If you suffered an injury at the hands of another person or through the negligence of another person, you have probably considered filing a personal injury claim. As you sit at home, surrounded by medical bills and other costs, you may believe that adding lawyer fees on top of those bills will be too much of a financial risk. The reality is that it may not be as much of a risk as you think.
Consult with an Attorney
Before you decide that you can’t afford an attorney, it is crucial that you consult with an attorney. You can discuss payment and find out what your attorney accepts when it comes to his or her fees. Most personal injury lawyers do not charge by the hour! Hence, you may be surprised by what you would owe your lawyer upfront.
Create an Agreement
The agreement is the most important part of the meeting between you and your lawyer. This agreement will spell out how your lawyer will be paid. In the agreement, you want to make sure that you are clear about what you are willing to pay and when you are willing to pay it. The agreement needs to be clear for both parties, to protect you from surprise costs and to protect the lawyer against a lack of payment.
Pay a Contingency Fee
The majority of personal injury lawyers will receive payment when you win your case. If you do not win the case and do not earn a settlement, then you will not have to pay the lawyer. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you will pay nothing. In fact, some lawyers will ask that you pay any court costs or other filing fees after the case is finished. Some may ask you to do so during the trial or negotiations. It is important that you make sure that any of those conditions are in the agreement in advance. You do not want to be surprised with a bill. Most lawyers, however, will take about 33 percent of the settlement as payment.
When it comes to personal injury law, it’s understandable that you are already in a financial bind. However, when it comes to paying for representation, you normally do not have to pay until you receive your settlement!