If you’ve been in an accident, you may have questions regarding how expensive it is to hire an attorney. You might think that personal injury attorney fees are costly, and assume that they’re not within your budget. Most of us have heard people talk about contingency fees, but what does that really mean? How much pressure is involved in meeting with an attorney for the first time?
First, Rector Law Firm has no charge for the initial consultation – it’s free! This should help you feel comfortable to be able to talk to an attorney and ask questions about your claim and the process. Second, there are many different types of fee arrangements available to you when you hire an attorney.
Different Types of Fee Agreements
The most common fee agreements are hourly, fixed or contingent. An hourly fee agreement is where the attorney keeps track of all time and the client is responsible for paying that hourly rate and the costs – regardless of the final result in the case. A fixed fee is a specific amount that is set and agreed upon by the client and attorney and again, the client is responsible for paying that fixed fee and costs – again, regardless of the final result in the case. A contingent fee agreement, which is most commonly used in a personal injury case provides for a certain percentage going to the attorney out of the recovery. In this type of arrangement there are no up-front costs or fees paid by the client. The attorney gets the agreed upon percentage from the gross amount collected for the client and costs are reimbursed to the attorney from the gross amount. Most personal injury law firms charge 1/3 percentage on contingent fee agreements settled prior to filing a lawsuit. If there is no recovery, the attorney receives nothing. The goal of the attorney is to maximize the settlement recovery for the client, which also maximizes the percentage of recovery for both the attorney and client.
It is our experience that settlements with insurance companies tend to increase in value when they have an experienced attorney handling their claim. Insurance companies have an obligation to put you back in the position you were in prior to the accident. Insurance companies like you to believe they are helping you and that they are on your side, but their goal is to minimize their exposure and pay as little as they can in settlements; looking out for their own profit margins. Insurance companies make money by not paying you for what your claim is worth.