General Questions

Why should I hire Noel H. Benedict & Associates?

 

Do I have to actually sue somebody to collect damages?

 

What types of cases does your firm accept?

 

Wouldn't I be better off to just sign up with one of those groups that are “on call” to offer me legal advice for just a few dollars a month?

 

What is a contingency fee?

 

 

Why should I hire Noel H. Benedict & Associates?

 

Noel Benedict has developed his expertise over 33 years of legal advocacy. Nationally recognized companies have entrusted him with their legal defense. After years of working with client injuries much like yours, he knows what is reasonable and what is not. There is no substitute for solid, legal experience. New attorneys have to start somewhere to get experience. But do you want an inexperienced lawyer learning while he works on your case, or do you want to be able to trust in someone already well seasoned and well respected by the industry and other attorneys?

 

Noel H. Benedict & Associates wants you to have the best treatment available to you. And we want the insurance company to be as responsible as they claimed they would be when they were accepting your premiums, because you deserve to get the coverage for which you or the other party paid.

 

While many attorneys rely on voice mail communications to keep in touch with their clients, when you call Noel H. Benedict & Associates, you are professionally greeted by a live person in our office, not a recording, who can connect you with one of our excellent staff members for a prompt answer to your questions. Each file is personally overseen by one of our attorneys; and additionally, a certified, professional paralegal is also assigned to your file, giving you more immediate personal attention.

 

We will contact the insurance carrier and set up your claim. We monitor your progress, and when you have finished treating with your doctor or doctors, we complete a detailed medical summary to show your entire injury treatment history, negotiate with the insurance adjuster, and lay it out for the insurance company to see. Seeing, after all, is believing. Why try to defend yourself, when Noel H. Benedict & Associates can help you build your case and present the facts for you?

 

Insurance companies’ strategies are constantly changing, and we constantly strive to update our information and spot the trends that are developing. Don’t be caught under-represented. Let Noel H. Benedict & Associates support your best interests. “Choosing the right attorney does make a big difference in the end” is more than our motto; it’s reality.

 

 

Do I have to actually sue somebody to collect damages?

 

In a complicated world where most of us are trying to live a good and productive life, people want to believe that the Golden Rule applies. In a perfect world no one would cause damages or inflict pain, and everyone would be responsible for his or her actions, including insurance companies and ex-spouses. But the world we inhabit has some imperfections, and there are times you do have to force someone to be accountable.

 

Over the years we have heard prospective clients say: “I never thought I’d ever have to sue someone.” The good news is that you may not have to actually file a lawsuit and go to court. When you have suffered from someone else’s mistakes or intentional acts, your attorney first must gather the facts. He interviews you, just as you interview him, by phone or in person, and makes an assessment of exactly what has happened and how best to proceed within the legal system to represent your best interests and to preserve your legal rights. Sometimes that does involve going to court and being heard by a jury. There are certainly times that this is the most reasonable approach.

 

But sometimes, it is not the first or even best action. Not all damage claims, personal injury, or even divorce must go to a jury trial. One of the reasons you hire an attorney is for his/her sound legal judgment; and a good attorney can often present you with less stressful options, such as negotiated settlement, mediation, or binding arbitration. We may be able to substantiate your case through constructing your file and negotiate your settlement with the insurance company.

 

The emotional, mental, and intellectual hardship of going to court can be eliminated. You still get to present your case, but instead of a judge and jury, you present your case to an approved mediator. Choosing the right attorney does make a big difference in the end.

 

 

What types of cases does your firm accept?

 

We accept cases in the specialized area of law called Personal Injury, cases involving people who have been seriously injured, whether by car, boat, airplane, or truck accidents, machines, products, poorly maintained premises, someone’s negligence or malpractice, or on the job (Workers’ Compensation). Over the years Noel H. Benedict& Associates has developed additional expertise in subspecialties, such as catastrophic injuries, elevator mishaps, large truck wrecks, and car dealership issues. We have always maintained a Family and Domestic Law practice, offering legal support for divorce, separation, child custody, child support, domestic violence, wills, prenuptial agreements, and family court, juvenile court. We offer legal assistance for Traffic Offenses, cases which involve either moving violations (traffic tickets) or driving offences (d.u.i.); and Criminal Misdemeanors (employee crime, shoplifting, wrongful arrest). We provide assistance with Social Security Disability Insurance hearings. Look in our Areas of Practice Section for more details about these and other categories.

 

 

Wouldn’t I be better off to just sign up with one of those groups that are “on call” to offer me legal advice for just a few dollars a month?

 

For several reasons, “no.” Clarke Howard even weighs in on this one and says don’t do it. Here is our opinion: Hiring an attorney is a very personal decision, based partly on whether you believe this person is someone who is professional, knows the case law in the area of practice in which you need representation, and is available. Many attorneys will give you a free initial phone consultation, and sometimes also an initial in-office consultation, depending on your case. Why pay an unknown entity, whose area of law you don’t know and may not need, monthly payments when you can receive a free initial consultation from a legitimate attorney in the precise area of law in which you need a lawyer? At Noel H. Benedict & Associates, we interview you while you interview us. If we both decide we are a good match, then and only then, do you sign a contract.

 

 

What is a contingency fee?

 

In some types of cases, such as personal injury and medical malpractice, the attorney does not usually charge you for his time and effort unless he is able to settle the case for a monetary amount or win a jury award. He does not get any money unless you collect for your injury. This is called a “contingency” fee because he is getting paid “contingent” upon being able to help you either win at court or negotiate a settlement amount from the insurer or Defendant without necessarily having to go to a trial or hearing. The contingency fee is almost always a percentage of the monetary amount you are awarded by the court or offered by the insurance company. The contingency fee is separate from expenses that must be paid out of pocket for court filing fees, deposition fees, expert opinion fees, etc. The attorney may ask you to pay these fees. He will risk his time and energy and office expense if you are willing to invest in the filing fees, etc. The contingency fee is not taken out of property damage payments to you from the insurer. Other types of cases, such as workers’ compensation, have their own contingency fee schedules that are set and overseen by the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. Except in the case of large estates, most divorce work is done on an hourly or set fee paid by the client.