A common concern for people considering a lawsuit is money — attorneys have a reputation for being expensive. Victims in personal injury claims often struggle with finances due to their injuries and recovery, meaning they do not have extra money to pay for a trial with no guaranteed outcome. Thankfully, in most circumstances, the plaintiff in a personal injury case will not need to pay anything upfront.
The Beauty of Contingency Agreements
Many personal injury attorneys work on contingency. A contingency agreement is quite simple: the lawyer agrees to work without payment for the duration of settlement negotiations or a trial, only receiving payment when a settlement is reached, or a trial ends with a positive verdict. An attorney’s fee will typically range between 30% and 40% of the award or settlement.
A contingency often works better for plaintiffs in a personal injury case because it eliminates any further financial strain. A victim can focus on their recovery while their lawyer focuses on the case.
The 30% or more an attorney charges is meant to cover only their fee. It does not cover the costs of investigations, court filings, expert witnesses, etc. These costs will come out of your settlement or award.
However, unlike the attorney fee, court expenses are expected to be paid at the end of settlement negotiations or a trial. Because the client is still responsible for these expenses, it is wise to pay attention to all costs. You can ask your attorney to run expense decisions by you, but that can slow down progress.
When Contingency Agreements Aren’t Possible
Most personal injury attorneys will work on a contingency. However, there are occasions when the agreement is too risky. A personal injury lawyer might request their fee upfront when a case is not easy to argue.
Most lawyers will assess the likelihood of a favorable outcome before taking on a case. If your case seems circumstantial or challenging to prove, you might find it challenging to locate a lawyer willing to work on contingency.
If you are having trouble finding a lawyer to take a case on contingency, you might want to reconsider your position. It is possible that your claim does not have enough evidence to garner a positive outcome.
Are you ready to go to court? It is recommended that you conduct a thorough search in your area to find a personal injury lawyer like one from John K. Zaid & Associates to provide a risk-free case assessment. Contact a local personal injury attorney to discuss the strength of your claim and to discuss fees.