After a car accident, many people are asking, “How Do I Pay For A Personal Injury Lawyer?” One moment you are driving along, minding your own business, and some careless texting driver t-bones you at an intersection. Paying for a lawyer was once the furthest thing from your mind, and now that the medical bills are piling up, you need to figure it out fast.
It doesn’t matter if you’re in Burlington, Plattsburgh, or anywhere else, injury lawyers receive payment through a contingency fee. That means they assume all the costs and risks of representing you and only get paid if they win. In today’s video, Drew discusses how you pay for a lawyer after an accident and how contingency fees work.
Hey, it’s Drew from Champlain Valley Law. Coming up, we’re going to talk about how you can pay for your personal injury lawyer.
When I speak to people for the first time, one of their very first questions is how am I going to be able to afford a personal injury lawyer? I’m hurt. I’m out of work. I don’t have any savings. How can I pay for a lawyer?
Okay. Let’s talk about how personal injury lawyers get paid. We, personal injury lawyers, work on what’s called a contingency fee agreement. Now, if you’ve ever worked with a lawyer in the past, you may have paid for a lawyer’s time by the hour, or you may have paid a flat fee for a service, something like a will or maybe a real estate transaction. That’s not how it works in the personal injury world. Accident lawyers get paid based on the outcome of the case. Lawyers don’t get paid for the time and energy that they put in until they get an outcome for you. So that’s why it’s called contingency fee because it’s contingent on the outcome.
And the reason we do this is that we understand that a personal injury due to somebody’s negligence is something that most people aren’t prepared to handle financially. Medical bills, being out of work, all of those things bring their own costs. Paying a lawyer on top of that is practically impossible for most people.
So the flip side of the contingency arrangement is that if there’s no settlement and there’s no verdict in your favor, then there’s no legal fee. Now, you may have seen on TV or in the newspaper, advertisements that say no fee unless we win. Well, that’s what they’re talking about. It’s a contingent arrangement.
In most situations, the contingency fee is a third, meaning that the lawyer will take a third of whatever is recovered by way of settlement or verdict as their legal fee. Now, the fee that you’re going to pay your lawyer is going to be set out in something called your retainer agreement, which is basically the contract between you and your lawyer. In most cases, that fee is one-third of whatever we recover, whether it’s by way of a settlement or a jury verdict.
Now, you may be asking yourself, geez, a third sounds like an awful lot, especially if you feel like your case is a slam dunk winner. But you have to remember that in almost every case, having a lawyer work on it is going to add well more than that one third to the overall value of your case. So one thing a lot of people don’t realize, that part of the value of having an injury lawyer handle your claim is that we deal with the things that aren’t obvious on the surface. We look for other sources of money to pay for your claim. We make sure that anybody you owe money to is paid so nobody comes looking for you years down the road after you’ve recovered.
The takeaway from today’s video is this. Injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that unless we bring you money, we don’t get paid. And in most cases, that fee is going to be a third of whatever the lawyer recovers for you, whether by way of settlement or a jury verdict.
Now make sure you watch our companion video, which talks about expenses and disbursements, which are the other component of things that you have to pay for at the end of a personal injury claim. I hope you found this video helpful. If you did, please give us a thumbs-up, and subscribe to the channel. And if there are any topics that you’re interested in hearing more about, please let us know in the comments below. Thanks for watching, and we’ll see you next time.