Obtaining legal services after an accident can give you an advantage in your personal injury case. It can also relieve a great deal of the stress you may face after your injury. Having a legal team to complete paperwork, file claims, communicate with adjusters, and manage other aspects of your injury claim allows you to focus on your recovery.
Hiring a personal injury attorney may seem outside of your budget after an injury. However, many personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. Let’s look into contingency fee agreements in more detail.
What is a Contingency Fee?
The contingency fee structure is one of the most common fee arrangements in personal injury law. With a contingency fee, your attorney agrees to represent you in exchange for a percentage of any settlement or verdict they obtain for your injuries. The attorney does not receive any attorney fees unless they recover money for your claim.
If your case ends in a settlement or verdict, the attorney will deduct their fees from the sum.
Contingency fees are used widely by personal injury lawyers. These fees are regulated under the Rules of Professional Conduct.
Who Decides the Percentage used by Contingent Fee Lawyers?
You and your lawyer will negotiate the percentage of the contingency fee before you engage them to represent you. The typical contingency fee is anywhere between 33% and 40% of your award. In New York, contingency fees can’t exceed 33%.
Several factors could impact the amount of the fee. The type of case is one factor. An attorney may charge a higher fee for complicated cases involving multiple parties. The contingency fee may also be higher for cases that will involve civil litigation instead of mediation or negotiations.
Your geographic area can also impact the contingency fee. Law firms may charge higher fees based on the prevailing rates in the area.
The attorney’s experience, education, and reputation also impact the contingency fee. Attorneys with more experience may charge higher fees. However, those law firms generally have more resources to fight claims.
Who Pays for the Costs of the Case?
In addition to attorneys’ fees, there will be administrative costs associated with pursuing a personal injury claim.
The costs of the case may include:
- Court filing fees
- Postage and copies
- Deposition fees
- Fees for obtaining copies of records
- Travel expenses
- Expert witness fees
- Investigation costs
In many cases, the lawyer pays these fees and deducts the costs from the settlement proceeds. However, you need to discuss costs before you hire an attorney. Some law firms may require clients to pay some or all of the costs as they are incurred. You may also want to discuss whether you have to reimburse the law firm for costs if the lawyer fails to recover compensation for your claim.
The Insurance Company May Try to Persuade You Not to Hire a Lawyer
A claims adjuster may tell you that you can get more money by representing yourself in a personal injury case. They may argue that you are paying the lawyer to file an insurance claim, which you could do yourself.
Do not be fooled by these arguments. Failing to hire an attorney benefits the insurance provider.
The insurance company has considerable resources and experienced personnel to protect its best interest. If you do not have an attorney, the insurance company can take advantage of your lack of legal knowledge.
Do you need to hire a personal injury lawyer? Contingency fees make it easier for individuals to hire a personal injury attorney. Many lawyers also offer free consultations. As a result, it does not cost you anything to talk to a lawyer about your case.
During your free consultation, you learn more about personal injury claims, damages, and the steps you need to take to protect your rights. Our lawyers provide honest assessments of your case. We will tell you if you do not need a lawyer to handle your case.
Do not wait too long to consult a lawyer about your injury claim. The insurance company may try to drag out your case past the deadline to file a lawsuit. If you fail to file your lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires, the insurance company wins.
Contact Our New York City Personal Injury Attorneys for a Free Consultation
If you were injured in an accident or other incident, we want to help. Contact our office to schedule your free consultation with a New York City personal injury lawyer. Let our legal team fight for your right to fair and just compensation for your injuries and damages.