After being injured by someone else, you may be reluctant to file an insurance claim or lawsuit. Most people avoid these things if they possibly can. One reason might be that you feel as though you cannot afford attorney’s fees. The good news is that when individuals choose to file lawsuits against negligent parties, they seldom pay anything out-of-pocket or up front. This system developed front the realization that oftentimes, injured parties have sustained big economic hits - incurring big medical expenses while losing income from being out of work. Most injury and wrongful death lawyers work on a “contingency fee” basis. This means that your lawyer will only be paid if you win your case. While a big risk for your lawyer, this consumer-friendly system helps to ensure that you can always afford to pay for an attorney’s services no matter how much financial stress you have following an injury.
Contingency Fee BasicsAlmost all lawyers who represent injured people and families of people who have been killed by others work on a contingency fee basis. Be wary of a lawyer who charges you hourly fees or a large retainer to begin working on your injury or death claim - that is not the standard for even the best lawyers in the United States. If your case is lost, you will not be responsible for your attorney’s fees.
Why is a Contingency Fee Arrangement Beneficial to Consumers?The main advantage of a contingency fee is that it allows anyone to pursue a personal injury or wrongful death claim regardless of their financial situation. Additionally, because your lawyer won’t receive payment unless you do, they will have the ultimate motivation to win your case. This aligns your lawyer’s interests with yours during every step of the process. Lawyers to represent people on a contingency fee are careful about the cases they choose to accept. They want to be sure they will get fees, so they carefully evaluate whether they believe your case is winnable. Whether you were in a car crash with a negligent driver or were injured by a fall or a defective product, finding a lawyer to represent your case is a good sign.
What Are Some Examples of Expenses in My Case?Costs of personal injury litigation can be significant but you do not need to cover these upfront. Your lawyer should provide the funds for your case expenses as the claim unfolds. In addition to taking their fee from your settlement or award, injury lawyers can also subtract the costs they spend out of their own pocket to help you win. Here are some different costs your legal professional might encounter:
- Medical records retrieval
- Filing fees
- Postage/copy expenses
- Expert witness fees
- Police reports
- Fees for depositions, subpoenas and other procedures