FAQ

Will I have to go to Court?
For some, the prospect of confronting the wrongdoer is the single-most important goal of filing an injury lawsuit.  For others, the prospect of even walking into the courthouse is a terrifying one.  The attorneys of Dwyer & Coogan, P.C. understand both of these perspectives.  Understand that we have counseled both types of clients, and every type in between.  The truth about being injured at work or as the result of the negligence of others is that, in order to be successful, you need to be willing to go the distance.  Insurance companies bank on the fear of an injured person.  After all, they have all the money.  They have the complex corporate structure to evaluate the claims and mount a vigorous defense.  And at the end of the day, if they lose at trial, they figure that they just pay the same (or similar) amount of money and were able to hold it for several years. This is why you will benefit from working with experienced attorneys.  You hire us in order to feel confident about appearing in court.  And our job is to investigate the facts and assemble your case in a way that prepares it to be persuasive to settle out of court, or be ready for presentation at a hearing or a trial.  If you file a claim, you may one day have to testify before a judge and jury.  But with the right representation, you will be fully prepared to do so when the time comes.
How much will I get paid?
When you are injured, facing a difficult medical course and an uncertain future, many things will cross your mind. When will I be healthy again? When will the pain stop? When will I be able to play with my kids again? Will I be able to get back to work? And as the medical expenses and costs add up, it is natural to wonder how much money you might be able to get for all the excruciating pain, the emotional stress, the suffering, and the complication that you've endured.  This is a common question and one that you should ask your potential attorney.  But not for the reason that you might think.  The truth is that no lawyer who is professional and being honest with you can tell you the answer to this question before working on your case.  If a lawyer claims he can quote you a number, you should consider looking elsewhere before hiring them.  This is because there is no fixed amount of money that any case is worth.  The reality is that every person is different.  Every life is uniquely precious.  And each injured person's experience will be their own.  A sincere lawyer will tell you the truth: there's no right answer to this question until your medical treatment progresses and we have some idea of your medical future.  Besides that, it is impossible to know how strong a case can be made until the facts are fully investigated and the evidence developed.  This is a crucial question because it is the reason why you need an experienced attorney to advise you of all of the laws, rules, regulations, insurance practices, and other things that will affect the potential outcome for your unique case.
How long will it take to close my case?
There are many factors that go into an honest answer to this question.  First of all, it depends significantly on the nature of your case.  A work injury where there is 6-8 weeks of treatment and a prompt return to work is one where the injuries will be clear and known early in the process and would likely be possible to settle the case completely in a few months.  Injuries resulting from a surgeon's negligence that require years of complicated medical treatment, where there are several different medical professional witnesses involved in your care, and long-term implications for your injuries may take years to develop as a case, and will likely have to go the full distance to a trial.  The process of "Discovery" in a law suit is a slow one, governed by complicated rules that we will guide you through, and requiring diligence in the investigation of all of the evidence. Ultimately, our responsibility to you is to be honest.  Our attorneys will do their best to communicate with you regarding the progress and status of your case.  And as things progress, they will be in a position to advise you about the time frame that it will take to be able to do the work right, and secure a fair and just result for you.
Where are your offices?
Our firm has been in business for decades.  Patrick E. Dwyer II established "Patrick E. Dwyer, Ltd." many years ago, committed to representing 'the little guy.'  His clients were injured individuals and other individuals looking for a neighborhood lawyer who could help them with legal issues at a reasonable fee.  Part of this commitment included keeping an office in the South Suburbs.  We maintain that office on Roberts Road because we recognize that it is difficult for some clients to get to downtown Chicago.  And it is also difficult for those of us who work during regular business hours to get downtown during the week.  Thus, we have an office a short walk from Cook County and U.S. District Federal Courts as well as a Palos Hills Office for your convenience.
How do your fees work?
At Dwyer & Coogan, P.C., justice is very important to us.  The reality is that when a person is injured, they face all sorts of unexpected costs: medical expenses; repair expenses; transportation expenses.  Oftentimes, they are unable to work, or are limited in their capacity to work, while they recover from injuries.  Some injured people are never able to return to work.  This means that it is unlikely that our potential clients could afford to pay us "traditional" attorney's fees, with retainers, billing by the hour, and paying expenses up front or as the case progresses. This is why we have committed to a special way of billing clients.  First, we will speak with you and possibly meet for an initial consultation with no fee at all.  This is important.  It is because we want to listen and learn about your case.  Next, if we determine that we can take your case, our Agreement with clients can set forth a "contingency fee" arrangement.  This means that you never have to pay our fees out of your pocket.  Instead, we make the commitment that we will not get paid until you get paid.  This also means that our interests and your interests are both in a successful completion of your case in the most timely and most fair fashion.