Personal Injury Lawyers’ Frequently Asked Questions
Personal injury attorneys work with clients who have been physically or psychologically injured through the actions of another. The injury may be the result of wrongdoing or negligence, and it may be caused by a person, government agency, business or other entity. When the time comes to hire a professional of this type, individuals often have a number of questions they wish to have answered.
How Do Personal Injury Lawyers Get Paid? This is often the first question a person asks, as they are concerned about incurring more bills in addition to what they are amassing as a result of their injuries. Following are the answers to this and other questions a person may have regarding personal injury compensation and the accompanying fees.
Will there be an upfront fee?
A Huntsville, Alabama attorney typically takes on a personal injury lawsuit at no charge, only collecting a fee in the event the case is won and a settlement or award is received from the other party. There are exceptions to this, however, thus anyone looking into filing a lawsuit of this type needs to speak to the attorney to determine their fee structure. Very rarely does a personal injury lawyer charge by the hour.
How does the attorney get paid?
In certain cases, the attorney takes a portion of the settlement or award as their fee for their services. This is typical for plaintiff’s counsel in automobile accident cases and other personal injury cases. Typically, the attorney charges a contingency fee for their services which is based on a percentage of the recovery.
Contingency means the lawyer is paid no fee by the client in advance, and the client only pays a fee out of any recovery. These fees are only paid if there is a settlement or award. Again, the percentage charged does vary by the law firm, and by type of case, thus a client should make certain they understand the contingency fee structure before hiring legal representation.
How about litigation expenses and court costs?
An attorney may require reimbursements for litigation expenses or costs (such as filing fees, etc.) depending on the case being tried. These are the expenses your attorney pays while preparing and negotiating your case. In contingency cases, litigation expenses may be deducted out of the recovery or settlement, and if there is no recovery you do not have to pay these costs.
Potential clients need to carefully examine any documents before signing to ensure they understand any litigation expenses or costs they will be expected to pay.
Who pays the settlement?
The person responsible for the injury pays the settlement or an insurance company may be responsible for paying this amount. In the vast majority of personal injury cases, insurance companies are involved in the case and they usually pay out the settlements.
There are times when an individual does not have insurance, leaving the injured party to wonder if he or she will ever be compensated. In situations such as this, personal injury lawyers work to determine if the responsible party has other assets that may be used to settle the case or a lawyer may look to recover uninsured motorist insurance benefits.
Who is responsible?
In addition, personal injury attorneys may look to see if other parties had any role in the incident leading to the injury. For example, in a motor vehicle accident, the car maker may have some responsibility if a defect in the automobile contributed to the accident.
In the event of a product liability case, the manufacturer, supplier, and inventor may all be named in a personal injury lawsuit when someone is injured while using the product. Attorneys work to determine all responsible parties when fighting to obtain compensation for their client. It is important to find a skilled attorney who knows how to spot a product liability case.
What is my case worth?
This is a question many individuals wish to have answered. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer, as each personal injury case differs greatly from others. An automobile accident isn’t the same as a medical malpractice suit. Therefore, it’s hard to provide one set answer.
Contact an attorney for advice today. Upon reviewing the facts of the case, our attorneys can provide more specific information. This initial consultation can be very helpful when a person is trying to decide if they wish to move forward.