Frequently Asked questions
What does it cost to hire an attorney at Miles & Parrish, P.A.?
One of the most common things we hear from potential clients is that they don’t know how they would pay for our assistance. When you hire an attorney, there are two things that you may be responsible for paying – attorney’s fees and costs. An attorney’s fee is the payment for an attorney’s professional time working on your behalf. Costs are the out-of-pocket expenses an attorney may advance on your behalf, such as costs for copies of medical records or expert witness fees. With the exception of some employment or contract-related cases, our fees and costs are contingency-based, meaning that unless we make a recovery for you, we don’t get paid for our time or our out-of-pocket expenses.
In workers’ compensation cases, the law allows us to recover our fees and costs from the insurance company in certain circumstances when they deny your entitlement to money benefits or medical care. And because most people don’t seek legal assistance unless they are being denied benefits, we always seek to have the insurance company held responsible for our attorney’s fees and costs, if possible. However, if there are any fees that you are responsible for, then those are paid out of the benefits we recover on your behalf based upon percentages of the recovery set by law. Any costs you might be responsible for are also paid out of the benefits recovered.
In personal injury cases and most employment law cases, the fees and costs are also based upon us obtaining a recovery for you. Once we obtain a recovery, our fee is a percentage of that recovery plus payment of our out-of-pocket expenses. The amount of this percentage is dependent upon whether or not a lawsuit has been filed on your behalf. As in workers’ compensation cases, there is also a way in personal injury cases and some employment law cases to shift responsibility for fees and costs onto the insurance company after the filing of a lawsuit on your behalf. Again, we will always try to have the other side held responsible for these fees and costs, if possible.
Social Security claims are also handled on this same contingency basis. If we successfully recover Social Security benefits on your behalf, the Social Security Administration will withhold 25% of your back benefits up to $6,000 to pay our attorney’s fee. We will then work with you to have our out-of-pocket expenses paid when you begin receiving your money benefits.
Because our work in these types of cases is handled on a contingency basis, you don’t pay anything up front or pay anything at all if we aren’t successful in recovering benefits for you. Contact us now to schedule your free initial consultation and find out how we might be able to assist you.
If I hire Miles & Parrish, P.A. to represent me, who will be handling my claim?
In meeting with potential clients who have previously hired other law firms, we often hear that they don’t know who the attorney is who is handling their case, that they have never even met an attorney from the firm, or that they don’t know what is going on in their case or what to expect. Unlike many large firms where you may speak only with an investigator, a paralegal, or a legal assistant for months before ever speaking with an actual attorney about your claim, at Miles & Parrish you will meet with and begin working with the attorney who will be personally handling your claim at your free initial consultation. There will be no guess work about who is the attorney representing you. You will know. After becoming a client, you will then be scheduled for periodic conferences with your attorney to review the progress of your case. In the meantime, your attorney will be available by telephone or e-mail to answer your questions and keep you informed about the progress of your case. We don’t want you to guess about what is going on in your case. At Miles & Parrish, we believe that when it is important enough to hire an attorney, it is important enough to be able to meet with and speak to your attorney. Contact us now to schedule your free initial consultation to begin working with your attorney.
How much is my case worth?
We are often contacted by potential clients who want to know what a case may be worth. Many times they have met with representatives of other law firms who have given them an actual dollar amount for the value for their case while others may have shared information with a law firm on their website to be given an estimated dollar value. Now, they want to compare this information with what another law firm might say. But at Miles & Parrish, we recognize and know from years of experience in handling many cases that it isn’t this simple. Each client and each case is unique with any ultimate value dependent upon a lot of factors that develop over time. What may appear as a minor injury shortly after an accident may not be so minor when you don’t experience a full recovery. The starting point for understanding the value of any claim is the knowledge of what benefits are available to you and how we as your attorneys will go about recovering these benefits for you. It is only when an insurance company knows that your attorney will fight for every benefit available for you, even if it means going to trial, that you will recover the highest value for your case. The insurance companies know which attorneys will try cases to obtain a maximum recovery and which ones will settle cases as early as possible. At Miles & Parrish, we have tried hundreds of cases and are committed to pursuing every benefit available by law for you. Contact us now to schedule your free initial consultation to learn more about the benefits available to you and how we will work to secure these benefits for you.
Can my employer fire me if I hire an attorney to handle my workers’ compensation case?
In representing hundreds of injured workers each year, we understand how frightening it can be to worry about losing your job when you are hurt and fighting with the insurance company to obtain needed medical care to allow you to recover from your injuries and return to work. Even though you were hurt while doing your job, you have been made to feel as though you are somehow at fault and are now trying to get paid while avoiding work. Many people come to us with a legitimate fear that their employers will retaliate against them if they hire a lawyer to pursue benefits on their behalf. While an employer in the State of Florida can fire someone for no reason at all, an employer cannot fire an employee for pursuing benefits in a workers’ compensation claim. Such retaliation is illegal. However, this doesn’t mean that an employer can’t fire you for legitimate work-related reasons such as being late to work or violating other company policies. Even though you are hurt, you must continue to abide by your employer’s requirements. Based upon our years of experience, we have found that the even more important issue than whether your employer will maintain your employment relationship is making sure that you obtain the medical care needed to allow you to get back to any type of work. Because the insurance company controls which doctors you see early on in your claim, you may not have received an appropriate diagnosis for your injuries or the type of medical care needed to treat your injuries. In fact, you may not have seen actual medical doctor, but only a nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant. Many times, you will need an attorney to assist you in obtaining another medical opinion through a change in doctors, an independent medical examination, or a second opinion examination. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you have a job if you can’t perform that job due to untreated injuries. At Miles & Parrish, we are committed to ensuring that we help you to obtain the necessary medical care to afford you the best recovery possible. Contact us now to schedule a free initial consultation to find out how we can do this.
I was just in a car accident, what should I do now?
First and foremost, your health should be your primary concern. Even if you do not feel immediate problems after an accident, it is extremely important to be evaluated by a qualified doctor to determine what, if any, injuries you have sustained. Under Florida law, if you are injured in a car accident, you must seek medical care within 14 days of the accident to be afforded coverage under your own car insurance policy. Some doctors don’t treat victims of car accidents. Because we know the most experienced physicians in your area who do treat car accident victims, we invite you to contact us to assist in getting an immediate assessment of your medical condition.
In addition, never leave the scene of an accident without first contacting law enforcement and obtaining a written report from the officer. Not only can it be a crime to leave the scene of a car accident without contacting law enforcement, vital evidence and information may be lost forever if the proper steps are not taken at the scene. Use your cell phone to take pictures of any damage on the inside and outside of ALL vehicles involved. Take pictures of any injuries and take pictures of the roadway where the accident happened. All of this can strengthen your case and any potential recovery.
After documenting the accident with law enforcement and seeking medical care, it is important to contact your car insurance company to report that an accident has occurred. Failure to report an accident can interfere with your ability to collect benefits to which you may be entitled. Your insurance company is going to want to obtain information from you about the accident and any injuries you sustain. Most, if not all, insurance policies require you to cooperate with your insurance company’s investigation. However, you are never required to give any statements to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. This can be one of the most stressful and complex matters you deal with after being in an accident. The attorneys at Miles & Parrish have years of experience in knowing the right way to communicate with insurance companies while not jeopardizing your case. For this reason, it is very important that before making contact with any insurance company, you contact us to assist in this very important step.
A car accident can change your life and the lives of those you love. Don’t try and deal with it on your own. Call Miles & Parrish for a free initial consultation and let us worry about the case while you focus on what’s most important, you.