Morgan Gaynor | August 4, 2021 | Personal Injury
There are various reasons you may consider hiring an attorney at some point in your life. However, some people who could benefit from legal representation are reluctant to seek it—they fear that a lawyer’s fees will be too costly.
This is understandable, but hiring a lawyer can be much less expensive than you might think and worth the investment. For instance, perhaps you’ve been injured in a car accident or similar incident. You can often pursue compensation for your medical bills and related losses from the at-fault party. Your chances of settling for an appropriate sum will typically be greater if you have an attorney on your side.
In this scenario, hiring a lawyer will generally be quite inexpensive. This overview will explain why.
Attorney Fees: What You Need to Know
The cost of a lawyer will vary depending on the type of lawyer you need to hire. Most lawyers specialize in certain types of law, which will determine their fee structure.
For instance, perhaps you’ve been arrested for a crime. In this scenario, you would seek representation from a criminal defense attorney. Most criminal defense lawyers charge fees immediately when you hire them. They may charge a “flat fee” or bill you by the hour.
However, other types of lawyers may not. If you’re hiring a Tampa injury lawyer their fee system will typically be significantly different from that of a criminal defense attorney.
The Free Consultation
Many personal injury attorneys offer a free consultation to prospective clients. This is sometimes referred to as a case evaluation or case review. In fact, most types of lawyers will usually review your case at no charge.
There are exceptions, though. Some attorneys may charge for consultations to ensure others don’t use them to obtain free legal advice. Before scheduling a consultation with an attorney, confirm whether they offer free consultations.
During your free consultation, an attorney will review the details of your case. If you’re seeking a personal injury attorney, prepare for the consultation by drafting a narrative of your accident or the circumstances surrounding your injury or illness. You should also bring any evidence you have. This may include pictures of the accident scene, statements from witnesses (with their names and contact information), etc.
An attorney will evaluate your case and determine if you have grounds to seek compensation for your losses. If they believe they can help, they’ll explain their fees and any other relevant information you should understand before deciding whether to hire them.
Free consultations aren’t scams. Attorneys can only succeed if they can attract clients. They’re more likely to do so if potential clients have a risk-free means of inquiring about their services.
Personal Injury Lawyers and Contingency Fee Arrangements
Accident victims usually have extensive medical bills and lost wages related to their injuries. Such individuals shouldn’t have to take on additional financial risks by hiring an attorney. Thus, most personal injury lawyers’ fees are based on contingency fee arrangements.
Under a contingency agreement, an attorney doesn’t charge hourly fees or out-of-pocket expenses upfront. Instead, their fee is contingent upon recovering compensation for your injuries. If they are successful, they will receive a pre-agreed-upon percentage of your total settlement or verdict, which typically ranges between 30 and 40%.
This incentivizes attorneys to provide their clients with strong representation. If their clients don’t get paid, neither do they. Moreover, the more compensation they recover for clients, the greater their contingency fee. It also disincentivizes them from taking advantage of clients by representing cases with slight chances of success.
With contingency fees, you sign an agreement when you hire an attorney. This agreement will explain the contingency fee arrangement. It may also explain how they will pay administrative fees, such as court filing fees and related expenses.
Again, it’s important to thoroughly review how an attorney will charge you before hiring them. Not all lawyers charge clients in the same manner. In general, the typical personal injury attorney will use the contingency fee model.
If you need help with your personal injury case or you want to learn more information, call one of our convenient locations nearest you for assistance.
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