If the thought of filing a lawsuit gives you the cold chills, don’t worry. It isn’t unusual for you to hesitate when you’re wondering whether or not to hire a lawyer to handle your car accident. Most folks don’t want to be embroiled in a big, ugly lawsuit. They’ve seen enough on television to know it’s no fun at all.
It may be helpful to know that most claims don’t ever get to the courtroom. About 95 percent of accident claims end in settlement outside court – this is because trials are uncertain, and your lawyer won’t want to take unnecessary chances. If a satisfactory solution can be found outside the courtroom, you can be pretty sure your lawyer won’t go there.
Remember also that having a lawyer can take the sting out of the process of wrestling the settlement money out of an insurance company. Those who work for the insurance company have only one job: to keep your settlement as small as possible. That’s how insurance companies make their money, after all. When you are represented by a lawyer, it can help to keep the insurance company’s legal team from inflicting their own brand of injury upon you by bullying you into a smaller settlement. We think that qualifies as insult to your very real injuries.
The other serious concern most folks have about hiring a lawyer is the expense.
How much does it cost to have a lawyer represent you?
Your lawyer will usually take your case on what we call a contingent fee basis. This means that we will do all the work to prepare your case for trial. (Even if we don’t think it will go to court, it’s best to be prepared for it anyway.) We’ll see your case through to the end and, when it’s all said and done, we will take the agreed-upon percentage from the final settlement.
This percentage may be different from lawyer to lawyer, and from case to case depending upon the particulars of the matter. The good news is, if you don’t win any money, you won’t have to pay. This arrangement gives your lawyer an incentive to make sure you get the largest settlement possible.
In addition to the percentage agreed upon by you and your lawyer, there will be incidental fees that will come out of your share of the settlement. Those costs include the items listed below, but could involve others.
- Copy costs and fees for records, photographs, medical and legal documents
- Court filing fees
- Transcript fees for court reporter
- Service fees for serving the complaint and subpoenas
- Fax charges
- Costs to prepare exhibits – Printing or photograph enlargement as examples
- Expert witness fees
- Necessary travel costs for both attorneys and expert witnesses
Before you decide whether or not to hire a lawyer to represent you, we suggest you speak to several of them. Most lawyers offer a free initial consultation. During this meeting you will discuss the accident, your damages and injuries, and what costs you have incurred. With all of this information in hand, you will get a much better idea of what’s at stake and how you should proceed to find justice in your claim.
For your free case evaluation, call us today at (770) 400-0000.