Personal Injury Lawyer
Personal injury lawyers typically get paid through a fee arrangement known as a contingency fee according to a personal injury lawyer from our friends at Kiefer & Kiefer. This fee structure is common in personal injury cases because it allows individuals who have been injured to pursue legal action without having to pay upfront legal fees. Here’s how it works:
Consultation: The process usually begins with a free initial consultation where the lawyer assesses the potential case. During this meeting, the lawyer will evaluate the merits of the case and determine if there is a reasonable chance of success.Contingency
Fee Agreement: If the lawyer believes the case has merit and the client wants to proceed, they will enter into a contingency fee agreement. This agreement outlines the terms of the attorney’s compensation.
No Upfront Costs: Under a contingency fee arrangement, the client does not have to pay any upfront fees or retainer to the attorney. The lawyer agrees to handle the case on the condition that they will only be paid if they win the case or secure a settlement.
Percentage of Recovery: The contingency fee typically consists of a percentage (usually around 33-40%) of the final settlement or court-awarded damages. This means that if the case is unsuccessful, the client does not owe the attorney any legal fees. However, they may still be responsible for other costs associated with the case, such as court filing fees or expert witness fees, depending on the terms of the agreement.
Expenses: In addition to the contingency fee, the lawyer may also advance expenses related to the case, such as court filing fees, costs of obtaining medical records, deposition fees, and fees for expert witnesses. These expenses are typically reimbursed to the attorney from the final settlement or award.
Settlement or Trial: The lawyer will work on behalf of the client to negotiate a settlement with the opposing party or, if necessary, represent the client in court. If they successfully secure a settlement or win the case at trial, the lawyer’s contingency fee will be calculated based on the agreed-upon percentage of the recovery.Contingency fee arrangements are designed to make legal representation accessible to individuals who may not have the financial means to pay for legal services upfront. This fee structure aligns the lawyer’s interests with the client’s because the attorney only gets paid if they successfully recover compensation for the client. It’s important to carefully review and understand the terms of the contingency fee agreement before proceeding with a personal injury case. If you are currently in need of legal assistance, contact a lawyer near you for help immediately on your case.