How Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Make Money?
When people first walk into the office of a personal injury lawyer, their initial concern is usually the cost. “How much is this going to cost me?” they often ask. But the truth is, without an attorney by their side, most people would feel uncomfortable filing a lawsuit. Very few personal injury attorneys will charge an upfront fee or a flat fee; most only earn money when you get paid, so they have a vested interest in the case. Of course, you would not have to share your settlement if you went to court without a lawyer, but few people know how to negotiate a settlement without the assistance of an attorney.
Not every injury or accident will be a good enough case to win a settlement, which means an attorney may choose not to represent you. However, if he or she chooses to take on the case they will let you know their fees upfront. The percentage taken by a personal injury lawyer can vary quite significantly, but you should be aware of it before you decide to file suit. You should also know if there are any hidden fees for filing petitions, court fees and litigation.
How do I handle compensation in a personal injury suit?
Keep in mind that you may one day be required to pay taxes on any compensation gained from a lawsuit. As a result, many plaintiffs prefer to put the compensation from the lawsuit into an annuity. Ask your personal injury lawyer for advice on how to set up an annuity.
Will the attorney’s percentage change if the case is settled out of court?
In most cases, a personal injury attorney will charge the same percentage against your compensation for a litigated case as he would for one that is settled out of court. However, you may inquire with the lawyer to see if they would be willing to decrease their percentage for an out-of-court settlement. When you become a client of a personal injury law firm, you will be required to sign an agreement upfront that specifies the percentage that the lawyer will earn from your settlement.
Who pays the settlement in a personal injury case?
If you have suffered an injury as a result of an individual’s negligence, their insurance company will compensate you for your injuries. However, your attorney may also file a claim for your “pain and suffering,” which may exceed the limits of their insurance policy. If that occurs, the individual would be responsible for the balance of the payment. If the court awards a settlement to you from a person who is not covered by insurance, then the attorney will ask the court to attach their other assets to the court order.