Important Questions To Ask Before Hiring A Personal Injury Lawyer Vsam1040 Chicago Llc

ND Chris:

Morning, how are you doing today? How are you doing today?

Mike Agruss:

Good. Doing well. Thanks for having us on.

ND Chris:

All right, thanks. Thank you for joining our [inaudible 00:00:07]. Please say hello to your new clients and your audience.

Mike Agruss:

Sure. I'm Mike Agruss. I'm the managing partner of Agruss Law Firm.

Taylor Kosla:

And I'm Taylor Kosla. I'm a partner at Agruss Law Firm, as well.

ND Chris:

Okay, and thank you very much for coming back. I think you missed some of the last show, last time.

Taylor Kosla:

Yes. I think I missed a few shows, but I'm happy to be back.

ND Chris:

Okay. All right. As usual, we discussed about the law and especially you're an expert and your expertise on the personal injury. Today, we would like to continue and sharing more information. The first question we have is what kind of experience does Agruss Law Firm have with personal injury cases?

Mike Agruss:

Sure. I've been an attorney for 17 years. Next month, it'll be 18 years. Last month, we celebrated our 10-year anniversary. I've handled personal injury cases since day one. Our firm handles personal injury cases, as well. And throughout my career, both prior to starting the firm and over the last 10 years, I'd say we've handled about a thousand personal injury cases. So we have tons of experience, and we rolled out last year some incredible case management software that really allows us to handle our personal injury cases efficiently, quickly. Our clients always feel like they're in the loop, they know what's going on. Anyone can call our office at any point, talk to anyone, get case updates. It's very transparent.

And we actually just rolled out a couple of weeks ago for our clients, now we can pay our clients... when we settle their cases, we pay them their settlement funds by ACH. We can directly wire the funds to our clients' account. And it is something that not a lot of personal injury firms offer. So we get our clients money fast.

ND Chris:

Okay. That's great.

Mike Agruss:

It is. It keeps them happy.

ND Chris:

Right, yes. It's the perfect way. [foreign language 00:02:10]

Thank you for your expertise there. The next question is what is the Agruss Law Firm strategy in personal injury case?

Taylor Kosla:

Our strategy is really to get the best results possible. And there's a few ways that we're able to do that. Number one, making sure that our clients get the best treatment and all the treatment that they need, whether it's a physical therapist, pain management, orthopedic surgeon, we make sure our clients get in in a timely manner to see these doctors and complete their treatment, go to all of their appointments.

Another way that we're able to get the best results possible is we start the investigation to the case right away. As soon as we're retained by a client, we are calling, we're getting the police report. We might get 911 call recordings, send out an investigator to take pictures. These initial steps are really important for the beginning steps of building the case.

We also make sure that our clients' medical bills are paid and taken care of. That's a huge concern of a lot of clients is, "I can't get treatment cause I can't afford it," and that's not the case. We work with plenty of doctors, and if we don't have one in a particular area that you're in, we find them to make sure that you can just focus on getting better, getting the treatment and we'll deal with your bills when the case settles later on. All this leads to a fast and fair settlement, which is of course the goal. Our clients are owed something, and the quicker that we can get them compensated for their injuries, the better.

ND Chris:

Yes. Thank you. [foreign language 00:06:16]

Yes, so thank you for your answers. Next question is are there any alternative to going to court?

Mike Agruss:

Yes. We always do our best to try settling cases without filing a lawsuit and going to court. We know that clients don't like court, they don't like litigation, and when you file a lawsuit, you lose a little bit of control over the case because a judge gets involved. The other side then wants to bill to the file with their defense lawyer. So what we do, and this is part of what Taylor was just talking about, is we make sure that our clients get treatment right away. We make sure we do our investigation right away, and then when our clients are done with medical treatment, we do everything possible to settle the case without filing a lawsuit. And if there's a fair and reasonable offer, we always settle. And the reason being is if we settle without going to court, we can guarantee what our clients are going to get. In other words, we can tell them exactly what will happen.

