FAQsExperienced, Dedicated & A Track Record of Success
Where is your office located?
We are in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at 7520 Perkins Road, Suite 170. The office complex is at the corner of Perkins Road and Essen Lane (across the street from Albertson’s). Convenient parking is available. We are open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday-Friday, with weekend and evening appointments available by arrangement.
Why should I hire an attorney?
An attorney knows the law and the justice system, and will fight for your best interests. When you hire a lawyer, it is her legal, professional and ethical obligation to protect your rights at every turn.
The legal system is frequently overwhelming and confusing. Regardless of the reason why you are looking at going to court, most people feel like they are in over their heads when dealing with the justice system. Whether you are a recent accident victim, an arrestee, or in need of other legal help, chances are you have many questions right now. Those questions only multiply when you are staring down the barrel of things like finding expert witnesses, appearing at court dates and filing motions.
In addition to fighting for you in court, an attorney will act as your guide to the intimidating legal system. A lawyer will also make sure you understand every step of the process, and that you are well-equipped to make decisions on your case.
Why should I hire the Law Office of Dan Claitor?
Our attorneys know the law inside and out, and we understand how to present your case effectively under the law. Our office also offers a personal touch. We are a small firm, and our attorneys and staff pride ourselves on making our clients feel comfortable with us, as well as with the legal system. Formost, I have more than 30 years experience helping people like you.
How much are attorneys’ fees?
We only charge or collect fee amounts that are fair and reasonable. The specific answer to this question depends by and large on what kind of case you have. In personal injury suits, the attorney(s) generally collect a portion of your recovery as their fee (this is called a “contingency fee”). Our office charges a flat fee for some criminal cases (including most DWIs). The amount of the flat fee is determined by a number of factors, such as the estimated amount of time your case will require, and whether this was your first offense. All other clients will be billed by the hour, with rates ranging from $175 per hour to $325 per hour. We may require you to pay a deposit up front.
Does your office charge a fee for a consultation?
We offer a free half-hour (30 minute) consultation for accident victims who are considering filing a lawsuit. We generally charge $75 for a half hour consultation regarding non-accident matters. However, we will deduct that amount from your fee or deposit if you ultimately sign a contract to hire our office.
What should I bring to my consultation or first meeting with you?
Bring a photo I.D. and any and all relevant paperwork. For a personal injury case, this would include the crash or accident report, any insurance policies that might apply, and any medical records or bills you may have that relate to your injuries or claim. If you are seeking help on a criminal matter, bring any search warrant, arrest warrant, tickets, citations, reports or receipts that you’ve received from law enforcement. Bring any relevant contracts or agreements, if you want advice on a transactional or business litigation issue. If you’re in doubt about whether to bring something, go ahead and bring it!
What is “attorney-client privilege”?
According to “attorney-client privilege,” an attorney must generally keep confidential any communications he has in private with a client. This means that your attorney cannot share anything you have told him in privacy. If you go to a lawyer for legal advice, there is probably attorney-client privilege between you and that lawyer, even if you do not ultimately hire him to represent you. There is no attorney-client privilege if someone besides you and your attorney(s) is in the room with you, on the phone, or otherwise a part of the conversation. There are also some situations where attorney-client privilege does not apply, such as if the client tells her attorney that she is going to harm someone, or if the client gives informed consent for the attorney to reveal what has been said.
What are some common mistakes to avoid?
Every case is different. For example, personal injury clients have different concerns from criminal or business law clients. There are some general rules of thumb that anyone participating in the justice system should follow, though. It is crucial that you always be truthful. Never lie to a judge, to your attorney, or to any other party in your case. Another general rule is that you must always plan to be at all scheduled court appearances (unless your attorney has told you don’t need to go). Not coming to court is serious, and the court will likely issue a bench warrant. It is also important that you not exaggerate any injuries that you have, especially if you are a personal injury plaintiff. Some plaintiffs do this without realizing it. In any event, you are most likely to obtain a fair result if you are fair.
How is a personal injury case valued?
There are many considerations in valuing a case. These include the accident victim’s past medical bills (for treatment for injuries from the accident), the cost of future medical treatment, past lost wages (due to work missed because of the accident), and loss of future earning capacity. Past and future pain and suffering are also important in determining how much a case might be worth. The court determines the value of your pain and suffering by looking at what amounts plaintiffs in other cases received for pain and suffering for similar injuries.
If you are thinking of filing a lawsuit because a loved one was hurt or killed in an accident, you may also be entitled to compensation for the emotional pain that you have suffered because of the injuries to your relative.
What should I do if I’ve been arrested?
Say as little as possible any time you are in the presence of law enforcement (but be respectful and polite). You can request that an attorney be present with you during any questioning. If you’re unable to afford a lawyer, the state will provide one for you for your criminal case (these attorneys are called “public defenders”).