If you’re injured in an accident – especially due to someone else’s negligence – you’ll have plenty of worry and frustration to deal with. You need to go to doctor’s appointments while also juggling work and family commitments along with your recovery. The last thing you want to do is think about money, but all too often that is exactly what you have to do.
Many people who have suffered a personal injury find themselves frustrated dealing with insurance companies and trying to get a fair settlement. If you’re in this situation, you probably want to think about hiring a lawyer. But wait – aren’t lawyers expensive? If you’re already struggling with medical bills while waiting on a settlement, you don’t have a lot of extra money to pay attorney’s fees.
The good news is, you don’t have to. Most personal injury attorneys work on what is called a contingency fee basis. What this basically means is that your lawyer doesn’t get paid unless you do. In a contingency fee agreement you agree to pay your attorney a set percentage of your recovery (payment) if your case is successful. If your case is unsuccessful, you don’t have to pay any attorney’s fees.
A contingency fee agreement allows the injured party to retain the services of a skilled attorney without having to pay the fees up front. Your lawyer is also motivated to get you the best settlement possible, because the more you receive, the more he or she will be paid.
You should be aware that you may be responsible for expenses related to your case regardless of the outcome. Clients are generally responsible for expenses incurred for their case no matter what type of fee agreement is used. Possible expenses include:
- Expert witness fees
- Medical records
- Police reports
- Postage and other administrative expenses
- Court costs if you go to trial
You may have to pay these expenses up front, or you may pay them at the end of your case so that they can be deducted from your settlement if successful. The agreement you sign with your attorney will include details about expenses.
Any way you slice it, a contingency fee is the best way to get the largest possible recovery with the least risk to you (and your finances). You might feel that you would be better off handling your case yourself so that you can keep all of your settlement; however, an experienced lawyer will almost always be able to negotiate a larger settlement than a layperson advocating for themselves.
If you’ve been injured and need representation from an experienced firm that places integrity first, contact us for a free consultation.
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