You have probably heard countless advertisements for personal injury lawyers throughout your life, which all state that if you are seriously injured in an accident, then you need a lawyer to help you get the compensation that you are entitled to. While this is true, what you do not need is a lawyer who will overcharge you for their services.
What should a personal injury lawyer charge?
Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. What that means is that they will take a percentage of the compensation award that they help you win instead of charging you an hourly fee.
For example, if you win $1,000 in your case and your lawyer charges a contingency fee of 25 percent, then you would owe your lawyer $250.
This ends up being a great option for most people, who don't have extra money to give a lawyer until after they win their case. It also means that you won't have to pay your lawyer unless you win.
BUT -- it isn't a good option if the lawyer is taking too large of a percentage.
In the past, most personal injury lawyers have charged between 30 percent and 35 percent for a contingency fee. However, today many lawyers have increased the percentage and charge upward of 40 percent or more. That means some lawyers are taking half of their clients' settlements for themselves. Not fair, right?
The good news is that you can find high-quality, ethical legal representation at a fair rate. Read more here.
Why do I need a lawyer in the first place?
You may be wondering why you need to hire a lawyer in the first place if they are just going to end up keeping a chunk of the money that you are awarded. The answer is that in almost every situation, having a lawyer on your side will result in a larger award for you, even after you have paid your lawyer his or her share.
That's because personal injury lawyers know how to deal with insurance companies. They know how to maximize the damage award that you are entitled to. They know how to handle the legal process so that you can focus on recovering physically and mentally from what you have been through.