Personal injury law is a description utilized to cover all types of cases where people are injured allegedly as a result of the fault of another. It includes injuries from auto accidents, medical malpractice, defective products, falls caused by trips and slips and toxic exposures among others. It does not include injuries that occur at work unless someone other than your employer or a co-worker were at fault or you are hurt in a construction site accident. That area of law is covered under the Workers’ Compensation topic treated elsewhere on this website.
You should also be aware that the better your case, the more interest you will have from attorneys wishing to represent you. Conversely, the harder your case is to win the fewer options you will have. This is a basic function of the contingency fee system. Attorneys working on a contingency do not get paid unless the case is successful. Few attorneys will take a case that has a low probability of success. Therefore, if you have difficulty finding a top lawyer to take your case this could be an indication that your case is not likely to be successful.
Injury and Accident attorneys will typically charge on a “contingency” basis which means they will take a percentage of the final monetary award in your case. The percentage they take depends on whether they can reach a settlement on your case before going to trial.
If cases can be settled pre-trial, injury and accident attorneys will typically charge 33 1/3 % of the client’s settlement plus client expenses to pay their fees. If cases can’t be settled and must go to trial, the attorney fees will typically be 40% of whatever financial award the client receives plus expenses.
Attorneys charge for expenses incurred on behalf of clients. These expenses typically include copying charges, long-distance phone charges, postage, faxes, court filing fees, the cost of court reporters, expert witness fees, medical report fees, and other expenses associated with handling your case.
Attorneys are required to provide clients with a written fee agreement. Fee agreements help to clarify what you will be charged for, when you are expected to pay your invoices, and what you should do if you have a concern about fees.