Personal Injury FAQs

If you have questions about working with a personal injury attorney, we are ready to address your concerns. To learn more, read our frequently asked questions below or schedule a free consultation at one of our three office locations in Southwestern Connecticut.

Lawsuit Q&A

Q: How can I tell if I have a legitimate claim for a lawsuit?

A: The best way to see if you have a viable legal claim is to consult an attorney.

Q: Why is that?

A: Every case is different, and each is informed by unique circumstances. A lawyer knows the law and is thus in a better position to evaluate the details of your situation to make a professional determination of the claim.

Q: What will it cost for a lawsuit?

A: The most common approach to personal injury representation is a contingency fee contract. This is when an attorney represents a client and bases compensation on a percentage of the amount recovered in the suit, plus costs. The client faces no out-of-pocket expenses. You pay the lawyer only if he or she wins your case.

Q: Are there other financial arrangements?

A: Yes. Depending on the issues in the case, some clients prefer to pay for services on an hourly basis, a retainer basis or a combination of the two.

Attorney-Client Privilege

Q: What does attorney-client privilege mean?

A: Without the client's permission, an attorney may not disclose confidential information that a client has communicated to him or her.

Q: Is every communication covered by privilege?

A: No. Attorney-client privilege protects only that spoken or written information conveyed to an attorney hired by the client, and which is communicated when the client is seeking the attorney's legal counsel on a matter. Counsel unrelated to a legal matter is not privileged.

Q: What about cellphones or email communication?

A: Care must be taken with their use, since third parties may eavesdrop even on supposedly secure or encrypted communications.

Q: Who "owns" the privilege?

A: Only the client, who may break it by inadvertently communicating the information to a third party.

Q: Must an attorney's employees honor the privilege?

A: Yes, other members of the firm — attorneys, legal assistants, paralegals and clerical staff — honor attorney-client privilege.

Q: How long does the privilege exist?

A: The privilege lasts indefinitely. Only a client's authorization or a court's ruling can break it.

How Does The Contingent-Fee System Serve Clients?

Contingency fees offer personal injury clients a valuable advantage. They enable anyone who suffers an injury to bring a lawsuit without having the money upfront to pay an attorney. With contingency fees, attorneys agree to accept a portion of the recovery and agree that if the client does not win and there is no recovery, there will be no fee.

1. Give everyone — regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital status, age or other factors — an equal chance to have his or her day in court, no matter what his or her financial resources may be. Individuals with limited assets can sue the richest, most powerful corporations, which often have unlimited money for legal defense fees.

2. Promote efficiency and discourage frivolous lawsuits by motivating lawyers to make sure that the cases they accept have legitimacy and merit.

3. Are fair, since there is no cost to the client unless he or she wins.

4. Discourage wrongdoers from continuing inappropriate behaviors by ensuring victims have the ability to secure effective representation.

Contact The Law Offices Of James L. O'Rourke

If you would like to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our Bridgeport-area personal injury attorneys, give us a call at 203-864-4427 or contact us online. We offer home and hospital visits upon request, as well as weekend and evening consultations. Spanish translation services are available.