When you think of lawyers, you likely think of ridiculous hourly rates. While an attorney in a criminal trial or a civil case can cost a significant amount as a defendant, it is not also the case when you are the victim, especially in personal injury claims. Legal professionals understand that high hourly rates will not suit victims of crashes because most often, these individuals are out of work due to their injuries. It is because of their understanding and, honestly, their need for consistent work, that most personal injury lawyers work on contingency.
Personal Injury and the Contingency Agreement
A contingency agreement essentially means that your lawyer will not receive payment for their work unless you win or settle your claim. Therefore, you require no money upfront, and the agreement typically specifies the rate or fee amount from the onset, which means you should not be surprised when the bills come due.
As your lawyer is essentially working for free initially, any settlement or judgment check will be made out to the law firm. Your attorney will remove their fee and expenses from the check and then make a check out to you for the remainder. Most attorneys charge between 30% and 40% of the settlement, depending on the time involved.
The Contingency Risk
The risk when using a lawyer or firm that works on contingency does not necessarily stem from the pay rate or fee of the attorney, but rather expenses. While the cost remains a fixed percentage of the winnings, expenses can quickly add up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars depending on case requirements. For example, a court case will require more costs than a settlement negotiation because of the need for expert witnesses and filings.
Keeping control of expenses is essential, especially if you want to resolve your lawsuit with enough money to make you whole. Therefore, make sure that any costs go through you, allowing you to keep track of expenditures. Sometimes, an expense is necessary, and other times you may find a way to save money.
You must also realize that not every attorney will accept your case. Since they are working on contingency, a lawyer is likely more selective about their cases. You can still hire an attorney, but you will probably have to pay out of pocket, but keep in mind that if a lawyer does not take your injury claim on contingency, it is a statement about the riskiness of the claim.If you were in a motorcycle accident, then contact a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer, like the office of John K. Zaid & Associates to discuss your case. Do not worry about the potential cost because most personal injury lawyers work on contingency.