After you suffer a personal injury, you may be hesitant to file a lawsuit. Believe it or not, this isn’t uncommon. The problem is that you may believe that you won’t be able to afford legal services. However, in the majority of situations, anyone who is filing a lawsuit against a party who acted in a negligent manner and caused their injuries or damageto their propertywill not have to pay anyupfront fees. This is because the majority of personal injury attorneys will handle any case such as this by charging a contingency fee.
What is a Contingency Fee in Personal Injury Cases?
To explain the concept simply, a contingency fee is a fee that will only be charged if the personal injury lawyer is able to successfully represent the case and help their client receive compensation. If the case is unsuccessful, then the person who has filed the lawsuit – the plaintiff – will not owe any fees to their lawyer. However, if the case is successful, then the lawyer will receive a percentage of the award the plaintiff gets.
When the case is won, it will mean one of two things happened:
- The case went before a court and a jury determined the outcome – or –
- The case was settled successfully prior to going to court.
The Contingency Fee Charged Will Depend on the Personal Injury Case
The amount that your personal injury lawyer will receive after the case is won is dependent on a number of factors. In most cases, the amount your attorney will receive will be a percentage of the total award, instead of a flat amount. When your case is first accepted by an attorney, the lawyer will request that the client signs an agreement that determines the percentage that the lawyer will get if the case is successful. Usually, the percentage is going to be based on how difficult the case is.
If the attorney does not help win the case, then they won’t charge a fee for the work they do. However, it is important to note that an attorney will virtually always charge for any expenses they incurred while the case was being worked on. If you make the decision to change your lawyer or decide not to bring about a lawsuit at all, then your original attorney is going to likely charge you for the amount of time they put in the case.
Expenses That Are Included in the Amount That is Received By the Plaintiff in a Personal Injury Case
The majority of lawyers will advance the expenses, instead of asking you to pay them. After the case is successful, then the law firmwill typically add up all the expenses and charge this amount, in addition to the agreed-upon fee. All of this will be clearly outlined in the attorney-client agreement that is signed.
If you have suffered a personal injury, you should be able afford to hire an attorney– thanks to the way most lawyers charge clients on a contingency fee basis. If you need legal representation for your personal injury case, contact the attorneys at Hilton and Somer by calling 703-560-0700.