Question: What should I do if I think I have a claim against someone?
Answer: You should seek legal advice as soon as possible. You will benefit from consulting an attorney about your situation. Attorneys are trained to evaluate potential claims in a professional and an objective manner. Iliff, Meredith, Wildberger & Brennan, P.C. offers free initial consultations. Our attorneys have experience in evaluating potential civil claims, including medical malpractice, birth injury, wrongful death, and other claims for serious personal injury, as well as claims involving substantial damage to property or harm to business and commercial interests. Iliff, Meredith, Wildberger & Brennan, P.C. will provide you with an honest assessment of your potential claim, including whether we are the right firm to represent you.
Question: Why is it important to seek advice from an attorney as soon as possible?
Answer: Memories are generally more accurate when fresh and tend to fade over time. If you consult with an attorney promptly, there is a greater likelihood that you will remember more facts and will be able to provide the attorney with more details regarding your potential claim. Many, if not most, cases also involve documents, electronically stored information, or other objects or things that can be used as evidence if claims are pursued. Prompt consultation with an attorney increases the possibility of preserving evidence that might otherwise be lost or destroyed. Lawsuits asserting claims also must be filed within time limits established by law, and failure to file within the applicable time limits prevents recovery of damages.
Question: What type of investigation and evaluation of a potential claim is necessary?
Answer: The nature and extent of the investigation and evaluation of a potential claim depends on the type of claim involved as well as the facts specific to each claim. If Iliff, Meredith, Wildberger & Brennan, P.C. represents you in connection with investigating and evaluating a potential medical malpractice claim, for example, an attorney, or attorneys, at the firm will interview you, obtain and review your medical records, undertake research of medical literature, and consult with expert health care providers, sometimes physicians in more than one medical specialty as necessary, to determine whether your health care provider departed from the standard of care, i,e., was negligent, and whether such a breach of the standard of care was a cause of your injury. Investigation and evaluation of potential serious personal injury cases of types other than medical malpractice, including cases arising from automobile or truck accidents, defective products, or the hazardous or dangerous condition of property owned by someone else, involves obtaining and reviewing medical records, obtaining and reviewing information relating to lost time from work, loss of income, or other economic loss, consultation with one or more of your treating health care providers, and, frequently, arranging for further examination and evaluation of your injuries by experts. Product liability claims also often require consultation with an expert, or experts, in technical, scientific, or engineering fields, and review of literature, during the investigative process.
Question: If I contact Iliff, Meredith, Wildberger & Brennan, P.C. about an initial consultation, will I speak with an attorney on the telephone, and will I meet with an attorney if I make an appointment?
Answer: Yes. If you contact Iliff, Meredith, Wildberger & Brennan, P.C. about an initial consultation, you will speak with an attorney on the telephone. If you make an appointment to discuss your potential claim, you will also meet with an attorney.
Question: If Iliff, Meredith, Wildberger & Brennan, P.C. represents me, will I continue to speak with an attorney who is working on my case when I contact the firm?
Answer: Yes. Iliff, Meredith, Wildberger & Brennan, P.C. is a small law firm, and we are selective in choosing the matters in which we will undertake representation. One of the reasons for this is that we are a client-friendly law firm at which at which our attorneys communicate directly with, and are accessible to, our clients.
Question: Does Iliff, Meredith, Wildberger & Brennan, P.C. charge a fee for an initial consultation with an attorney to evaluate my potential claim?
Answer: No, we do not. Iliff, Meredith, Wildberger & Brennan, P.C. offers free initial consultations with an attorney.
Question: How is Iliff, Meredith, Wildberger & Brennan, P.C. paid if the firm represents me?
Answer: The type of fee arrangement Iliff, Meredith, Wildberger & Brennan, P.C. enters into depends on the nature of our legal representation. If our firm represents you on a claim seeking recovery for medical malpractice, birth injury, wrongful death, defective products, automobile or truck accidents, or other serious personal injuries, there will be no fee unless you recover monetary compensation. This is known as a contingency fee, meaning our fee is a percentage of the amount you recover, plus the costs and expenses we incur on your behalf to obtain that recovery. In our other areas of practice, such as defense of claims against lawyers, insurance coverage advice and litigation, business and commercial litigation, and appellate practice, we charge reasonable hourly rates.
Question: If Iliff, Meredith, Wildberger & Brennan, P.C. represents me on a personal injury or wrongful death claim and I don’t recover any compensation, who pays for the expenses?
Answer: If Iliff, Meredith, Wildberger & Brennan, P.C. represents you on a personal injury or wrongful death claim, in most cases our firm will advance the costs and expenses necessary to investigate, develop, and litigate your case, with our firm to be reimbursed for these costs and expenses at the end of the case if you receive a monetary recovery. In such matters, if your case is not successful, you will not have to repay our firm for the expenses and costs we have advanced.
Question: What are statutes of limitations, and how do they affect my case?
Answer: All jurisdictions, including Maryland and Washington, D.C., have laws that create time limits for filing lawsuits. Such laws are known as statutes of limitations. The time limit within which a lawsuit must be filed depends on the type of claims that are asserted. The general time limits within which lawsuits must be filed are also subject to exceptions, which are set forth in specific statutory provisions. Failure to file lawsuits within the time limits established in the applicable statutes of limitations prevents plaintiffs from recovering damages, so filing lawsuits in a timely manner is very important.
Question: Will I have to go to court?
Answer: Parties to a lawsuit generally do not have to go to court unless there is a trial in their case. A significant majority of civil cases, in general, do not go to trial. Iliff, Meredith, Wildberger & Brennan, P.C. is selective in undertaking representation. Our firm has a thorough screening process for potential cases, and we carefully investigate and evaluate claims before we file a lawsuit. If our firm files a lawsuit, we are vigorous in “working the case up” during the litigation, so our adversaries know we are prepared to try the case. When Iliff, Meredith, Wildberger & Brennan, P.C. represents a defendant in a claim brought against an attorney, or in a business or commercial case or insurance coverage litigation, we are also aggressive in seeking a resolution of the case in favor of the defendant through appropriate motions, such as motions to dismiss or motions for summary judgment. All of these factors increase the possibility that those cases in which we represent clients on their claims against another will be resolved by settlement, and that cases in which we represent defendants on claims brought against them will be resolved either by motion or by settlement. It is not possible, however, to predict whether there will be a trial in a particular case or not.
Question: Who decides whether my case will be settled?
Answer: A lawyer must abide by a client’s decision as to whether a case will be settled, meaning a lawyer may not settle a case without a client’s consent. A lawyer’s role is to provide the client with sufficient information, which includes advice and recommendations based upon the lawyer’s professional judgment, to allow the client to make an informed decision regarding settlement. Iliff, Meredith, Wildberger & Brennan, P.C. fulfills this role by providing its clients with sound advice and recommendations regarding potential settlements.
Question: In what geographic areas are your lawyers admitted to practice?
Answer: Iliff, Meredith, Wildberger & Brennan, P.C. has attorneys who are admitted to practice in the federal and state courts in Maryland and the District of Columbia. Our firm regularly represents clients throughout Maryland and in Washington, D.C. On occasion, attorneys at Iliff, Meredith, Wildberger & Brennan, P.C. have also represented clients in other states, such as Pennsylvania and Virginia, with co-counsel admitted in those jurisdictions.