Though not every personal injury claim or case needs the help of a lawyer, you may find that seeking legal aid is in your best interest. Many people hesitate to reach out to a lawyer because of legal fees that they can’t afford, but this is often an unfounded fear. There are several ways to pay for a lawyer’s fees, and personal injury cases are special in that lawyers often work under contingency fees. Understanding how a lawyer’s fees work can eliminate your concerns and get you on the road to a successful case.
Contingency fees are a form of fee that only come into play if a lawyer successfully gets compensation for their client. In other words, if you don’t win your claim, you don’t get paid and your lawyer doesn’t get paid either. This eliminates the fear that if you hire a lawyer and lose your case, you’ll have to find the money somewhere to pay them.
If you do win your case, it’s good to know how much you’ll be paying the lawyer afterward. Normally, you’ll agree upon a certain percentage that the lawyer will take from your recovery amount before you actually hire them. The average is about one third of the total compensation. Since you agree on this rate beforehand, it’s possible for the attorney to fight for a compensation amount that includes this rate.
Types of Contingency Fees
Contingency fees can be broken up into several categories, and you can opt for the one that best suits your needs. You can choose a mixed fee of an hourly and contingency rate, which pays the lawyer regardless of the outcome of the case. A sliding scale contingency rate is when the fee changes depending on the length of the case. Finally, a contingency hourly rate operates the same as a normal contingency fee, but if you win the case, the amount the lawyer receives is based on the number of hours worked and not a set percentage.
You can always discuss these fees with your lawyer before deciding to hire them. There are payment options that you can settle on that work for both you and your lawyer. You can choose to forgo legal aid, but this isn’t always a good option if your case is complicated or involves a lot of money. To find out if you have a case, contact a personal injury lawyer in Washington DC, like the office of The Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C.