Five ways to save money when hiring personal injury lawyer
There are times when the worst happens. You get an accident. The good news is that you are not dead. At this point, it is advisable to seek compensation through a court of law. The amount of compensation largely depends on the severity of the injuries and the ability of your lawyer to argue out your case. It is thus important to hire a personal injury lawyer to represent you in the court of law.
Personal injury lawyers work like salespersons. They would charge court fees but mostly rely on a commission out your compensation as their pay. It is thus good to know ways of keeping lawyer’s fees at bare minimum. This would prevent you from taking a large chunk of your money as payment for their services.
There are a few things that lawyer takes into consideration when computing his or her fees. The main aim here is to maximize his or her earning. He or she works on a probability of winning the case. To start with, the more severe your injuries are, the higher the compensation. That in return means higher income to the lawyer. If you were regular income was high before the injury, there is a likelihood that you will be compensated for termination of your duties relative to your regular income. Thus, the higher the income, the higher the compensation.
Most personal injury cases are concluded before the jury stage of the hearing. This is because winning sympathy from the jury might lead to a higher settlement. Thus, a severely injured client might be of a higher value than a dead or slightly injured client might. A lawyer stands a better chance of negotiating for a better settlement for a severely injured client. With this in mind, here are the ways you can save money when hiring a personal injury lawyer.
Negotiate for percentage commission
Focus on bringing down the percentage that the lawyer will earn from the settlement sum. Most lawyers would ask for a percentage between 30% and 40% in addition to court fees. Discuss a percentage that is sensible but not too high. This calls for you to estimate the value of your case to clearly estimate the amount that the percentage represents. Do not accept unrealistically high percentage.
Other cost of the case
There are other costs that are involved in preparation of a case. These include court fees and the cost of bringing in witnesses to testify in court. You will also be required to pay contingency fees. Ask for these amounts before settling down on a percentage that you would be paying the lawyer. The contingency fees are relatively the same regardless of the value of the case. These amounts will help you determine how much the whole case will cost.
Estimate the value of the case
Other lawyers will base their fees on the value of the case. However, it should be noted that a higher value case does not take much expertise and time that a low value case. There should thus be not great disparity in pricing based on the value. The higher the value of the case the lower the percentage that should be paid to the lawyer. The worth of a case may be determined by a broad spectrum of issues such as medical costs, termination of employment, disability e.t.c.
Shop around for the best lawyer
It is good to know how other lawyers are charging for similar services. This will give you an idea of how much you should pay for your case. Present your case to a few and compare the costs of hiring each. Combine their experience with what you are charging them. This will save you from hiring cheap incompetent lawyers. Using the average payment, place a ceiling fee for lawyer services.
Cost advanced in case you lost the case
Most of the lawyers will ask you to pay cost advanced. These are incurred cost in case you lost the case. It is important to seek a lawyer that does not hold you responsible for advanced costs. This will prevent you from incurring more costs to a case that is already lost. Ensure that you are not asked to pay for his or her out of pocket expenses.