What if I Cannot Pay a Personal Injury AttorneyWhat if I cannot pay a personal injury attorney? If you are asking this question, it is probably because you have been injured and/or suffered damages in some kind of accident or incident that was not your fault.
You believe that you should be compensated for your injury and/or damages. You realize that in order to receive the compensation you deserve, you are going to need the assistance and representation of a personal injury attorney.
However, you are in a position where you cannot pay a personal injury attorney. For this reason, you do not believe a personal injury attorney can or will help you.
The good news is that a personal injury attorney can help you even though you cannot pay for their services or pay up front for legal fees. In fact, in many instances, you will not have to pay anything in order to have a personal injury attorney represent you.
How is this possible? It is because most personal injury attorneys work on what is known as a contingency fee basis.
A contingency fee basis means that what you owe the attorney depends on whether the attorney wins your case for you. If the attorney loses your case, you do not pay him or her anything.
However, there is one thing that you need to know from the beginning. If you lose your case, while you will not owe the attorney anything, there are court costs and other legal fees. You need to find out whether you are responsible for these things or will the attorney take care of them.
If your personal injury attorney wins your case, you agree to pay the attorney a certain percentage of the money that you are awarded. In this way, you have no out of pocket expenses and can have the assistance of a personal injury attorney even though you cannot pay them.
Although it varies from state to state, in most cases, the contingency fee is usually between 33 and 40% of what your monetary award is. For example, if you are awarded $60,000, your attorney will probably get $20,000, and you will receive $40,000.
Shifting fee limits
Most states have shifting fee limits that depend on the point your case is at. For example, if your attorney is able to secure a settlement that is agreeable to you, even before a lawsuit if filed, they will usually not get more than 33% of that settlement. If an agreeable settlement is reached after a lawsuit is filed, your attorney gets a higher percentage of the settlement, which usually amounts to 40%.
Some state statutes put a limit on the percentage an attorney can take for a contingency fee. In some instances, certain types of cases also limit the contingency fee an attorney receives. There can even be instances in which a state does not allow an attorney to receive any contingency fee.
Deducted from settlement
There is one other thing to keep in mind. Court costs and other legal fees incurred by your attorney will also be deducted from what you receive in the settlement.
The smart thing to do is to have a personal injury attorney evaluate your case at no cost or obligation to you.
Article written by James Shugart
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