If you are a victim of personal injury, one of the initial worries you may have is whether you have the funds to hire yourself a personal injury (PI) lawyer. In most cases, there won’t be any upfront costs involved. This is to ensure that the injury victim can gain access to all of the medical treatment that is deemed necessary and to ensure that their legal rights will be protected. If an attorney is something you need, you should not forfeit your right to one just because you are worried about payment methods. Fully understanding the costs is essential before hiring a legal professional.
How Are PI Lawyers Paid?
The majority of personal injury lawyers won’t ask for victims of an accident to pay for the attorney fees from their own funds. Instead, a contingent fee agreement is used to cover the costs of the attorney fees. This is where a lawyer will get paid a percentage from the absolute settlement. Not only does this reduce the amount of stress the client has to deal with, but it also motivates the PI lawyer to win the case and obtain as much compensation as they possibly can. If they don’t win, they won’t get paid.
What Do Contingent Fees Cover?
The contingency fee agreement will be subject to court fees and ligation costs. This includes the fees required to file a lawsuit, medical record copying costs, fees for an expert witness and other relevant expenses. You need to understand whether the contingent fee your attorney is entitled will be determined before or after these expenses have been taken off the total amount that is settled. Settlements can be subject to medical liens filed against the award for personal injury.
What Are Hourly Fees?
Sometimes, PI lawyers will set an agreement for an hourly fee rather than a contingency fee, however, this is a less common form of payment. If this is the case for your desired PI lawyer, then they will have a set hourly rate that you will have to pay them, once signing a contract that states the rate and putting down a deposit. This is something you need to keep in mind when hiring a personal injury lawyer.
What is a Practical Hourly Rate?
Most attorneys will have a set rate that they deem reasonable. Attorneys that don’t do this are at risk of being sanctioned by the state for violating ethical obligations. There isn’t a test to determine what a reasonable rate would be, but there are a number of factors that can be considered, such as the amount of labor and time required, how complex the case is, the probability of winning the case, the rates of the local legal services, the importance of/the amount involved, the length and nature of the professional relationship between the client, the lawyer’s experience, diligence and reputation, and if the fee is contingent or fixed.
Whether the personal injury you acquired was caused by an accident in the workplace, medical malpractice, a vehicle or something else, then it’s essential that you get yourself a personal injury attorney with plenty of experience and a good reputation. Just make sure you understand their method of payment before choosing your attorney.