What is the cost of seeing a personal injury lawyer?
Most people who are injured never see a personal injury lawyer for one common reason. They are somehow afraid that it will cost a lot of money and whatever reimbursement they receive will go towards the lawyer fees. This is erroneous thinking. The majority of personal injury lawyers never charge a fee for the initial consultation. Anyone with a personal injury can freely contact a personal injury either via phone or via email. This is usually followed by an initial consultation which is free. At this time, the lawyer will get to know your injury the cause and other relevant information. More important the lawyer will get to know whether you can work, how long you will be disabled and when you will go back to work.
The lawyer will explain your rights, how the legal process works and what role the lawyer will play in your case. The lawyer does understand that you may be vulnerable after having suffered the injury and may not have funds to pay for the consult. Most personal injury lawyers believe that no person should be denied a right to get a legal opinion based on inability to pay-therefore the initial consult is always free.
Once the lawyer has listened to your case, he/she will be in a better position to determine the merits of your case and whether you will succeed.
If you decide to retain the lawyer, then the work will be done on a contingency fee retainer. This simple means that your lawyer will get a certain percentage of the money you recover, if and when, you receive the compensation. There is no set fee upfront. So for example your case does not succeed and you do not receive any money for your damages or injury, the lawyer also does not get paid. However, what you have to remember is that the lawyer will have a lot of paper work for your case; this means faxing, making phone calls and photocopying. These expenses are termed disbursements and in most cases, you will have to pay the cost of disbursements regardless how your case turns out. In most cases, the fee for disbursements is not high but you should try and get a rough estimate from the lawyer. You surely do not want to be surprised with a huge bill at the end of the case.
One of the biggest advantages of a contingency fee arrangement is that it allows individuals with no funds to hire a lawyer who can take the case to trial. The system enables the injured person to never own more in legal fees than the damages they would recover. Finally, a contingency fee arrangement also ensures that the personal injury lawyer is working for you and your interest. Because if you win the case, he/she gets paid. If you lose, neither gets paid.