What Is a Contingency Fee?

How Does It Apply to a Personal Injury Claim?

Following a serious accident caused by another party, you may know that you have the right to pursue compensation through a personal injury claim. As you move forward with your personal injury claim, however, you may want legal support. You probably realize that an attorney can provide numerous advantages to your personal injury claim. However, an attorney sounds expensive, and you may already have bills that you need to deal with, not to mention the loss of your usual income.

An attorney who will accept your claim on a contingency fee basis can make it easier to juggle your expenses and take care of your medical bills in the aftermath of a severe accident while still receiving the quality legal support you need.

What Is a Contingency Fee?

An attorney who accepts a claim on a contingency fee basis will choose to accept payment for your claim if and when you successfully recover compensation rather than requiring payment upfront. The fee remains contingent upon the attorney winning the claim—acquiring compensation for your injuries from the liable party. Typically, the attorney will base the contingency fee off a percentage of the funds won in a personal injury claim.

What Does a Contingency Fee Include?

Most of the time, a contingency fee includes all of the legal expenses associated with your personal injury claim, including all of the services your attorney performs as he works to help you achieve a positive resolution to your claim.

Legal Advice

You may need considerable legal advice as you navigate your personal injury claim. From the earliest days of your personal injury claim, an attorney can offer valuable advice that can help maximize your compensation or prevent you from missing out on compensation for which you may qualify. You can come to your attorney with any questions about your injuries and your right to compensation.

For example:

How much compensation should you expect for your injuries? An attorney can help determine the true value of your case, from compensation for your medical expenses to what other losses you may want to include as part of your personal injury claim. By working with an attorney, you can get a better understanding of what costs to include in your claim, whether you suffered a traumatic brain injury or contend with severe back and/or neck pain after a serious accident.

Once you know how much compensation you will need to cover the full cost of your injuries, including your estimated future expenses, you can more easily make vital decisions about the compensation you want to accept from the insurance company. Many insurance companies will pressure you to accept a low settlement offer. An attorney can give you a better idea of what compensation you should expect, which will make it easier for you to make critical decisions about your compensation.

What can you post on social media about your accident? Whether you suffered minor broken bones or more serious injuries, including severe burns and lacerations, you may want to post information about your accident and your recovery on social media to help raise awareness, bring in the support of friends and family members, or simply show them how your recovery has progressed.

In some cases, however, the insurance company may use those posts against you. For example, if you post information about going out for the evening with friends, the insurance company may try to use it as evidence that your injuries do not cause the limitations you claimed in your initial demand package.

An attorney can help you navigate your social media presence as you recover from your injuries, including what you should and should not post as you move forward with your claim.

When should you move forward with your personal injury claim? You likely want to recover compensation for your injuries as soon as possible. After all, you have medical bills piling up and a host of other demands on your finances—including, in many cases, a lack of your usual income as you navigate the aftermath of the accident. However, you may not always need to move forward with your claim immediately. For example, an attorney may recommend moving forward with your personal injury claim only once you have a solid assessment of what your recovery will look like and how much your medical bills will ultimately rise as you recover from your injuries.

What information should you provide to the insurance company, and how should you deal with any questions? The insurance company that covers the liable party will need a great deal of information to help process your claim. You may need to provide information about the accident and access to your medical records to help show what losses you faced because of the accident, including what your long-term medical bills will look like.

Giving the wrong information to the insurance company, including issuing a statement about your recovery that suggests you may have gained back more than you really have or that inadvertently accepts some of the responsibility for the accident, can interfere with your ability to recover compensation. By working with a personal injury attorney, you can get advice about how and when to talk to the insurance company, including what you should avoid saying as you move forward with your claim.

Negotiation on Your Behalf

Dealing with the insurance company can create an immense headache and ongoing struggle. Those interactions may feel like the last thing you need, especially when you have substantial injuries to deal with and ongoing challenges to face. Your attorney can take over those interactions for you. Not only can this decrease the odds that you will inadvertently say something that could decrease the compensation you ultimately receive, but also it may help you reduce your overall stress levels as you move forward with your claim.

