Getting injured in an accident will turn your entire life upside down. Depending on the seriousness of your injuries, you may experience dramatic changes in your quality of life. Hopefully these changes will only be temporary, and as you heal from your injuries, you will regain your ability to work, take care of your children, and resume your normal daily life.
But what happens if you end up permanently disabled and your entire life is permanently changed? How are you going to pay your bills if you can no longer work? How are you going to be able to take care of your family? Even if you are only temporary disabled, you still have to pay your bills, and that is not even mentioning the massive hospital and doctor bills that are piling up.
This is where a good injury lawyer will come into the picture. The insurance agencies will try to pretend that they are on your side and will do everything possible to take care of you. Unfortunately, all they will do is try to payout as little amount as possible and close you case quickly. You need an experienced injury lawyer to negotiate on your behalf and ensure that you don’t get the short end of the stick when it comes time to settle your case.
But we all know that a good attorney is expensive. What happens if you don’t have thousands of dollars sitting around as a retainer? Are you just out of luck and will be forced to try to go it alone?
What You Need to Know About Contingency Fee Agreements
A contingency fee agreement is a special type of fee arrangement that personal injury lawyers use. Very few injury attorneys charge and hourly fee, or request a large retainer, such as divorce or criminal defense attorneys. This doesn’t mean that injury attorneys are not just as expensive as other types of lawyers, they are. A contingency fee is just what is sounds like, the attorney only gets fees if they win your case. If for whatever reason, you don’t get any settlement or payout due to the accident, the attorney does not get paid.
However, if you are awarded a settlement amount, or win at a jury trial, your lawyer will take their contingency fee based on the amount won. Normally, if the injury lawyer does not have to go to trial, the fee will be about one third of the amount that was paid through a settlement. If your attorney does have to file a lawsuit and begins to litigate, the amount of work the attorney needs to do will dramatically increase, and so will his back-end fee. Sometimes they will charge around two fifths of the amount paid, depending on if the case goes to trial.
If after filing the lawsuit, the case turns into a long-drawn-out court battle, there will be a tremendous amount of court costs and legal expenses that will be incurred. These expenses include things like court filing fees, investigation expenses like fees for police reports and medical records, deposition expenses and travel costs.
Some injury lawyers will charge you an upfront fee to cover the court costs and expenses, while others will cover the costs themselves and deduct those costs from the payout at the end of the case. You can negotiate the specifics of the fees during the initial consultation, if you decide to hire the lawyer.
What Happens if You Don’t Hire an Injury Lawyer?
After finding out just how expensive an injury attorney can be, you will immediately ask yourself if you can just do without one. Maybe that nice insurance adjuster will just feel bad for you and offer you a decent settlement? Or perhaps the first offer from the insurance agency is fair enough, even if it doesn’t even pay all the medical bills that piled up due to the accident.
What it really boils down to is the insurance agencies employ whole teams of skilled lawyers whose every job it is to shortchange you so they can save money. If they have a whole team of lawyers, and you don’t even have one, you are already at a disadvantage. Insurance companies will always take advantage of people who have suffered from an injury and do not have an attorney. Most often, without a lawyer you will be hard pressed to just recover enough money to cover the cost of your medical bills.
Although one third or more of your settlement of money awarded in court seems like a lot, look at it this way. If you are critically inured in an auto accident, and those injuries are made worse my medical malpractice, then insurance agency offers you $10,000, and you take the money because you don’t have a lawyer and you don’t know any better. After you pay your medical bills, you are left with a paltry $1,000 for your pain and suffering and lost wages while you were in the hospital.
Now, if you do hire an attorney, you will rarely have to pay any money out of pocket, and that attorney turns around and gets you $100,000 settlement. A third of $100,000 is $33,000 and while that seems excessive, you get $67,000 and after the same medical bills are paid you are left with you are left with $58,000 instead of a paltry $1,000. While these figures are not going to exactly match up with your case, we are sure you now understand what we are getting at here. Your lawyer taking a third of a huge payout will still leave you with much more money than you are getting 100% of basically nothing.
Another reason you need to hire an injury attorney is after you are injured in an accident, your lawyer will take control of everything. You won’t have to deal with the insurance agencies tricky tactics, or confusing court documents and pleadings. You can focus on what is really important, your health and your family during this stressful time.
Justice Law Center is the Premier Winnemucca Personal Injury Firm
Here at Justice Law Center, we have a team of experienced personal injury attorneys that have been helping the residents of Winnemucca Nevada for decades get what is fair for their families. We know all the ticks that the insurance agencies try to play, and our no-nonsense approach to personal injury cases are known by all the major insurance agencies. They know that when the Justice Law Center appears on a case, that they up against the very best.
We understand how hard it is after you have been injured in an accident. Here at Justice Law Center, we care about our clients. We will never leave you to fend for yourself and will communicate with you regarding every step of your case so you will never be left in the dark.
Call or email us today for a free consultation.