If you have suffered injuries due to someone else’s negligence, you may need the assistance of an attorney. If you are like most individuals, you may be worried about how you will pay for legal help. You may not even be sure if you have a winnable personal injury claim or that you will receive a fair settlement for your injuries after all.
The good news is that most personal injury attorneys accept cases on a contingency fee. This can make things more practical and realistic for you, even if you do not have the money to pay for legal assistance.
What is a Contingency Fee?
Attorneys often work under contingency. This means they take a case under a legal agreement that delays payment of fees. Under a “contingency agreement,” the attorney is only paid when or if you receive a settlement from an insurance company or damages in lawsuit.
If your claim or lawsuit is successful, then the attorney will be paid a certain percentage of the compensation you get for your injuries. The percentage assigned in the contingency agreement is the contingency fee.
Keep in mind that contingency fees are only a portion of the money that may be due to an attorney that handles a claim or lawsuit for you though. There are also legal costs associated with any claim/lawsuit. Some attorneys cover these costs until a case is resolved. Others expect payment of costs periodically during the handling of a case.
Even if costs are delayed until the claim is decided, you will still owe the attorney. Unlike contingency fees, even if you receive no settlement or damages, you must still pay legal costs. However, if your case is successful and you get compensation for your injuries, you can pay legal costs and contingency fees from the settlement or damages you receive.
How Much do Personal Injury Attorneys Typically Charge?
Contingency fees are governed by state laws and the percentage a lawyer can charge varies from one jurisdiction to the next. Fees permitted under state statutes can also vary based on the type of claim. Fees range anywhere from 10% to 40%, and most states set the lowest cap for the handling of workers’ compensation claims.
What can a Personal Injury Lawyer do for You?
Although you can negotiate a claim with an insurance company yourself and may even be offered a settlement, insurance companies are notorious for under-compensating. A personal injury lawyer understands how to build a compelling case and how to negotiate for a fair settlement. If necessary, a personal injury attorney can take your claim to trial as well.