QUESTION 1. What is expected of you while your legal claim is pending and after you have retained the services of an attorney in connection with a personal injury claim ?
ANSWER: Cooperation and communication are essential and consist of various items, including:
You should promptly contact and inform your attorney if you:
- Move or change your residence.
- Change any of your telephone numbers.
- Change your name through marriage or by means of a legal change of name proceeding.
- Lose time from work and/or need to be absent from your work due to accident related disability and/or incapacity from performing the duties if your employment.
- Need to submit to any new or additional accident related medical services or procedures , including consultation with a medical specialist (orthopaedic surgeon, neurosurgeon, neurologist, etc.); need to submit to certain radiological tests (x-rays, a CAT scan, MRI, etc.); have any accident related surgical procedures advised or recommended by a treating medical specialist; need to participate in a course of physical therapy or chiropractic treatments; receive any of a variety of pain management services (narcotic medications, cortico-steroid injections, facet injections, etc.); need to submit to certain diagnostic procedures ( nerve studies, a fluoroscopy, an ultrasound, etc.).
- Keep your scheduled appointments with your attorney.
- Give your attorney timely advance notice if you find you will be, out of necessity, unable to keep a previously schedule office appointment.
- Read, review and and sign all necessary documents, forms, affidavits, etc. needed in connection with your legal claim.
- Prepare for and provide any recorded statements required in connection with your legal claim.
- Prepare for and attend any deposition requiring your testimony under oath required in connection with your legal claim.
- Go to Court and participate in any scheduled pretrial settlement conferences.
- Go to Court and participate in any trial proceeding if a trial on the merits if your case is required. It would also be necessary to prepare in advance to give this testimony before you need to appear in Court and testify on the record.
QUESTION 2 : What is your responsibility for “cash costs” which this law office incurs during the time pending a positive outcome for your accident claim?
Because cash costs that are advanced are the legal responsibility of the client, and need be reimbursed to the law office of Attorney Clifford M. Ruocco (if a monetary recovery is obtained upon that client’s legal claim) it is natural that a person would care to be informed about the nature and amount of any such expenditures.
The most common expenses consist of:
1. Copies of medical records, such as ambulance, hospital and therapy/chiropractic records, which are paid for on a per page basis, plus postage.
2. Narrative medical reports, issued by a client’s treating physicians or surgeons. These fees very and are usually in the range of between $250.00 to $500.00. A higher fee is required when a client receives a final medical examination after having reached a point identified as maximum medical improvement. This is when an assessment can be made as to any permanent partial impairment or disability sustained, in the opinion of a medical doctor, as a direct result or consequence of the trauma of that patient’s accident.
3. Fees paid to a State Marshal to commence a lawsuit, which is a civil action in a court of law, by serving a copy of the summons and complaint associated with that particular lawsuit on all of the named defendants. The defendants are those persons, individuals, or legal entities(corporations, partnerships)that are being sued and sought to be held legally liable for that client’s accident and injuries.
4. Fees paid to a State Marshal to satisfy his bill to serve subpoenas on witnesses.
5. Fees paid to Court Reporters or Stenographers to record testimony.
6. Fees paid to professional investigators to take photographs, make measurements, prepare diagrams, interview witnesses, and obtain written and/or recorded statements.
7. Fees paid to experts, such as an engineer. His duties would include the investigation of the scene of an accident, the reconstruction of an automobile accident, and the examination of product to determine if is defective. Other duties might include ascertaining whether an accident location or specific area located upon a portion of property is legally unsafe or dangerous. This would involve finding the violation of any applicable health, building or fire codes, and/or state statutes pertaining to the conditions present on that premises.
8. A filing or entry fee is required to be paid as a requirement when an individual files any lawsuit in either state or federal court at the commencement of a civil action.