We understand that contacting a law firm can be intimidating. In an effort to alleviate some of the stress and the unknown of contacting our firm, Oil and Gas Coordinator Josh May will discuss some of the types of calls we receive and the approach we take in talking to and representing clients. If you have an oil and gas issue, question, problem, or just want to talk about something that is going on with your property or with the industry, please do not hesitate to contact us at (304) 845-9750 for a free consultation. We are licensed to practice in Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Our practice areas include, Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, Oil & Gas, Medical Malpractice, and Social Security.
Fears/Myths About Contacting an Attorney
Last week, we took a deep dive into all of the different channels we’ve made available for our prospects/clients to contact us. We’ve established how you can get in touch with GKT and what the process looks like once you have. This week, we’re going to shift to some of the more common questions or fears that folks have when they do try to contact us; or maybe even ones that prevent them from ever making the initial contact. As I’ve stated previously, we understand how intimidating it can be to contact a law office. We’re here to guide you, no matter what the issue is, and we’re here to help you achieve the best outcome for you and your family. As discussed last week, the easiest way to reach us if you have any questions at all is by phone at (304) 845-9750.
QUESTIONS? CALL US, WE DON’T BITE, WE PROMISE
So you’ve reached the point where you think you need an attorney. Maybe you’ve tried to talk to the Oil and Gas company and just don’t feel like you are getting anywhere, maybe you have suffered some sort of injury and don’t feel capable of pursuing the claim on your own, or maybe you’ve been denied social security benefits and need help filing the appeal.
No matter what the circumstances are, you know it’s time to talk to someone, but you still have questions.
Don’t worry, you should, but don’t let your questions or fears get the best of you. We hope we are the right attorneys for you, but sometimes we’re not and that’s ok. Even if we cannot help you, we always do our best to try and point you in the right direction. So even if you are unsure if it’s something we can handle, contact us anyway. There’s no fee to call us, no risk, and we are here to help.
Below are some of the questions/fears I hear the most when talking to our initial prospects:
1. “How much do I owe for this?”
This is something I am probably asked at least once per week.
At first it sort of surprised me, but I understand. Our culture dictates that we should know what something costs before we buy it. After understanding the legal field more and more through the years, I have a better grasp of some of the apprehensions folks have about contacting an attorney. Different legal offices have different structures for how they charge fees so it is important to find out if you’ll be charged.
At GKT, aside from very rare circumstances, we handle all of our cases on what we call a contingency fee basis. Simply put, what you owe is a fixed percentage of any recovery, which comes out of any money awarded to you at the conclusion of your case. You’ll never pay out of pocket at GKT unless it is specifically discussed with you beforehand. Every week, regardless if I feel the caller will turn into a client or not, I try and help folks as much as I can. Sometimes I look up lease information on their county clerk’s website, or answer a question about why they may have received a certain document in the mail from the oil and gas company, or answer a countless number of other questions even though I know it’s likely something that will not turn into a case for us . . . but I try to assist in any way that I can.
I wish that every single person I spoke to turned out to be a client. Obviously, that’s unrealistic, but that doesn’t mean I might not be able to answer your questions or provide you a referral for another attorney who might be able to help you. The theme here again is that we’re here to help you, we will not charge you for answering questions nor will we charge you for giving you a referral and pointing you in the right direction. There is never a fee for just contacting GKT, so give us an opportunity to see if we can help.
2. “Oh, I didn’t think you handled that. . .”
It’s true, attorneys don’t handle every type of case that you can think of. Our practice areas include Wrongful Death, Personal Injury, Oil and Gas, Medical Malpractice, and Social Security. Of course, these areas can be very broad.
A Wrongful Death or Personal Injury claim can also turn into a Bad Faith claim, and there are a number of areas within Oil and Gas we handle such as Lease Negotiations, Mineral Sales, and Pipeline Negotiations among other areas.
So if you have a legal need but you’re not sure if it fits within the practice areas mentioned, just give us a call first. As mentioned in the previous section, if we can’t help you, we might be able to refer you to someone who can. I can assure you that we have taken a large number of cases where people had originally thought we wouldn’t handle their case. Worst case scenario? We can’t be of much assistance to you, but we’ll still try to point you in the right direction. We’ve already established that you don’t owe us anything for finding out, so contact us at (304) 845-9750.
3. “My case isn’t big enough for an attorney to take.”
Don’t worry if you think your case is too small.
Once again, you won’t know for sure until you call us, and it just might save you some trouble down the road. In the oil and gas practice, unfortunately, we have reviewed thousands of documents that were signed before calling us that should have never been signed. If the land or mineral owner would have just called us to be sure before signing, it would have prevented them from signing a bad agreement.
Even in smaller cases where there might not be much money at stake, there’s still no harm in finding an attorney to review the agreement before you sign it. Maybe you didn’t think it was worth having someone look it over, or maybe you thought you understood the agreement enough to sign it. One thing we always preach here at GKT is that it’s so much easier to prevent a bad agreement on the front end than to try and fix a bad agreement on the back end.
