You hire a lawyer and she takes all your money. You hire a personal injury lawyer and he takes all your settlement money. That’s how it works, right? You fight in court and only lawyers get paid? Well, myths abound about lawyers, but perhaps some of it is merited. Just like any other profession, lawyers are looking at their bottom line. That does not mean you should forgo a lawyer. How much does a lawyer get of your settlement? Can you ever go without a lawyer? How does a lawyer help? These questions are important. Let’s answer them.
Can you win?
How do you know if winning is possible? Usually if a professional personal injury lawyer is willing to take your case. You typically pay a portion – some, not all – of your settlement to your lawyer. Therefore, if no one wants to take on your case or will only do it by charging you beyond the settlement, you may consider not filing. Say you were in a car accident, broke your leg, and the injury caused you to miss six months work. Because you were hurt, medical damages should be covered. Because you missed work, that should be compensated. And then any emotional damages such as pain and suffering can be covered. This can really add up to a large number. On the other hand, if you suffered a very minor injury, twisting your ankle, it may not be worth anyone’s time to go through with a lawsuit. A good lawyer taking your case proves you have a chance.
What price should you pay your lawyer?
For personal injury lawsuits, as just noted a lawyer will take a portion of your final settlement. If you reach a fair number outside of court, which is very common, your lawyer takes a smaller portion, typically 25%. If you have to fight in court, the costs may be closer to 35% of the settlement. If a lawyer tries to take a large cut, such as half of the settlement, you should consider someone else.
Is a lawyer worth it?
An experienced personal injury lawyer protects your rights in and out of court. Since most cases are settled far before court, you may think you can forgo a lawyer and just take a cash settlement. True, you might avoid paying a lawyer fee, but you rarely will get the full amount you might have gotten. And that’s saying that the offer is even made without a lawyer. They may take you to court instead. In that case, a lawyer is essential.
How do you hire a lawyer?
You can find hundreds of lawyers in your state online, perhaps the quickest way to contact, evaluate, and hire an experienced personal injury lawyer. Many offer free consultations to get you started. Remember that if they charge too little, they may lack experience; and if they charge too much, they won’t be worth it.
What if you lose?
What if you get nothing? You have an honest claim, but the offers before court or lack of offers before court lead you to trial. Then, a judge decides you do not deserve damages. You may think it’s over; you lost. However, if you hire a good lawyer, he or she can take this to appeals court, where, if the laws were not interpreted correctly, you have a second chance to be compensated.