After an accident that leaves you seriously injured, you may experience severe financial stress. Medical bills may be coming due, and you may be temporarily or permanently off work due to your injuries. If the accident was someone else’s fault, you may be interested in filing a lawsuit to recover some of your damages. However, you know that hiring an attorney costs money, and with your financial situation already uncertain, you may not think that you can afford the legal fees involved. Personal injury attorneys understand the unique situation you are in. For this reason, they often structure their billing system a little bit differently than most other lawyers do.
Percentage of Your Award
Instead of charging you by the hour, personal injury attorneys usually ask for a certain percentage of whatever you receive as a result of your case. This applies whether it be a settlement negotiated with the other party and/or the insurance company or an award from the court for winning your case. You typically agree on this percentage with the attorney before he or she gets started working for you. The amount may vary, but most personal injury attorneys end up receiving between 10% and 40% of your eventual award.
Most personal injury attorneys also bill only on contingency. This means that they do not collect any fees from you unless you recover something from the case. If you do not win the case, the attorney receives nothing in fees. This is consistent with collecting a percentage of your award, because 0% of zero is nothing.
There are several advantages to contingency billing. You do not have to pay anything upfront, and you have nothing to lose from filing a lawsuit. Furthermore, you know that your attorney is motivated to help you win because otherwise, he or she will not receive any payment for the hours of hard work put into your case.
When considering filing a personal injury lawsuit, it is important to consider the net amount that you stand to recover, less your attorney’s fees, and whether it will be enough to cover your damages. It is also worth noting that most personal injury cases settle out of court rather than going to trial, which is something to take into consideration as well.
When you’re dealing with a personal injury from an accident, paying an attorney should be the least of your worries. Contact a personal injury attorney, like a personal injury lawyer in Minneapolis, MN, today
Thank you to the attorneys at Johnston | Martineau PLLP, for their insight into personal injury and the law.