Be proactive. The decisions you make on your property could affect your family for generations to come. GEICO has told everyone who would listen for years that “15 minutes could save you 15% or more on your car insurance.” We’ve all heard that, correct? Well the premise is very sound and it applies here too. Before you sign any agreement, it doesn’t hurt to contact us to see if we can help. There’s a good chance that we can, but at the very least, we might be able to save you from making a mistake that could cost you a large sum of money down the road.
4. “But we need an attorney close to us”
Some people feel more comfortable living next to their attorney. They want to be able to stop into the office if they need to talk. If that’s you, we understand.
However, don’t let where you are located deter you from contacting our office. Although we are located in Marshall County, West Virginia, our Oil and Gas practice consists of landowners throughout Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. In fact, we receive calls from all across the United States from people who have moved but still own Oil and Gas property locally. Furthermore, just in West Virginia, we’ve represented thousands of land and mineral owners in our immediate areas of Hancock, Brooke, Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel, Tyler, and Doddridge Counties, and we have also represented landowners on large scale pipeline files from counties such as Putnam, Cabell, Webster, Jackson, Nicholas, and Lewis counties just to name a few.
If it’s feasible for us, we’ll travel. Other times, when being on site isn’t a necessity, we have the technology to be able to assist from our home office. Over the years, we’ve built relationships with hundreds of oil and gas companies and agencies working on behalf of those companies. You’d be surprised at how many companies or land agents know GKT or have heard of us when representing a file. These companies have invested billions of dollars in the Ohio Valley and throughout Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Although these companies are not in our backyard necessarily, our clients benefit from the reputation we have with these companies. Long story short, don’t worry about your location. Contact us at (304) 845-9750 to find out if we can help.
5. “We need a ‘big city’ law firm to take this case.”
There is no case too big or too small. Simply, some cases we handle and others we don’t. We try our best to help as many people as we can, and if we can’t help you or don’t think we’re the best fit for you, you can trust that we’ll let you know.
Many folks think they have the million-dollar case. Sometimes that turns out to be true, but more often it is not the case.
Regardless, you don’t need a “big city” law firm for your case. You need a law firm with the knowledge and experience to speak out and fight for your rights, and no other law firm in the Ohio Valley matches our results. Our results match up with and surpass many “big city” law firm results.
We’ve handled a number of cases that either started out at a “larger” firm, or eventually came to us after being rejected by those firms. You should understand that the size of the firm doesn’t equal the quality of the service you will receive or the amount of money you will receive in compensation. Sure, larger firms often have more resources at their disposal, and maybe your case requires that type of firm to handle it. If the case is too large for us, we’ll certainly let you know, but our attorneys have practiced in circuit, federal, and supreme courts.
We are highly qualified in the oil and gas field so chances are we have the resources and capacity to take your case no matter how large you think it is. As you may or may not be aware, we have developed a partnership with Guida Law Offices and the law firm of Rokisky, McCune, Wilharm, and Blair to tackle all oil and gas litigation. Partnering with those firms on oil and gas matters not only adds to our available resources, but it also provides us the capacity to handle almost any issue that comes through our door. If you have any questions about the type of case you have and if we have the capacity to handle it, contact our firm at (304) 845-9750. We’ll let you know right away if it’s the type of case we can take on.
6. “What is a free consultation?”
Lastly, I want to touch on the “free consultation” so that you have a better understanding of how it works.
Do we offer a free consultation?
The short answer is yes, we do.
How does it work?
Before bringing you into the office for a consultation, we first gather information over the phone to determine whether or not it’s something we can help you with. We ask our prospects to be understanding about providing some background information to help us better understand what we might be looking at. Just because we ask a lot of questions over the phone, doesn’t mean we don’t want to meet with you in person or that we are going to eventually turn down your case.
We understand you’re busy and oftentimes we can determine our next steps during the initial phone call. Sometimes it becomes clear during our conversation that you may need to gather additional information or documents for us to review. We would prefer to figure this out over the phone as opposed to wasting your time coming to the office, only to ask you to come back with additional information. When you call our firm, please be prepared to discuss your situation in some detail during the initial contact. We look forward to hearing from you.
Let Us Help You
These examples are just a few of the types of fears, questions, or concerns folks have when contacting an attorney. We want you to know that your time and consideration of our firm is extremely valuable to us. We know your case is important to you and every case is important to us. We want you to be comfortable with us as your law firm, and be confident that we’re handling your case with professionalism and skill. If you are in need of legal assistance, please give us a call at (304) 845-9750. I promise you this, the staff we have here at GKT are comprised of incredibly special people who would bend over backwards to help everyone they come in contact with. It’s a special office to be a part of, so we hope you’ll consider being a part of it too when the time comes.