If you’re injured and are contemplating whether or not to pursue a lawsuit, you might wonder about whether or not you will be able to afford a lawyer. Fortunately, in the United States, most lawyers that help injury victims take cases on a contingent fee basis.
In a contingent fee agreement, the client pays fees to their attorney only if the lawyer handles a case successfully. In other words, there is only a fee in the event that the lawyer is able to obtain a recovery for their client.
Contingent fee arrangements are regularly used in cases where money damages are claimed. They are especially common in lawsuits for money damages from injuries.
In a contingent fee agreement, the attorney receives a fixed percentage (often one third) of the amount recovered on behalf of the client. In other words, if you win your lawsuit (by either settlement or trial), the lawyer’s fee comes out of the monetary award. On the other hand, if you lose, there is not lawyer fee.
The contingent fee arrangement allows people that believe they might have an injury lawsuit to have access to a lawyer without having to secure payment for the lawyer’s services.
Most lawyers who handle personal injury cases will provide potential clients with a free initial consultation and, assuming the client has a viable claim that the lawyer handles, take the case on a contingent basis. So, prospective clients can feel confident that they can speak to a lawyer without having the means to pay for the attorney’s advice in advance.
Generally speaking, a personal injury settlement is an agreement by which an injured person agrees to accept money in exchange for dismissing a claim for damages against the person(s) who caused the injuries.
Typically, upon entering into a settlement agreement, the injured party will sign a release. The release is a legal document that absolves the other side of any further liability arising out of the circumstances that gave rise to the claim for damages.
When someone is injured, it is not uncommon for the person(s) who may be responsible for the injuries to make an offer to settle the matter early on. These offers are typically offered by insurance companies to limit their exposure to liability for personal injury claims. This is why it is so important to consult an experienced attorney prior to accepting any offer from an insurance company or anyone else.
Lawyers who handle personal injury legal matters can help you decide whether or not to accept a settlement offer. They have experience dealing with insurance companies and know how to maximize the amount to which you may be entitled.
A lawyer can provide a more accurate opinion of the likelihood of success and value of your personal injury lawsuit.
Settlement agreements can take place a variety of stages of the civil litigation process. They can occur before or after a lawsuit is filed. They may not take place until right before trial, during trial, or even immediately following a trial before a jury has rendered a verdict.
It’s important to understand that the right to accept or reject a personal injury settlement offer rests with the client, not the lawyer. Make sure you discuss all of the potential consequences of accepting or rejecting a settlement offer.