The costs connected with recovery, for an injury wrongfully caused by another, can be considerable. In most cases, it is more than anyone can afford, especially when they have medical bills and lost wages to consider. That truth is it would make it impossible for the injured to seek justice unless attorneys had a special arrangement. Most, if not all, personal injury lawyers work on a “contingency fee” basis. It is the best way to get your case to court without paying up=front for a lawyer.
Understanding The Contingency Fee
A contingency payment is unique because it is only paid to the attorney when other terms are met. When working on a contingency basis, you are not required to pay anything up front or by the hour. Rather, the lawyer works in exchange for money that they will eventually deduct from the winnings. Any fees and disbursements will be deducted from the final compensation package. Ordinarily, you can expect about 33 percent to be taken from your winnings for legal fees. However, some lawyers work on a sliding scale, and some charge more or less depending on their agreement.
Fees and Disbursements
The lawyer must pay for certain items in regards to the case. These additions are called fees and disbursements. They will include things like the hiring of an expert witness, medical examinations, tests, and other expenses not covered by their percentage fee. Should you win your case, these expenses will be deducted before the lawyer is paid. They come off the top of your compensation package, followed by the attorney’s percentage, and finally, your compensation is what is left.
The Retainer Agreement
The retainer agreement is the contract document that hires the attorney. Until this form is signed, the attorney does not work for you. It is a contract that lays out the rules for your relationship. The paper states what the attorney will and will not do for you. The contingency fee arrangements will be outlined as well as the expenses you are expected to cover.
Before taking a case on a contingency basis, an attorney will evaluate the potential claim. They know that they will not get paid until the case is settled, so they are careful to work with clients who have a verifiable claim. They will not take a case on contingency if the recovery is not enough to reimburse their work, or the person they are representing has caused the accident and there is no money to be made. Since a great deal of work goes into these cases, they want to ensure they get their investment of time and money is returned.
Working With A Knowledgeable Attorney
The law limits the time that you have to file a claim. Since the time is so limited, you must work within the perimeters of the law to file your claim quickly. When you have suffered because of the wrongful acts of another, you need to be compensated for your pain and suffering. An attorney will use a mathematical formula to come up with a compensation amount. The amount includes lost wages, medical bills, loss of functions, the effect on your family, and the severity of the incident. Their claims are fair and based on the available insurance amount.
If you feel that you have been injured by the wrongful conduct of another person, you need to seek medical attention immediately. You must document your claims with as much detail as possible. Because the time frame is so limited on when you can file a personal injury claim, you need to act fast. Never settle with the insurance company without having an attorney on your side.