When you go to court and file a lawsuit, there's a lot of unknowns. However, if we do into filing a lawsuit, we also push really hard to do what's called alternative dispute resolution. And what that means basically is doing a settlement conference with a judge or going through a private company to do a settlement conference through a mediation. Let me give you a couple examples. Taylor just mediated a case a couple of weeks ago, case settled. So, we always are trying to push alternative dispute resolution, mediation and settlement. Once again, when a case settles, we can guarantee what's going to happen.

We had another case that Jim, one of our other partners, mediated yesterday, and that settled as well. And then Taylor and I have a big mediation coming up on Monday. So we're always doing everything possible to settle the case, get our clients fair and reasonable offers, and we do everything possible to do it outside of court. But if we do have to go to court, we also push the case in a different direction where we can do a settlement conference or a mediation.

ND Chris:

All right. Okay, thank you.

Mike Agruss:

Sure.

ND Chris:

Yeah, so that's a very interesting question. [foreign language 00:10:54]

Yes, and thank you so much. Your answer is very important, because a lot of people, they can feel... most of the people, they are afraid to go the court because they say, "Well, I don't know what to say. I don't know what to talk and I'm not quite sure how and what lawyer they discuss in the court." Because most people, most of the immigrant people, when they're talking about the law and stuff like that, it's like, "Oh," that's something they don't want to know about.

Mike Agruss:

Right. People don't want to go to court, and I think something we haven't talked a lot about on this show deals with the statute of limitations. What that means, that's the time period from someone's injured until when their case either needs to be settled or a lawsuit needs to be filed.

ND Chris:

Right.

Mike Agruss:

In general, there's exceptions, but in general, it's two years. Something we do that I think makes us different is we're very proactive and we never get to the point where we have to file a lawsuit because of the statute of limitations. We always have enough time to try to settle the case pre-suit, where some other firms may wait closer to the statute of limitations and then they have to file just to file. We're on top of things, we're organized, and it always allows us to settle pre-suit if there's a reasonable offer, which I think no one likes litigation.

ND Chris:

Right. Yes.

Mike Agruss:

They describe it like going to the dentist, right?

ND Chris:

Right.

Mike Agruss:

You're going to survive, but it's not going to be fun.

ND Chris:

Right. Yes. [foreign language 00:15:33]

Yes. Thank you. Next question I would like to ask Taylor, what are the possibility outcome in a personal injury case?

Taylor Kosla:

The first possibility is the case can resolve pre-suit. So, before lawsuit is even filed where in communications with the other side's insurance company, or maybe even our own client's insurance company to try and settle the case. If it doesn't resolve pre-suit, then we file the case. However, even while the case is filed and we're in discovery, we're always pushing for settlement, a mediation, settlement conference to keep facilitating those settlement conversations. If there is not a fair and reasonable settlement offer at that point, the case might go to trial, and at that point, the value of the case will be determined by jurors.

ND Chris:

Jurors, right.

Taylor Kosla:

Right. Everything that we do in a case, though, is to maximize the results and make sure our clients get a fair and reasonable settlement. The way that we litigate, and the other side knows that we're not afraid to take cases to trial. We will fight tooth and nail on cases that increases case value for our clients. Our clients actually get better settlements because of how we litigate cases.

ND Chris:

Okay. Thank you. [foreign language 00:17:42]

Yes. Thank you for your answer, here. The next question is who will actually handle my case at Agruss Law Firm?

Mike Agruss:

Sure. Every case at the firm is assigned to an attorney, paralegal and a case manager. And what's important about this is it allows each individual person to manage different aspects of the case. It allows the case to be handled efficiently, quickly, and everyone is always doing something on the file. I think when you read other reviews that other law firms get, when they get negative reviews, a common complaint think that clients have is, "I can't get in touch with anyone. I can't get in touch with my attorney. I don't know who's working on my case."

