Hiring a lawyer can feel overwhelming. Many family law and estate planning attorneys require payment up front with bills continuing as the case drags on. Personal injury lawyers operate a little differently. If you’ve been injured through negligence, you can talk to a personal injury lawyer about your case the first time for no fee. If the attorney accepts your case, they will work on a contingency basis. That means that the lawyer will take a percentage of your settlement, when and if the claim is settled. Here are some things to know about contingency fees.
Contingency Fee Agreements
Personal injury lawyers know that it is difficult for people to come up with the money to pay for a lawyer on an hourly basis to oversee a claim. Contingency fees are an alternative payment system that is useful for clients and lawyers. The lawyer has a personal stake in seeing that the claim is settled. The client doesn’t need to come up with thousands of dollars to pursue a claim.
In most cases, the lawyer’s fee is 33 to 40% of the settlement amount. This can sound like a lot. Remember that the lawyer is putting his or her time on the line. If your claim doesn’t settle, you don’t pay the lawyer. The lawyer will also need to take out expenses and fees from the settlement. The amount you actually get depends on many factors. Typically, lawyers can negotiate higher settlements than you could on your own.
Why Do You Need a Lawyer to Settle Your Claim?
Although you can certainly negotiate with the insurance company on your own, keep in mind that the other party will likely have lawyers of their own. When you have an attorney on your side, you have an advocate who knows the law and knows what your case is worth. If you’ve had serious injuries that have significantly changed your life, a lawyer can help make sure that you have the understanding to make an informed decision about your claim.You are the only one who can determine whether you need a lawyer. Your initial appointment only costs you time. If you do decide to use a personal injury lawyer, make sure to get the agreement in writing. A good attorney will go over the financial aspects of your case.