You’ve been injured in a serious car accident, and you know that the other driver is at fault. They were even cited by the responding officer at the scene for failure to obey basic traffic laws. Given the circumstances, you’d hoped that their insurance company would be reasonable. However, the adjuster is ignoring your calls.
You think (or know) that you really need an attorney to handle the case, but how can you ever afford one?
Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis
It would be very difficult for most people in this situation to afford to pay an attorney’s fees up-front, which is why contingency fees are very common in personal injury claims.
While the exact agreements may vary from attorney to attorney (and even case to case), a contingency fee works like this:
- You find an attorney who thinks you have a good case.
- The attorney agrees to take a fee only if they actually obtain compensation for your injuries, whether that’s through a negotiated settlement or litigation.
- You agree to pay the attorney a percentage of whatever you receive as their fee. Typically, you can expect to pay 33.3% of whatever you receive without going to trial and 40% of your proceeds if you settle after trial preparations begin or receive a judgement.
While this means that, going into the agreement, you have no idea how much you will actually pay your attorney in the end, it also means that your attorney will work very hard to obtain the maximum compensation you are due. After all, if you get nothing, they get nothing.
The answer, then, to your questions is, “Yes, you can afford a personal injury attorney.” The contingency fee system makes it possible for everyone to get justice after they’ve been injured by someone else’s mistake, no matter what their economic situation.