Our system at the office, our case management software, it's called Litify. It designates certain tasks to different people at the office who are on the team. So there's tasks for a lawyer, there's tasks for a paralegal, there's tasks for the case manager. And everyone gets to see what everyone else is doing on the file, and so there's total transparency. Any of our clients can contact us by phone, email, text and say, "Hey, what's going on with my case?" And no matter who it is, whether it's the lawyer, the paralegal or the case manager, they can always give them a case update. And I think that this really sets us apart from other law firms out there, because everyone who comes to us as a client, they're assigned a team. Our system is transparent and you can always get in touch with someone at the office.

What's even wild is our software that runs the office, Litify, there's an app on our phone. You can open up the phone and you can see everything that's going on. It's very transparent and efficient, and no one will ever wonder, "Who's working on my case? How do I get in touch with someone?" Because they'll always know who it is, and that person is always accessible.

ND Chris:

Okay. Thank you. [foreign language 00:21:26]

We'll take a short break. We'll be back. Thank you.

Speaker 4:

[foreign language 00:23:43]

Speaker 5:

[foreign language 00:25:18]

ND Chris:

[foreign language 00:26:43]

Thanks. We come back to our program. Okay, the next question is as a client of Agruss Law Firm, what is my role in my cases?

Taylor Kosla:

Your most important role is to get treatment to help you get better. You need to get treatment right away. Do not wait. If you think you're injured, really you should start from the scene of the accident by taking an ambulance. But then follow up with your treatment from there. If the ER doctor says go see your primary care physician, do that. If then they tell you to go to physical therapy three times a week for eight weeks, do that.

It's also important that you're honest with your healthcare providers. If they ask you about your pain or your injuries, be very honest with them. "I can't do this. This is affecting my life in this way," or, "I used to be able to do this." It's really important, because they're all taking notes, which later helps us settle your case. Communicating with Agruss Law Firm is really important with our clients. If they couldn't work as a result of their injuries, we need them to get us that information. What is your job? Who do you work for? How long couldn't you work? What were you earning? Because that's something that we of course ask our client to be compensated for. But most importantly, really our clients just need to focus on getting better. We handle everything else. Listen to your doctors and get all the treatment that you need.

ND Chris:

Yes. Okay, thank you. [foreign language 00:29:20]

Yes. Thank you for your answers. The next question is again what percentage do the most personal injury lawyers charge and what does Agruss Law Firm charge?

Mike Agruss:

Our contingency fee on personal injury cases is one-third. That never changes throughout the process, so if we settle your case without filing a lawsuit or if we file a lawsuit or if we go to trial, our fee is always one-third. It never changes. The reason that's important is because there are other firms out there whose contingency fee changes depending on how much work they've done on the case. So maybe they take one-third before suit is filed and then if a lawsuit is filed, they may take 40%, and if the case goes to trial, they may take 50%.

I think for the viewers watching this show, it's important because I've seen in my experience when other firms oftentimes do this, it's with clients who may not be familiar with the system. They may be immigrants. They may not really understand how things typically work. And I'm not saying all lawyers do this, but what's different about us is our fee is one-third and never changes. And then something else that we always do for our clients that I think is important as well is we will never take more money in our fees than what our client's getting.

Let me give you an example. If we settle a case, and let's say our client does not have health insurance and the doctor has a lot of medical bills that need to be paid. There may be other types of damages that need to be reimbursed, as well. Property damage, whatever the situation is. When we get those settlement funds in, we pay off the doctors and we pay off other people who need to be paid for the treatment. And if the bills are high and it turns out there's not that much money left over, we would just split that with our clients. So we would never leave our clients in a situation where our firm is taking more money than what they're putting in their pocket.

One, it's a contingency fee that never changes. There's no risk. We only get paid if we get a settlement. And then two, our clients should know that if we have to reduce our fees to make sure that our clients get as much money as we do, we do that all the time. In fact, we just did that on two cases last week where we were dealing with a difficult doctor, he didn't want to reduce his lien. He was asking for a lot of money and we reduced our fees so our client would end up getting the same amount of money that we got.

ND Chris:

That's perfect to me, right?