Evidence Collection

Collecting evidence related to your accident can prove critical to your claim. Evidence helps establish who caused your accident, including showing whether more than one party may bear liability for your accident. In some cases, evidence collection can prove relatively simple: you may have clear video evidence, photos, or witness statements that show exactly who caused the accident.

In other cases, however, you may need more extensive evidence that digs deeper into what led to the accident, especially if more than one party contributed to your injuries. An attorney can help collect and present all of that evidence to give a jury a better idea of who caused the accident and help establish your personal injury claim.

Court Representation

Sometimes, personal injury claims do have to go to court to resolve. If you have to go to court, having a personal injury attorney on your side can prove critical to acquiring the compensation you deserve. An attorney can present your claim in court in a comprehensive way that includes all the losses you face because of your accident. Thanks to that presentation, you may provide more information that better establishes the full extent of your losses and your suffering.

Check the contract you signed or ask your attorney about any actions or expenses not covered by your contingency fee. In most cases, however, your contingency fee will cover the legal expenses associated with your personal injury claim and make it easier to get the help you need.

Why Is a Contingency Fee Important to My Personal Injury Claim?

You suffered serious injuries in an accident due to someone else’s negligence. Now, you need an attorney to help you move forward with your personal injury claim. Is retaining an attorney who will accept your claim on a contingency fee basis important? An attorney who will accept your claim on a contingency fee basis offers several advantages.

A contingency fee makes your legal representation affordable.

Often, after a severe accident, victims face financial struggles. While a letter of protection can help put off collections on your medical bills until you have a chance to get the funds from a personal injury claim, your other bills do not stop rolling in. Unfortunately, your injuries may not allow you to work and bring in your usual income. Not only that, you may find yourself struggling with unexpected costs that your insurance does not cover and that you have to pay upfront, from travel expenses to and from the hospital or treatment facility to modifications to your home as you try to make it more accessible in light of your injuries.

Legal expenses may sound like an even more expensive proposition. In fact, many people choose to forego legal help because they feel that hiring a lawyer will prove too expensive or interfere with their ability to handle other necessary expenses following the accident.

A contingency fee can help avoid those challenges. When you pay your lawyer on a contingency fee basis, you do not have to worry that your legal fees will eat up whatever financial resources you still have on hand. Instead, you’ll know that you can pay your lawyer after he or she successfully recovers compensation on your behalf.

A contingency fee lets you know that your lawyer has a vested interest in the outcome of your claim.

During a personal injury claim, you may feel as though no one really has your best interest at heart. You have high medical bills to contend with, a long list of challenges you have to overcome, and in the meantime, it may feel as though the insurance company tries its best to limit the compensation it has to pay out to you as much as possible.

Your lawyer, on the other hand, will keep your best interests and rights at the forefront of your claim. Like you, your attorney wants to acquire as much compensation as possible through your personal injury claim. Your lawyer will support you through the process and, in many cases, go the extra mile to help maximize your compensation.

If a lawyer accepts your claim on a contingency fee basis, it shows that you have strong grounds for a claim.

When attorneys accept claims on a contingency fee basis, that essentially says that they have faith they will acquire considerable compensation through the claim. Your attorney can see, from your initial consultation, that you have considerable evidence against the liable party and injuries that qualify for compensation. By accepting the claim on a contingency fee basis, your attorney demonstrates confidence in your case.

What Happens if My Lawyer Does Not Win My Claim? Do I Still Have to Pay?

In many cases, if your lawyer accepts your claim on a contingency fee basis, if the lawyer does not successfully recover compensation on your behalf, you will not have to worry about paying. In some cases, some legal services may fall into a different category, and you may still face some small fees from asking your attorney to handle those issues. However, in most cases, your lawyer will clearly lay out any potential fees and give you a strong idea of what to expect as you move forward with your personal injury claim.

Do You Need a Personal Injury Attorney?

At the May Firm, we work hard to provide the legal representation our clients need while they manage their injuries and other accident consequences. We start with a free consultation and accept all of our clients on a contingency fee basis.

Need to know more about contingency fees and how they can make it possible for you to receive the legal support you deserve? Contact a personal injury lawyer today for your free consultation.

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