What Does it Cost to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
If you have been injured in an accident or because of another party’s negligence or wrongdoing, you have many things to take care of right now.
You might still be receiving medical treatment for your injuries from the accident. You may be dealing with an aggressive insurance claims adjuster who is pressuring you to accept a settlement offer for your personal injury claim.
Additionally, you might be out of work because of your injuries, which is causing financial hardship for your family.
You might need to hire a personal injury, but how can you afford to hire an attorney when you are out of work and medical bills are piling up?
You might be surprised to find out that you can hire a personal injury lawyer for no money upfront. Yes, you can have a personal injury attorney working to protect your best interests without paying any attorneys’ fees when you retain the law firm. How is that possible?
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What are Contingency Fees for a Personal Injury Case?
Many accident victims sustain substantial financial losses. Being out of work can make it very difficult for a person to hire a personal injury attorney for help with a car accident claim, slip and fall accident, or medical malpractice claim. Many personal injury lawyers accept accident and injury cases on a contingency fee basis.
Contingency fees allow individuals to have access to legal services regardless of their financial status.
Instead of requiring a retainer fee and charging for legal services by the hour, the attorney agrees to base his attorney fee on the amount of money recovered in the case.
When you enter a contingency fee agreement, you agree to pay your lawyer a percentage of the amount recovered in your case. The attorneys’ fees are deducted from the money recovered for your claim before you receive any compensation for your claim.
If the attorney cannot recover compensation for your personal injury claim, you do not owe the attorney any money for attorneys’ fees. However, you could owe the attorney for the costs of your case.
How are Costs Handled for a Personal Injury Claim?
The costs of a personal injury case vary. Cases that are settled quickly without the need for an exhaustive investigation or lawsuit might not have very high costs. On the other hand, if the attorney needs to retain experts and investigators to gather evidence to prove your case, the case’s costs could be high.
Filing a lawsuit can also increase the cost of the case. Common costs of a personal injury case might include:
- Deposition costs
- Court costs
- Expert witness fees
- The costs of gathering information and evidence
- Cost of an investigation
- Copy and postage fees
- Travel expenses
- Trial preparation costs
Most attorneys cover the costs of the case until the case is settled. When the case is settled, the law firm is reimbursed for costs from the settlement proceeds. The costs are subtracted from the proceeds before the client receives any money.
Some accident attorneys require clients to reimburse the law firm for the case’s costs, even if the attorney does not recover compensation for the client. It is crucial that you read the retainer agreement, including all fine print, before hiring a personal injury lawyer.
Ask as many questions as necessary to ensure that you understand how much money you will owe the law firm for fees and costs. Ask what costs you will owe the law firm if you receive money for your injury claim and if you do not receive money for your injury claim.
Contingency Fees and Costs Vary by Law Firm
The percentage charged for a contingency fee varies by the law firm. Some lawyers may charge different contingency fees for different types of cases. The fee could change if the case goes to trial.
Before you choose a lawyer based on the fees the lawyer charges, consider this important fact. You usually get what you pay for, including when you hire a lawyer.
The lawyer with the lowest contingency fee may not be the best lawyer to handle your personal injury case. Hiring a personal injury lawyer who charges a low contingency fee will not do you much good if the lawyer does not have the experience, knowledge, skills, and resources necessary to get you the money you deserve.
In addition to considering a personal injury lawyer’s contingency fee, also consider the lawyer’s:
- Experience and skills
- The types of cases the attorney handles
- Reputation in the legal community
- Success rate
- Trial experience
- Education and special certifications
It is in your best interest to search for a personal injury lawyer who has a high success rate, handles cases similar to your case, and has a reputation for aggressively advocating for the best interests of clients.
Should I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Most individuals injured in a personal injury accident can benefit from hiring a personal injury lawyer.
If you are unsure whether you need to hire a personal injury attorney to handle your case, most attorneys offer a free consultation.
During your free consultation, you learn about your legal rights and how the lawyer can help you with your injury claim.
Some people might be able to handle their injury claim without an attorney. However, factors that strongly indicate you could benefit from talking with a personal injury attorney include, but are not limited to:
- You sustained catastrophic injuries or traumatic injuries
- The insurance company is blaming you for causing the accident or your injuries
- You were involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle or large truck
- The accident caused permanent disability or impairment, such as paralysis, brain injury, or amputation
- The accident involved multiple parties
- Your injury occurred on government property or involved a government vehicle or employee
- Your child was injured in an accident or suffered a birth injury
- A family member died because of negligence or wronging by another party
- A defective product caused your injury
Many other factors could indicate you need the assistance of a personal injury lawyer. Take the time to meet with an attorney to discuss your case before talking with an insurance adjuster or accepting a settlement offer.
Hiring a personal injury lawyer can help you recover maximum compensation for your injury claim. Your lawyer handles all aspects of your personal injury claim to reduce your stress and allow you to focus on your health and recovery. Having an attorney on your side can also help you avoid mistakes that could hurt your chance of receiving the compensation you deserve after an accident or injury.