Mike Agruss:

Yeah. And look, we try to do right by our clients. Once again, I say it all the time, there's 1.3 million lawyers in the US and it's one of the ways we set ourselves apart from all the other lawyers out there.

ND Chris:

All right. Thanks. [foreign language 00:34:50]

The next question... thank you for your answer. Next question I believe I get to ask Taylor, here. With Agruss Law Firm handle my property damage claim?

Taylor Kosla:

Yeah. Your property damage claim is repairing damage or replacement to your vehicle that was involved in the accident. We do handle property damage claims for free. Other law firms do not generally provide this service for free, and it's really important to our clients. We do it because, like Mike said, we try and do right by our clients. And a lot of times insurance companies are really difficult even with dealing with a property damage claim. I've had a handful of cases where insurance companies won't even get back to me on a property damage claim and we file suit. We do. It's just an added thing that we provide to our clients and they really appreciate it, and this way we get them back in a car and moving and back on track to the road to recovery as quickly as possible.

ND Chris:

Okay. Thank you. [foreign language 00:38:33]

Yes. Thank you for your answer. The next question we still have a few more minutes, right? When I hire Agruss Law Firm, who pays all the costs in the case?

Mike Agruss:

Sure. So, when we litigate a case, there are costs that are involved. So for example, filing a lawsuit, taking depositions, ordering medical records, paying doctors to review the medical records, we pay all those costs, and we only get reimbursed those costs when we settle the case. So our clients never pay us a penny until we get a settlement, and then when we settle the case, we reimburse ourselves the cost. And what's important about this for people to know is litigation is very expensive. So for example, the case Taylor and I are mediating this Monday, there are probably about 10 or $15,000 worth of costs that we have paid for and we have fronted in the case. So our client hasn't paid a penny. We've invested all of those costs. And then when and if the case settles, we will then reimburse ourself those costs. So the clients don't have to pay us a penny.

ND Chris:

Okay. Thank you. [foreign language 00:40:54]

Yes, thank you for your answer. I believe that we have a few more minutes, so this is the last question before we wrap up, here. Why should someone hire Agruss Law Firm for their personal injury case?

Taylor Kosla:

We are not like regular personal injury law firms. We truly put people first. We treat our clients like friends, family, neighbors. If you don't believe us, go online. Check out our Google reviews. We have over 1300 five-star reviews. Our clients, they really love us. They're repeat clients. They refer us to their families and friends. We get our clients fair and fast settlements. We're efficient. We're transparent. We try to do right by our clients.

ND Chris:

Yeah. When you first answered, "We are not normal lawyer," I thought, "Okay." [inaudible 00:42:52]

Taylor Kosla:

In the best of ways.

ND Chris:

Right. Okay.

Mike Agruss:

People have this idea of what a lawyer is, and I tell people all the time we're not your typical law firm, but that's on purpose, because you can ask anyone what they think of lawyers, and a lot of times people don't have nice things to say, and so every, single day we do things to be the opposite of that stereotype.

ND Chris:

Yes. I'm sorry.

Taylor Kosla:

It's okay.

ND Chris:

[foreign language 00:43:20]

Before we say goodbye, thanks so much for joining our forum today. Before we say goodbye, please say goodbye to your audience. Thank you.

Mike Agruss:

Sure. Thanks for having us on. I'm Mike Agruss, again, managing partner at Agruss Law Firm. We appreciate coming on. Before we end the show, we should congratulate Taylor. She got married.

ND Chris:

Oh, okay.

Mike Agruss:

10 days ago. That's why she was gone for a few weeks.

ND Chris:

Yes.

Mike Agruss:

We should have done that top of the hour, but-

ND Chris:

Sure. Yes.

Mike Agruss:

... congratulations to Taylor.

Taylor Kosla:

Oh, thank you.

ND Chris:

Sure. Congratulations to you, too.

Taylor Kosla:

Thank you. Glad to be back and I look forward to next week.

ND Chris:

All right. Thanks. Again, one more time, have a good day. Thanks. [foreign language 00:46:36]

Thank you. Goodbye.

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