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Personal Injury Law Is More Complex Than You Think

I always assumed that personal injury cases where pretty straight forward. After being in an accident, any financial losses that you suffered would be reimbursed by the liable party's insurance company. Unfortunately, things only work this way in a perfect world. In the real world, personal injury cases are extremely complex and getting the insurance company to pay a fair settlement requires the expertise of an experienced injury lawyer. Unfortunately, it took me several months to finally seek out the legal assistance I needed. As a result, I waited much longer than necessary to get the compensation I so desperately needed. During this time, I learned more about personal injury law than I ever thought I would. It is my hope that this blog will allow me to share that knowledge with you so that you can avoid making some of the same mistakes that I did.


Personal Injury Law Is More Complex Than You Think

How Personal Injury Lawyer Fees Work

by Christine Wagner

Car accidents can make a mess out of someone's life in an instant. The loss of employment, physical mobility, and financial stability following an accident are all possibilities for anyone who's seriously injured. That is why most legal experts recommend legal representation for people who are injured. If you are looking for legal help but aren't sure if you can afford it, here are the three things you should know:

Injury Lawyers Typically Use a Contingency-Based Contract

In almost all injury cases, an injury lawyer will ask you to sign a contingency-fee agreement for representation. This is good for anyone who doesn't have funds for an upfront retainer because you don't have to pay until after your case has been settled through mediation or a trial. This type of contract also usually includes a clause that requires your lawyer to win in order to be paid. The only situations where a lawyer may not be interested in this type of contract is if an injury case doesn't involve an insurance company or if it the evidence doesn't clearly establish a responsible party for damages.

Injury Lawyers Usually Take a Standard Percentage

The fee which your lawyer will put in the contract could be based on several factors: How strong your case is, how much money is to be settled, and how long it will take to resolve. It's typical for a lawyer to get 33% of whatever amount you settle, which may or may not include court costs and other fees. It can be as much as half, however. Your lawyer may be willing to negotiate a lower fee if you have a case that will likely bring in a lot of money.

Injury Lawyers May Help Clients with Current Expenses

There are some cases where clients can't live day to day because of medical bills and other financial issues. Some lawyer firms will loan money to clients or set them up with a company that provides settlement-based loans. This type of arrangement can help you get needed cash, but it will decrease the money you get from your settlement check. Your lawyer will charge you an additional fee or percentage for this type of advance.

Now that you understand more how personal injury lawyer fees work, you can consider your options based on type of injury case you have. It's important to be clear on all of the fees you will be charged at the end of your case--otherwise you may plan for an amount you aren't going to get paid. Your lawyer is obligated to answer any questions you have about your contingency contract, and he or she will take the time to help you.