Personal injury accidents, including collisions, are expensive and time-consuming. You may have to deal with health insurance companies, medical bills, car repairs, auto insurers, and more if you are involved in one. Working with an attorney can make this process easier and significantly reduce stress. But how much will it cost you?
Fortunately, most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee agreement. This type of fee schedule allows you to focus on healing from your injuries while the law firm seeks compensation for you. The firm charges you nothing upfront and only receives its attorney fees if an attorney recovers money for you.
What Are Contingency Fees?
With a few exceptions, almost all personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. According to the American Bar Association (ABA), attorneys work on the contingency that they can recover monetary damages for their clients. They achieve this either through a settlement agreement or a judgment at trial.
They receive a percentage of the money they recover for their client when they do. This percentage is set before the client signs the initial contract. This ensures the accident victim always knows exactly what to expect. The percentage may increase if the attorney files a lawsuit, although this is also detailed in the contract. If you must file, your lawyer will be there to guide you every step of the way.
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What Does the Attorney’s Fee Cover?
The attorney’s fee pays for the attorney’s time. While some attorneys bill at an hourly rate, an attorney working on contingency will recover only the agreed-upon percentage regardless of the time they put into the case.
This fee does not include:
- Investigation expenses
- Filing fee costs
- Other litigation costs
The attorney’s contract with the client usually outlines a system that keeps these “out-of-pocket costs” separate from the attorney’s fees. The law firm will still pay for these expenses and costs so that the client won’t have to pay anything upfront. Once the attorney secures a settlement, they take these expenses and their attorney’s fees from the payout before the client receives a check.
Why Do Attorneys Agree To Work on Contingency?
Many clients do not have the funds to pay an attorney upfront. This upfront fee is a retainer. Hourly attorney’s fees can be very costly, and accident victims often face significant losses and expenses. This could include:
- Medical bills
- Car repair costs
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning ability
- Property damage
- Intangible losses
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
However, whether they have the money to pay for representation should not be a deciding factor in recovering damages on a valid claim for their accident and injuries. All injured victims should be able to exercise their right to pursue justice, hold the negligent parties accountable, and recover damages.
This type of fee schedule offers a way for the victim to get support, develop a strong case, and seek compensation despite having no money to pay for these steps. In this way, contingency fees also protect them from losing money. The attorney bears the financial risks of losing a case.
Lawyers who work based on contingency fees know it can take weeks, months, or even years to recover damages, especially if the case is complex or the investigation is challenging. The costs could quickly outgrow most personal injury recoveries if they charged an hourly rate. When they charge based on percentage, this is not possible.
A Personal Injury Attorney Only Gets Paid When the Client Does
Contingency fees protect clients from having to pay upfront costs. They also ensure they can keep their money for their everyday needs while their case moves through the claims process or prepares for trial.
Your personal injury attorney will get paid only when you receive compensation. This motivates them to fight for your recovery, getting as much money for you as possible based on your damages, and as quickly as possible.
You can learn the details about how a contingency fee arrangement works during your free initial consultation. Also, you can ask questions and learn more about the claims process based on the facts of your case.
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Talk to a Lawyer From Morris Bart, LLC, About Your Case for Free Today
If you were hurt in a personal injury accident in our four-state service area, the Morris Bart law firm will review your case and legal options with you for free. We represent clients hurt in negligence accidents in the Gulf South, including Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas.
We may be able to represent you based on contingency fees, fighting for your well-being and financial recovery. You do not have to fight alone. Call (800) 537-8185 to speak with an attorney from the Morris Bart law office near you for free.
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