The city of Pittsburgh is filled with law firms specializing in workers' compensation and personal injury cases. With Allegheny County's exceedingly high workplace injury rate, Dugan & Associates represents a high volume of clients whose lives have been drastically impacted by an injury caused by the negligence of someone else. Our values are always rooted in operating with a client-first mentality. In this Q&A session with Mitch Dugan, we highlight exactly why you can trust our team to handle your workers' compensation or personal injury case with honesty, integrity and empathy.
Q: What separates Dugan & Associates from other workers' compensation and personal injury firms in the Pittsburgh area?
Mitch: I've been doing this for over 30 years. I know the court system. I know the insurance adjusters. I know most of the attorneys on the other side. I know the judges. I have a positive working relationship with everybody.
I'm personally involved in all the cases. I'm either the primary attorney on the case or secondary but I'm involved. I'm not just a figurehead. I'm easily accessible. I'm in the office every day, working on the cases, going to court, regularly meeting and talking with clients.
Q: Other firms often advertise their low-cost percentages. The Dugan & Associates rate greatly benefits your client ("no fees unless we get money for you"), but why do you believe fees shouldn't be a priority for law firms?
Mitch: I never think about fees when I'm representing a client. You can't. I need to handle the case for what it is - a case. I can't worry about if I'm getting more money on this case or that case. I'm all about the facts. What are the facts? Do I have the avenues to win? I treat the big cases just like the smaller ones. They're all the same. What can I do to help the client?
Sometimes, people say to me, "Mitch, if I get more money than you get more money." But in reality, I just can't operate that way. It's not fair to the client. I'm not going to spend more time thinking about money or personal gain than the actual case.
Q: Can you describe the process of a case? How should the client expect it to unfold after their free initial consultation?
Mitch: Typically, they'll first talk to one of the attorneys in the office. If we decide to take the case, we'll either meet with them or have one of our investigators meet with them. At that point, we'll run with the case. That involves getting all of the records from the following:
1. Medical providers
2. The ambulance and emergency room
3. Primary care providers
4. Specialized surgeons (orthopedists, cardiologists, etc)
5. Their employer
6. Their insurance company
Once you get them, the picture comes into play about the potential strengths and weaknesses in the case. We'll determine these specific aspects:
1. Facts we'll need to highlight
2. Facts we'll need to minimize
3. Focus points in the testimony
4. Facts we'll need to get out of their witnesses in cross-examination.
5. Anticipated arguments that the defense team will present.
Q: What are the factors that lead to you turning down a case?
Mitch: We want to take every case, but we just can't. Usually, with a client, all they want you to do is take their case. But then, when we get the records, we find out they left out stuff. It could be very minor, or it could be huge.
For a hypothetical example, let's say an office consult alleges that he injured his back at work after falling out of a broken chair, but left out that the week before he got rear-ended by an 18-wheeler. That's an important factor that will make or break - and in this situation, break - the outcome of a case.
Q: What else should clients keep in mind when selecting the right firm to represent them?
Mitch: You need to be a smart consumer and be wary of fast deals. If it sounds too good to be true, there's probably a reason for it. You want an attorney that is just as invested in the case as you are. You don't choose your doctor based on the lowest rate. We put our time and money into these cases because we want to make sure we maximize everything for everybody. Our goal is to get as much for the client as we can. That's the goal every time.
If you or someone you love is facing a workers' compensation or personal injury case, the team at Dugan & Associates is always ready to help. Consider perusing our website to learn more about our firm, attorney team, video library, case summaries, referrals, and extensive blog content.
Whether you're experiencing a loss of income, an increase in medical bills, or emotional distress due to an accident - our team of tireless workplace injury lawyers will make sure you receive the maximum monetary compensation available to you.
Give us a call at 412-353-3572 or contact us online today for your free consultation!
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