Frequently Asked Questions
Tannehill, Carmean & McKenzie, PLLC is proud to offer you these frequently asked questions in order to aid our efforts in providing you with high quality legal service. Please use the drop-down lists below to navigate these resources.
Q: WHAT IS A STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS?
A: This is the time within which a legal case must either be settled or suit filed in the appropriate court. If action is not taken within the prescribed statute of limitations, the right to a legal remedy may be lost. There are some types of claims that require notice to government agencies within a certain period of time. It is always a good practice to check with an attorney if there is a question of time limitations in a case.
Q: WHEN DO I NEED AN ATTORNEY?
A: Common sense will normally tell a person that they have a legal problem. Most attorneys will discuss your matter over the telephone and help you decide if you need legal representation.
Q: HOW DO I FIND A COMPETENT ATTORNEY?
A: Most people who need an attorney may never have needed one before and do not know any attorneys. Often, friends recommend attorneys who have represented them. The only safe way to know if a specific attorney is “good” is to check that attorney’s reputation. There are numerous services that rate attorneys; however, “Best Lawyers in America” is one of the more objective publications that rates attorneys. Attorneys are selected by reputation by the editors. Their information comes from judges, attorneys and other legal sources in the area that attorney practices.
Q: WHAT WILL AN ATTORNEY CHARGE?
A: Many attorneys do not charge for initial consultations for personal injury claims, medical malpractice and workers compensation cases. When calling an attorney to make an appointment, ask if the first consultation will be free. If the attorney indicates that a fee will be charged, negotiate a flat amount rather than leaving it open.
Q: IF I HIRE AN ATTORNEY, WHAT WILL THAT ATTORNEY CHARGE AS A FEE FOR MY CASE?
A: Attorneys fees can be by the hour, plus out of pocket expenses; a flat fee for the case, plus out of pocket expenses; or a contingent fee, plus out of pocket expenses.
Q: WHAT IS A CONTINGENT FEE?
A: A contingent fee is based upon the attorney getting a set percentage of the recovery for a client in a case where the client is suing for damages. If the attorney is not successful in getting the client any money, the attorney does not get a fee.
Q: WHAT PERCENTAGE CONTINGENT FEE DO ATTORNEYS CHARGE?
A: The percentage for the attorney is usually based upon the customary charge in that area for similar cases. An example is contingent fees in motor vehicle cases in Mississippi normally will be one-third (33 1/3%) prior to filing suit. Contingent fees for medical malpractice cases in Mississippi range from 40% to 50% because of the difficulty of that kind of case and the expenses for hiring experts.