One of the common concerns for clients that are dealing with a legal issue, is attorneys’ fees and costs. “How can I reduce attorneys’ fees and costs” is not an uncommon question. We decided to prepare the information below so that our clients have a better understanding of how fees and costs are broken down and how they can reduce the amount of fees incurred.
Provide us with all complete, accurate, and organized information and documentation that you may have which is related to the condition of your property and which you feel may assist in establishing damages or prior conditions. An example of such documentation may be Inspection Reports, Surveys, Wind Mitigation Reports, Photographs, Invoices or documents evidencing prior/subsequent repairs. Anything you do to organize, adding up and sorting documents and information saves time we have to spend thereby reducing fees and costs.
Honesty is the BEST Policy
Because we as your lawyers need to consider all possible options, it is important that you tell us your whole story, even if it is damaging or embarrassing. This information is protected by the Attorney-Client Privileged and anything you tell your lawyer is confidential. If you do not tell us something – that is bad – then we cannot protect you or figure out the best strategy to deal with the issue.
Provide Settlement Authorization to your lawyers in writing as early as possible. This will not be produced to the Defendant but is very important as we need this information to properly advance your case and meet or exceed your expectations. The earlier we provide realistic settlement authorization, the more quickly we can push to resolve your case.
Knowledge is Power
Review the pertinent documents provided to you about damages and coverage/ liability including policies of insurance, denial letters, expert and third-party reports. Often you are the only person that has personal knowledge of facts in dispute and you should know the strengths and weaknesses of your case. You should also tell your attorney if there is anything that you disagree with or is factually incorrect as early as possible so that same can be addressed. The more time you spend researching these issues and reviewing documents, the better we can prosecute your case and the less time we spend.
Do Not Play the Guessing Game
Assumptions are quite costly. Call us as soon as questions arise and one of our lawyers or staff members will get back to you to assist and provide you with the right information or answer your question. Be honest, remember your attorneys are there to represent you and your best interest in the case.
Do Not Be Indecisive
Know the decision you are making and trust it is the right one as changing your mind all the time may incur more costs.
Know Your Expected Recovery Amount
Find out if your expectations are reasonable. Talk to your lawyer about his/her legal opinion and thoughts about a potential recovery or settlement
value. Talk to other experts such as a Public Adjuster, Surveyor or Contractor to determine what they believe is a reasonable recovery. Find out your alternatives. Make sure you and your lawyer agree on your plans and priorities and that those priorities are satisfactory to you.
Respond promptly to requests, information approval, and execution of documents. Delays require follow-up measures which take additional time. Keep in mind you are the party seeking compensation and Judges can sanction the non-responsive party.
Stay in Contact
If you are going through a “life changing” event, such as a move, sale of your property; etc. it is imperative you contact us immediately and advise us as to your plans, those events or actions as they may have an effect on your case and its progression. Example: Let us know you are THINKING about moving not when you have ALREADY moved. Many factors can change the outcome of a case.
Do not wait until the last minute – last minute rushes require extraordinary measures and costs.
Costs & Billing
We are required to keep track of the costs associated with your claim, case or file. These costs include but are not limited to charges incurred for filing fees, service of process, subpoenas, court reporters, transcripts, legal research, translating, mediation, photocopies, long distance telephone conferences, accounting and forensic accounting, expert witnesses, investigative services, appraisers, consultants, messengers, exhibits, travel, lodging, telecopier and postage. Small costs such as providing you with updates regularly adds up. Experts charge approximately $5000 just to look at the file and inspect the premises as they are required to provide an opinion. Attendance at a deposition requires travel, which can be outside of Miami, Florida are costly due to airfare, rental/uber.
We bill for time and services rendered. Every email, call, filing with the Court, research, Court Appearance, travel, review of documents/file, etc., are bill. While we are happy to assist you with all of the your legal needs, some of the issues presented by you and/or that are ancillary to your case will be billed and you should be cognizant of this and remember this “additional” work or service will be charged to you or taken out of the final recovery of your case.
Please, remember we provide an intangible product, legal services, and you may see only a small part of our efforts