After an accident or personal injury, one of the first thing victims think about are costs. How am I going to afford my medical bills? What about all the work I’m going to miss? Add to this the potential costs of hiring an attorney, and the entire process can make anyone anxious. But concerns about attorney’s fees and costs should not discourage you from hiring an experienced litigator. The key is understanding how your lawyer will, or might, get paid. This post is dedicated to explaining that, and to helping you understand how we are paid for our services.
To begin with, it cannot be understated how important it is to have legal representation after an accident or injury. A lawyer will understand the rules, guidelines, and of course the relevant laws that will apply in your case. Not hiring a lawyer risks missing deadlines or filings, which can have a detrimental impact on your claim. Remember, if you go it alone, it means you will almost certainly face highly experienced and ruthless trial lawyers. Although you are not required to hire a lawyer, it is strongly recommended that you at least speak with one. Personal injury and car accident lawyers understand that, for many people, money is a luxury. This is especially the case when someone has been seriously hurt and other bills start rolling in. For this reason, most personal injury firms, including Schneider Hammers, work on a contingency fee basis.
A contingency fee means that the lawyer’s compensation is based on how much is awarded in damages. If the lawyer does not win, they do not get paid. Every firm varies with how much they charge for a contingency fee. However, the typical amount is one-third (33.33%) of what is awarded to the victim. One factor that may affect the amount of the fee is the sort of case involved. If a case is very complicated or will require a great deal of litigation, the firm’s fee may be higher. Also, there may be arrangements to adjust the fee if the case settles. These are all variables that will likely affect your contingency fee, no matter which law firm you choose.
Understanding how these fee works is vital to understanding what your ultimate award might be. It’s also important to know the difference between attorney’s fees and costs. This is a distinction you should know regardless of the type of legal matter involved. Attorney’s fees are what the lawyer charges for his services. Many, but not all, attorneys will use the contingency fee arrangement discussed above to cover this. But some may charge on an hourly basis and may require an upfront retainer against which to bill. Schneider Hammers does not charge hourly. Before agreeing to go with any lawyer, know how the lawyer is charging for his or her work. Costs, on the other hand, are expenses paid to parties other than your lawyer.
This can include a wide range of expenses. Court filing fees, postage, travel expenses, expert witnesses, and numerous other third-party costs may be attached to your case. Some attorneys advance these costs up front and pay themselves back from the award. Others may require the client to pay these costs as they accrue. Schneider Hammers will recoup these case expenses from the settlement amount. There are many ways a law firm may handle these costs. As with attorney’s fees, it’s important for the client to understand how costs will be paid.
What To Expect if You Need a Car Accident or Personal Injury Attorney
The above is intended to provide you some guidance as to how an attorney may charge you. It is useful for understanding the expenses of any type of case, not just personal injury or car accidents. In the event you need an attorney for any reason, educate yourself on how fees and costs may be paid. At Schneider Hammers, we work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t pay anything upfront or out of pocket. You only pay, out of the settlement amount, if we win. The award you receive will be used, in part, to pay for our services and costs. It’s our belief that victims deserve justice, regardless of their financial situations. That is the basis not only of how we charge for services, but our general approach to the law. Don’t let the pressure of mounting costs scare you from getting the legal representation you deserve. If you still want clarification on how costs are paid, please call us today and we will happily explain to you the process. Understand what and how your lawyer and costs are paid. And when you’re ready, call us to set up your consultation.