How Can I Afford A Personal Injury Lawyer?
If you have been involved in a personal injury accident, one of the first things you may be wondering about is whether or not you should involve an attorney. While it is always a good idea to enlist a personal injury lawyer if you have been involved in an accident or crash, several different factors stop people from hiring one. Cost is perhaps the most common – the general rationale is that attorneys’ fees are too expensive and there is no guarantee that an attorney will win your case for you. However, this rationale is not correct when it comes to personal injury cases – contingency fees are an option for everyone.
What Is A Contingency Fee?
A contingent or contingency fee is when an attorney accepts a portion of money awarded to a client as a fee. In most types of cases, lawyers cannot collect contingent fees, because it might adversely affect the quality of their representation – for example, allowing contingency fees in criminal cases would be very problematic. However, in personal injury cases, this arrangement makes sense, because very often, an injured victim lacks the money to pay up front, and it serves as an incentive for an attorney to work even harder.
Contingency fees serve clients efficiently and fairly because in many situations, personal injury cases may not be seen as winnable in court – often, the costs of bringing suit would in theory outweigh the benefits. A contingent fee agreement spreads the risk around, so to speak; the attorney gets no payment if the case is not successful, and the client gets an attorney to take on a case that might otherwise be turned away as unwinnable or not worth an attorney’s time.
Fees & Costs Vary
In civil cases, a contingency fee may be collected once the plaintiff’s bills are settled – that way it can be certain that you will be able to pay for the medical care you need, without having to worry about attorney’s fees and the like until the primary objective (your medical bills being reimbursed) is fulfilled. The fee in most cases is 33 percent (one-third), but this is more an unspoken arrangement than a settled law – ethics can specify a range in which a contingent fee is appropriate, but there is room for discussion as long as the percentage is specified before the work begins.
While many Florida contingent fee agreements cover all costs explicitly, you should be aware that if yours does not, you will still be on the proverbial hook for fees that do not fall under the heading of paying one’s attorney – for example, court costs like paying for police reports, postage, or expert witness retainers. These can and do add up, so it matters that you know your rights. An experienced attorney will discuss these issues with you, but it is important for you to understand this in case you encounter an attorney that does not.
Call A Florida Personal Injury Attorney
When you are injured due to the negligence of another person, you deserve the chance to hold them accountable even if you may not have the money to do it on your own. Contacting the Tampa personal injury attorneys at the Rinaldo Law Group means that our dedicated and experienced lawyers will work hard for you. Call our offices today for a free consultation.