If you are in an accident that results in injury or damages due to someone else’s negligence, you can try to seek compensation. To do this, you need to prove the responsibility of the at-fault party and negotiate with the insurance company. Therefore, it is a good idea to have a personal injury attorney to help you throughout the process.
Why some attorneys work for free?
A lot of personal injury lawyers, also known as accident attorneys, work on a contingency fee basis.
What are contingency fees?
Contingency fees mean that a lawyer is only paid after winning his/her client’s case. If the lawyer does not recover compensation for the client, he/she does not get paid.
When a lawyer is paid with contingency fees, it gives motivation to work harder and obtain a favorable outcome for the legal claim. Lawyers know they will not get paid unless they win the case for their client.
In addition, contingency fees give injured individuals, regardless of their financial means, the ability to get guidance from an attorney when facing big firms and insurance companies. Using contingency fees makes it possible for individuals from all walks of life to get justice.
Research reveals that claimants with a personal injury lawyer recover 3.5 times more money on average than unrepresented claimants.
How can you negotiate the contingency fee?
A personal injury attorney’s legal fees may vary depending on the current phase of the legal claim. It is possible to negotiate an increase in the lawyer’s fee percentage if the claim moves closer to trial and more work must be done.
A personal injury attorney commonly charges approximately 33% to settle a claim before a lawsuit, and the rate raises to 40% if a lawsuit is filed. Generally, you and your lawyer will agree to contingency fees with a sliding scale like this.
The percentage is open to negotiation between you and your lawyer, but it should be fair and reasonable. The percentage is based on factors such as: the probability of success, the nature and complexity of the claim, the expenses and risks of going forward, the amount of expected compensation, and who will receive recovered damages.
What are pro bono attorneys?
A pro bono or volunteer lawyer is an attorney that agrees to take all or part of your case at no cost to you, and not charge a fee from any other source. Pro bono attorneys provide their services to people that need them.
This is different from attorneys working for a typical legal aid organization. In this case, attorneys get funding to take on claims at no cost to the client, yet are paid for their work by funders.
A pro bono or volunteer attorney manages all or part of your claim at no charge to you, but is not paid for his/her time either. It is important to know this difference, since for each hour an attorney volunteers on your case, he/she does not take on other paid claims.
Many non-profit organizations, including local bar associations, work to motivate lawyers to volunteer to assist individuals who need free legal services. Some law schools encourage their advanced law students to advise people too.
Find a free lawyer near you
If you need a personal injury lawyer, the Law Offices of Tim D. Wright are to help you. We work to give legal advice to people who have been injured or lost a loved one as a result of another person’s negligence. Regardless of what kind of injury or loss you endured — personal injury, car accident, workplace accident, etc — we can help give you legal advice. We will fight to get you the maximum compensation benefits possible.