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If you get hurt in any kind of accident that someone else caused, you need a personal injury lawyer. A lawyer can work to obtain compensation for your injuries and losses while you focus on healing and returning to your life.
Do not let worries about the potential cost of a lawyer keep you from contacting one right away. With rare exceptions, personal injury attorneys work on a contingent fee basis, which means that you do not have to pay them any money upfront because they only get paid if they win your case.
Let’s take a closer look at how personal injury lawyers make their services affordable to anyone who needs them.
All reputable personal injury lawyers offer a free consultation to potential clients.
The consultation, which can happen in-person or over the phone, serves as a no-risk, no-obligation opportunity for you and the attorney to explore your potential legal options for seeking compensation for your injuries and losses.
During a typical initial consultation, you and a personal injury lawyer may discuss:
Contingent fees consist of a percentage of any money that a lawyer secures on your behalf, typically through a settlement, judgment, or jury award. The lawyer’s fee is contingent on the successful outcome of the case. In other words, the lawyer only gets paid if you get paid.
Contingent fees often range from 30 to 40 percent, although higher and lower percentages are also common. Lawyers and clients agree on the percentage before the lawyer takes the case, but the contingent fees themselves typically get paid only when the client receives money after a case.
As a simple example, if a personal injury lawyer secures a $100,000 settlement for a client, and they agreed on a 33 percent contingent fee at the beginning of the case, then when the settlement money arrives the lawyer keeps $33,000 as a fee, and the remaining $67,000 goes to the client.
Lawyers and clients may also agree on limitations or adjustments to the percentage based on certain types of case outcomes. For example, they may cap the percentage of a settlement a lawyer receives if the case settles early on, before the lawyer has done much work. Or, they may agree to increase the percentage if the case goes to trial, to account for the additional work the lawyer may have to do. This is called a sliding-scale, and it is a common feature of contingent fee arrangements.
Some states cap contingent fees, or require that they reasonably reflect the value of the lawyer’s services if the lawyer had charged the client on a per-hour basis.
Contingent fees represent payment for a lawyer’s services.
However, pursuing compensation for a personal injury also comes with some expenses, such as:
At the beginning of a case, personal injury lawyers and their clients agree on how to handle these and similar expenses. Many lawyers agree to pay those costs, but sometimes clients may want to pay them. If the lawyer agrees to pay these costs, then the lawyer will be reimbursed for these expenses from any recovery or settlement.
Clients sometimes wonder why personal injury lawyers would agree to work on a contingent fee basis, when so many other lawyers charge their clients by the hour or ask for big up-front payments.
The answer is simple: personal injury lawyers know that getting hurt can put you and your family under intense financial strain. Suddenly, you have unplanned medical expenses to pay. You may miss work while recuperating. Your injuries may even prevent you from returning to your job in the future. Most personal injury victims simply cannot afford to pay a lawyer by the hour. By agreeing to work on contingency, personal injury lawyers make their services affordable for everyone.
The personal injury attorney’s contingent fee comes out of the amount of compensation the attorney succeeds in securing for the client. In a typical personal injury case, damages include:
Personal injury lawyers work on a contingent fee basis in a wide variety of cases. Here are some common ones.
Property owners must generally make their premises reasonably safe for others who come there. Personal injury lawyers routinely take cases on contingency in which their client fell and got hurt because of an unreasonably dangerous condition on someone else’s property.
Motor vehicle accidents constitute a leading cause of accidental injury and death throughout the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Personal injury lawyers take motor vehicle accident cases on contingency to secure compensation for victims of crashes involving cars, trucks, buses, and motorcycles, as well as for cyclists and pedestrians who get hit by motor vehicles.
A dangerous medication has the potential to harm millions of Americans before regulators remove it from store shelves. Other consumer products may also hide extreme dangers that could hurt, or even kill, unsuspecting users, including children. Personal injury attorneys represent clients on contingency in cases seeking compensation from manufacturers, distributors, and others who put the public in harm’s way by making and selling dangerous, defective products.
Medical professionals must deliver a reasonable standard of care to their patients. There are often devastating consequences when they fail to do so.
Personal injury lawyers take cases on contingency when representing clients harmed by:
Hiring a personal injury lawyer is almost always worth the contingent fee you pay if the attorney can secure compensation for your injuries and losses.
This question often comes up when an insurance company representing the party at-fault makes a quick settlement offer directly to the person who suffered an injury. The injured person feels tempted to take what seems like easy money, and wonders whether it’s really worth hiring a lawyer who will keep a percentage of the money.
However, an insurance company’s offer directly to the injured party rarely amounts to anything close to what the person deserves. Hiring a personal injury lawyer ensures that you do not fall victim to this type of manipulation. It puts a professional negotiator on your side who understands how to determine the amount of compensation you are entitled to for your injuries, and how to obtain as much of that amount as possible from the parties who owe it to you.
In virtually every case, a skilled personal injury lawyer stands an excellent chance of securing far more compensation for you than you could hope to get on your own, even after accounting for the lawyer’s percentage contingent fee.
Many people question how to find the right personal injury lawyer for their circumstances.
Here are some tips.
People who suffer injuries through no fault of their own have lots of unwelcome challenges to contend with in their lives. They should not have to worry about paying for a lawyer who can represent their interests and get them the compensation they deserve.
By working on contingency, personal injury lawyers make it possible for injured individuals to seek justice without breaking the bank.
Learn more about your personal injury legal options by contacting a skilled personal injury lawyer today for a free consultation.
John Gomez founded the firm alone in 2005. Today, John acts as President and Lead Trial Attorney. He has been voted by his peers as a top ten San Diego litigator in three separate fields: Personal Injury, Insurance and Corporate Litigation. Since 2000, he has recovered over $800 million in settlements and verdicts for his clients with more than 160 separate recoveries of one million dollars or more. A prolific trial lawyer, John has tried to jury verdict more than 60 separate cases.
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No Fees Unless We Recover Money On Your Behalf