No one plans on getting injured, but it’s not something you can predict!Although the physical and mental trauma from your injuries cannot really be compensated, a personal injury attorney or lawyer can help you recover the cost of your bills and lost income. However, there are a few things you should know before hiring one.
4 Secrets About Personal Injury Lawyers
1. They Aren’t Always Rich
A common notion about lawyers is that they are among the wealthiest professionals. Now, there’s no denying that there are plenty of them making that illustrious six or seven-figure salary year after year, but a couple of bad years or months can change the game for them. This is especially true for personal injury lawyers who run their law firms.
Even if they are employed at one, personal injury lawyers are only paid according to a contingency plan, meaning they receive their fees only if the client wins the case. The money for this comes exclusively out of the settlement amount. So, they have to build their fortune from scratch- quite literally!
2. Their Contingency Fee Isn’t Always A Fixed Amount
If you’re familiar with the legal industry in Canada, you’d know that the average contingency fee charged by personal injury lawyers is typically between 25 and 35% of the settlement amount. However, you may be able to negotiate and bring down your “lawyer’s claim” well below the lower limit.
Now, this isn’t advertised by most law firms (obviously), but the truth is you can negotiate with your lawyer to bring down their fee percentage to as less as 20%. Keep in mind, though, that this tactic may only work for cases that are comparatively easier and settle quickly inside or outside court.
Discuss the possibility of a negotiable contingency fee in the first consultation to increase your chances of getting a reasonable deal.
3. No Fees Doesn’t Equal To No Costs
Just because your lawyer won’t charge a fee until they win you the settlement doesn’t mean that you don’t have to pay for anything. Collecting evidence, accessing records, and searching for witnesses all come at a price, which is paid by your lawyer during the investigation. And the total amount spent for these purposes should be paid back to them, typically at the end of the trial.
Think of it this way- these are the expenses required for your benefit, so they are kept separate from the lawyer fee. So, make it a point to discuss this during the consultation.
4. You Will Need To Pay Your Lawyer Even If They Don’t Win You The Case
No, there’s no contradiction on the contingency fee point, nor is this point repeating what was just said above. If you decide to drop or change your lawyer in the middle of the case, you will still be liable to pay him or her the cost of the services they have rendered until that point in time.
And in most cases, this cost isn’t limited to the aspects stated above- your lawyer may also charge a fee for the time “wasted” on your case.
Dealing with legal matters is always an intricate process, which starts with hiring a lawyer. Hence, ensure that you speak with your lawyer clearly and clarify any doubts about the payment plan before hiring them formally.
But before that, consider asking for references from friends and family, and contact the best personal injury lawyer or law firm!