical Records Are Evidence for Personal Injury Cases

To win a fair monetary settlement for your injuries and pain and suffering, or to be compensated for a loved one’s wrongful death, every medical document available is necessary to settle an insurance claim or win a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. The insurance company’s adjustors, medical experts, and attorneys will require your medical records before they will consider settling a claim. Should your damages require pursuit of a personal injury claim in a civil court, the prosecution is entitled to your medical records to assess damages and prepare their case. Of course, your attorney will also need these documents to prepare a vigorous defense on your behalf.

When we meet with you in one of our Shreveport, Bossier City, or Mansfield offices, please bring as many of your records as possible. But if you don’t have all your records and documentation and don’t know how to acquire them, we can help.

FREE CONSULTATION, NO UP-FRONT COST for Personal Injury Cases

Meeting with a Gordon & Gordon attorney is free. And if we agree to work together, we’ll never charge you a penny until we win your case.

To speak personally with one of Gordon & Gordon Law Firm’s experienced Shreveport, Bossier City, or Mansfield personal injury attorneys, call 318.716.HELP (318.716.4357) today.

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