An injury that results from an accident can come unexpectedly and out of nowhere. On top of having to worry about your wounds healing, you do not need the added stress of coming up with money for an attorney’s fee in the event you need to seek legal action against whomever was at fault for your accident. Thankfully, many personal injury (PI) lawyers work on a contingency basis. Here is some important information to know about contingency fees and personal injury cases.
What is a Contingency?
When a lawyer takes a case on a contingency basis, it means that the client does not have to pay the attorney’s fees unless the case has a favorable outcome to the offended party. The attorney’s fees are generally a reasonable percentage of the settlement or award that is agreed upon by both the client and attorney before any proceedings begin. If the case is won, the contingency fee comes right out of the settlement or award money, so you will never have to directly pay your lawyer.
The Advantages of a Contingency for a PI Case
There are some distinct advantages for you to have your PI case be on a contingency. First, it allows you to have experienced and knowledgeable representation without having to come up with money ahead of time. Secondly, it helps to ensure that your attorney will do a great job defending your case. Since there is no money in it for the attorney if the case is lost, he or she will surely put forth every effort to win the case.
Beyond attorney’s fees, there are often other legal expenses that go along with a personal injury case. For example, there are costs for making copies, seeking medical records for the injuries that were sustained in the accident and interviewing witnesses. There are also fees for filing a claim and the court reporter. Normally, the attorney will pay all of the fees that are associated with the case and then the money is reimbursed out of any winnings. The fee arrangements will be spelled out specifically in the contingency agreement, so it is crucial that you read it carefully to see what costs you are responsible for, if any.
Another option when hiring a PI lawyer is doing so with a retainer. This method is quite uncommon with personal injury cases. Normally, an attorney will only take a case on retainer if there is little or no obvious liability on the part of the supposed-guilty party. Taking a case on retainer can be costly for both the injured party and the attorney.
If you have been in an accident and need a personal injury lawyer, contact Clauson Law today. Our staff is ready to help you.