Personal Injury Contingency Cases
Founder/Owner THE FIRM, LLC
Personal injury cases are handled on–what lawyers call–a contingency basis. This means an attorney is usually not paid hourly lawyer rates.
However, some personal injury retainer agreements (a contract between a lawyer and the client) are part contingency and part fee based but the overwhelming majority of accident cases and personal injury cases are solely based on contingency.
1. FREE CONSULTATIONS AND RETAINER AGREEMENTS
a. Another feature of a personal injury case is the initial free lawyer-client consultation.
Many advertisers will “boast” that their personal injury consultation is free! The free initial personal injury consultation is the norm–not the exception to the rule. A client should NOT pay money for an attorney to review their personal injury case.
At the initial meeting/consultation, the lawyer will inform the client if he/she will accept the personal injury case; whether more information is necessary before making a decision to accept or decline their personal injury case; or if the personal injury case will be declined because it is too risky or does not have enough substantial monetary benefits.
b. As mentioned in the opening paragraph, there are times when the personal injury retainer agreement may feature part payment and part contingency: this may be done if the personal injury case is too risky to take on the normal 100% contingency basis.
Such a personal injury retainer may be offered for other reasons as well. If the attorney has proposed that you pay an upfront fee in your personal injury case, find out the reason he/she has done so…they should be able to express to you their reason(s)/concern(s).
2. PAYMENT AT SETTLEMENT/VERDICT
a. The reason the personal injury consultation fee is waived, and the reason there may be no hourly fee required in a personal injury case is because the attorney is paid a percentage of the proceeds from the settlement or verdict.
The percentage may be different from firm to firm. However, the percentage the lawyer takes usually increases if suit has to be filed: cases that settle prior to filing a lawsuit usually require less work. More work is involved once a lawsuit has been filed.
3. COSTS REIMBURSED BY CLIENT
a. There are certain costs that the personal injury lawyer may pay for the client during the personal injury case.
These costs are normally reimbursed by the client at the time the case is settled or a judgment is rendered and paid. Notwithstanding, a personal injury attorney may request that some costs be paid upfront by the client–not all costs may be paid (advanced) by the personal injury firm.
4. TREATMENT COSTS
a. Treatment costs are also paid by the client from the personal injury settlement/verdict.
Some healthcare providers may wait until the personal injury case is complete; while other healthcare providers may require payment from the client directly, prior to the completion of the personal injury case, and/or may bill the client’s health insurance provider prior to the completion of the personal injury case.
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If we believe we can assist you, we will set up a formal consultation with you to further discuss your matter.
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Legal Disclaimer: The above information is created for general information purposes only. As such, the information and contents should not be deemed formal legal advice; nor does the information and contents create a lawyer/client relationship between any party and the editors/creators”. We encourage persons accessing the Newsletter to seek the advice of counsel to discuss their specific legal issues/situation.
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