If you've been injured in an accident that wasn't your fault, a personal injury attorney can help you receive a fair settlement from the insurance company. Although it's possible to receive some compensation without legal representation, if you don't have a personal injury attorney there's an increased chance that the insurance company will try to take advantage of you and give you less than you deserve."
Personal injury attorneys typically focus on one type of personal injury claim, such as car accident injuries or medical malpractice. They also have experience in tort law, which involves civil litigation to recover financial damages in a settlement. The following are a few scenarios where you might consider hiring a personal injury lawyer to represent you:
A personal injury lawyer provides legal representation to anyone involved in a personal injury claim, whether you’re being sued (defendant) or suing (plaintiff). A lawyer can:
Your insurance company won’t provide you with a lawyer or give legal advice regarding your personal injury but they may cover parts of the medical bill if you have been injured. The two of you have very different goals. An insurance company's goal in an accident is to pay out as little as possible if you’re involved in a personal injury, and your goal is to get as much of your injury and damage costs covered. If you have a case which is specific to insurance, consider hiring an insurance lawyer instead.
Most personal injury lawyers take cases on contingency. This means that instead of charging a fee directly, the attorney takes a portion of the damages received from a successful case. That portion will usually be about 33% of the total settlement money.
However, the percentage a lawyer charges will often depend on how complex the case is. Lawyers will often require higher percentages as a case goes further through the court system. The final percentage may end up being as high as 60% in especially challenging cases.
In the event that you win your case, the settlement check is typically sent to your lawyer. Your lawyer will deduct their fee, and then send the remaining amount to you.
The cost of a personal injury lawyer depends on many factors, including your state and the kind of case you have. However, the biggest factor is how long it takes to resolve your case. There are 3 general stages at which a personal injury lawsuit can be resolved:
The further along in the process you go, the more likely it is that you’ll pay your lawyer more. This is because each stage in the process requires more work on the part of your lawyer. Do your part to read related articles, talk to your attorney, and learn about the different pricing options that exist. Remember that a local personal injury attorney may have a different price than what you see online.
Before you hire a personal injury attorney, you'll want to meet for an initial consultation. Many attorneys will offer this consultation for free, as the meeting helps them decide whether you have a viable case. Here are a few questions you'll want to ask during the consultation:
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