Have you been in an accident and are now worried about how much it could cost to see a lawyer? Do you anticipate that your attorney’s fees and expenses will consume a significant portion of your settlement?
Many accident victims, unfortunately, believe these misconceptions about seeing a lawyer. The insurance company would love it if the victim decided to go alone in court, so they frequently plant this concept in the client’s mind.
Did you know that often personal injury lawyers work on contingency fees, and they will only take a percentage of the settlement if they win your case?
We know this may sound too good to be true, but if you are worried about hiring a personal injury attorney, read on to learn about contingency fees and why this and other common misconceptions about seeing a lawyer after an accident is false.
Consultation fees are expensive.
Lawyers specializing in personal injury cases often provide free first consultations since their prospective clients likely don’t have the money to cover the cost.
If victims had to pay to meet with these lawyers, only the well-off would do so after accidents and injuries. Because of this, it is unusual to come across a personal injury attorney that does not provide free first consultations. There shouldn’t be any cost involved in discussing your personal injury case with a lawyer.
You should search elsewhere for legal representation if a lawyer attempts to charge you for a consultation to review your personal injury case.
Personal injury attorneys charge by the hour.
People often complain about lawyers because of how much money they seem to charge. The general public has this false impression that all attorneys request hundreds or thousands of dollars an hour and bill their clients down to the millisecond.
The majority of the population has a false belief that only well-to-do and giant companies can afford legal counsel.
To fight these misconceptions, lawyers don’t always help themselves. Some very pricey attorneys are out there, and many of them bill their clients by the minute.
Yet, not every lawyer operates in this way.
Contrary to common belief, personal injury attorneys do not often bill their clients by the hour, and they make every effort to keep their services within reach of those in need of them. In most cases, a free consultation is the first point of contact between clients and personal injury attorneys.
What does it mean to work on contingency?
After the free first consultation, the injured party and the attorney will determine whether to work together. The attorney decides whether to take on the case based on whether or not the injured party has a strong enough case to warrant taking on the case. The injured party evaluates each candidate based on many criteria, including whether or not they feel confident in the attorney’s ability to handle their case.
If the client and attorney agree to work together, they will sign a retainer agreement.
The agreement specifies the proportion of the settlement the lawyer will retain as payment for representing the client.
This fraction often relies on the complexity of the case, the attorney’s confidence in winning, the amount of money at stake, and the quality of the evidence.
Before signing a retainer agreement, clients have the right to negotiate this price.
The agreement will also detail how the attorney and client will pay for court, expert witness, and travel expenses. On occasion, a customer could agree to cover these expenses. However, sometimes attorneys offer to cover these costs. Again, the customer can discuss this before the agreement is finalized.
No matter what the retainer agreement says, the personal injury attorney will begin working for the client immediately without any advance payment or payment request. Furthermore, the attorney will have agreed to forego payment if the lawsuit is unsuccessful. The attorney is only paid contingency fees if the client gets a settlement.