For many people, retaining a lawyer may seem out of reach. Even if you have been the victim of a fall or faulty equipment, you may not pursue legal action because you have little money. Fortunately, many personal injury lawyers work on contingency, which means they get paid when you win your lawsuit. Before you enter into this agreement, you need to understand exactly how it will affect you.
Not all lawyers will accept cases on a contingency basis. Those who do must be convinced that you have a strong case. After all, they will be paid nothing if they do not win your lawsuit. As a result, you need to approach possible candidates with complete information about your case. If you injured yourself while falling in a grocery store, you need to provide medical records, names and addresses of witnesses, and any other information that may be helpful. While your lawyer will do more research if they choose to pursue the case, presenting proper documentation at your initial meeting will help ensure that they do come aboard. If you cannot get someone to take your case on contingency, your case is almost certainly a weak one.
Most lawyers who take these cases charge between 33 and 40% of the final settlement as their fee. If you win a million dollar settlement, you will not receive nearly that amount. You won't even receive 67% of the amount. All expenses related to the case will be deducted first. In many cases, your attorney will have to hold depositions of several witnesses and do plenty of research before the case is settled. In some instances, the case will actually go to trial. As a result, the expenses can be thousands of dollars. You may receive less than half or even one-third of the settlement. You need to fully understand the process so that you have the proper expectations. The million dollar settlement may be $400,000 or less by the time the law firm pays its expenses and distributes the money to you.
When you have been injured due to someone's negligence, you can find a personal injury attorney (like Jack W Hanemann, P.S.) to represent you, even if you have no money to give them up front. Some lawyers will take your case on contingency if the case is a strong one. Be prepared, however. You will pay a significant amount of the settlement to your lawyer.