You’ve stopped at a four-way stop sign with a few other cars. You have the right away, so you go to move. Unfortunately for you, one of the other drivers was either not paying attention or believed that they had the right away instead.
The two of you collide.
You come out of the accident with a few scrapes and bruises. Nothing to write home about. At least, you thought you were fine.
A few weeks after the accident, you start to develop new aches and pains. You know you should hire a personal injury attorney, but you don’t think you can afford their rate.
We’re here to tell you that it’s more affordable than you think. You may not even have to pay the attorney unless they win your case. Check out this guide to learn more.
When you talk to a personal injury firm, they are likely to bring up contingency plans. It’s the payment method that most lawyers accept above all others.
Basically, it involves sitting down with your lawyer and agreeing to pay a certain percentage of whatever settlement you get. If the lawyer doesn’t win your case, you won’t owe them a dime. It’s nice for those who are too poor to hire a personal injury attorney out of pocket.
We will warn you that contingency percentages aren’t cheap. It reflects the risk the lawyer is taking by handling your case without an upfront payment.
If you don’t get a settlement, they don’t get paid. To this end, they may take as much as 40% off the top of the money you get. If this sounds a little unreasonable to you, keep in mind that you can negotiate with your lawyer.
They might be willing to go down to at least 33% if need be. If you win 100,000 dollars, this will leave you 67,000 to play around with. We realize that’s not a lot when factoring in missing wages and hospital bills, but it’s better than nothing.
Common Court Costs
As you’re probably aware, court cases involve a lot of paperwork and fees. Court filing costs can range anywhere between 100-400 dollars depending on your situation.
Expert witnesses will review your case and testify for you. The problem is that they’ll charge hundreds of dollars per hour to do it. These are only a few costs to account for.
Your lawyer will handle all of these annoyances for you, but they’ll take it out of the contingency fee.
Read Your Agreement When You Receive it
It’s hard to negotiate your injury lawyer fees if you don’t read the contingency agreement when they bring it to you. In most cases, they have to give it to you in writing. It will be a dull read, but you need to go through all of it with a fine-tooth comb.
Not only will it go over what you’re being charged for, but it will also let you know how and when you need to pay the lawyer. It’s a helpful document to keep track of.
It’s not likely that your personal injury lawyer will ask you to pay them hourly. It’s not unheard-of mind you, it’s just rare. Most of the time, the only reason why they would request for you to pay them by the hour is if your case isn’t strong or they know that you’re not going to get much out of it.
Contingency offers a higher payoff for the attorney and asking a person to pay by the hour is squeezing someone who probably already has limited funds. That’s why it’s not that popular.
If your lawyer does ask you to pay them by the hour, you’ll give them a down payment and agree to pay a certain rate. You’ll be responsible for honoring this rate no matter if they win the case or not.
Do You Need a Personal Injury Attorney to Help Settle Your Case?
With all these numbers being thrown at you, you might be wondering, “is it even worth it to hire a personal injury attorney“? The answer is yes.
While you can represent yourself in court, it’s harder to get a settlement. Insurance companies are armed with the best attorneys around. We’re not saying that all companies are sleazy, but a lot of them will do all they can to deny your claim.
The Insurance Company Can Deny Your Claim
So, the insurance company has denied your claim because they believe you were at fault for the accident. Fear and dread sink in as you try to figure out how you’re going to pay your medical bills.
You can try to overturn the decision on your own, but it’s better to hire a personal injury attorney for the job. They can get access to information that you can’t get your hands on to determine who was truly at fault.
The Insurance Company is Taking Their Sweet Time
A lot of time has passed since your accident. Due to your injuries, you’ve been out of work for a while. Your bills don’t stop just because you have to.
You’re running out of time.
Many insurance companies don’t want to fork over money until they have to. Having an experienced attorney on your side can speed things along a little.
They Refuse to Negotiate with You
Your settlement has gone through, but the amount you are given doesn’t even scrape the surface of what you’ve had to pay out in medical fees. When you try to negotiate a higher price, you’re turned down.
A lawyer will review your case and calculate how much you are owed. They’ll then do all they can to make sure you get the actual compensation that you deserve.
Understanding the Cost of Your Injury Case
Being out of work for any reason can be stressful. It’s even more so when it’s due to an accident that wasn’t your fault. Hiring a personal injury attorney will be expensive, but they can ensure that you get the money you need to hold you over until you can get back to work. Get on the phone and negotiate prices today.
It’s more important than ever that you take care of your health while you’re recovering. Check out the health section of our blog to find out how to get started.