Learn What To Expect After You Win Your Personal Injury Case
If you’re considering a personal injury lawsuit due to an auto accident, medical malpractice, or the wrongful death of a loved one, you’re not alone.
In 2020, there were 55.4 million injuries in the US. With only about 500,000 personal injury cases brought to court each year, there are many people who may be entitled to compensation but are on the fence about filing a claim.
In our years of experience as personal injury attorneys, we’ve seen an alarming number of individuals decide not to seek compensation for injuries incurred by neglectful people or entities.
Many victims mistakenly believe that hiring a personal injury lawyer is too expensive and involves too many legal fees and court costs. However, the reality is that quality legal help is affordable so that you can receive a fair settlement for nothing out of pocket.
Here, we will help you understand how attorneys are paid and answer some of your most common personal injury questions so you can feel confident moving forward with your case.
Contingency Fees For A Personal Injury Lawsuit
Most personal injury attorneys don’t charge fees upfront, such as a retainer or expert witness fees. Instead, they collect payment through contingency fees to avoid out-of-pocket expenses. So you won’t have to worry about handing over your hard-earned money when you file your claim.
Personal injury attorneys tend to collect payment through contingency fees, which are agreed-upon percentages that he or she takes from your bodily injury settlement amount after you win.
When you secure an attorney, you will receive a contingency fee agreement outlining the exact percentage the legal team will be entitled to upon winning the case.
This means there is full transparency as far as how much of your settlement will end up in your bank account and how much will go toward legal fees.
How Much Do Lawyers Take for Personal Injury Cases?
After your free case evaluation, your lawyer will decide whether or not they will accept your case. They will draft a contingency fee agreement for you to sign if they do.
This fee percentage tends to be anywhere from 33% to 40%, but there is always room for negotiation. Here are some examples of what you can expect to pay in a contingency fee agreement:
Fees can go as low as 15% for larger cases and as high as 50% for smaller ones. But 33.3% is the most popular percentage by far.
But remember, when you work with a legal firm operating on a contingency fee basis, you’re paying nothing out of pocket. This means that the firm is taking care of all court costs, legal fees, and other administrative costs without having to bill you an hourly rate.
Additionally, you will not have to pay your lawyer anything if they do not obtain a settlement or recovery on your behalf. So if your personal injury attorney agrees to represent you, they are most likely confident that they can help you get your fair settlement.
How Do Personal Injury Attorneys Collect Their Share?
When you agree on a settlement amount, the court will often send the check to your lawyer to ensure they are compensated for the services rendered.
They will pay the settlement check in escrow, have their financial secretary place the correct percentage into the law firm’s account, and reserve the rest for you.
After deducting their fees, you will receive the remainder of the settlement amount. You can use this money as you see fit and start moving forward.
Contingency Fees And Costs Related to Personal Injury Litigation
Sometimes, contingency fees aren’t the only costs associated with personal injury claims. To have a successful outcome, your case will require extensive documentation, expert witnesses, trial exhibits, depositions, and more.
Every law firm handles costs differently, but many attorneys choose to deduct these costs and filing fees from the final settlement amount after the case has concluded.
This helps to reduce the financial strain on their clients and helps to build a strong, trusting attorney-client relationship.
Speak with your lawyer candidly to find out what you will be charged for and how they intend to collect their share to avoid any surprises.
Common Personal Injury Questions From Our Clients
From court costs to time spent hunting down police reports and medical records, your personal injury lawyers are working hard to help you obtain a fair settlement.
Our personal injury attorneys have worked with all types of clients to get them the compensation they deserve.
Here are the most common questions to help you get started and decide whether or not you want to file a claim for your injury.
What Is Considered A Personal Injury?
The term personal injury is most often used in civil cases. It describes the costs a victim experiences after an accident or wrongful death that leads to emotional or physical damages.
Examples of accidents that can be considered personal injuries are:
- Automobile Accidents: If you were injured in a car accident and were not deemed at fault, you may be able to file a personal injury claim.
- Slip And Fall Accidents: Injuries sustained from unsafe conditions could mean you have a case.
- Workplace Injuries: If your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance, you need to find out if you can file a claim.
- Medical Malpractice: Doctors should heal, not harm. Victims of medical malpractice may be entitled to compensation.
- Nursing Home Abuse: If you suspect your loved one is being abused in long-term care, you may have a case.
- Product Liability: If you used a defective product and were injured, you may be able to sue.
Remember, if you’ve been injured and are not at fault, you should collect all the evidence you can and book a free consultation with a personal injury attorney.
How Long Does It Take to Settle a Personal Injury Claim?
There is no definitive timeline for any personal injury case. Every injury and circumstance is highly unique, so there’s no way of predicting how long it might take to settle.
However, most cases are resolved and settled in no more than two years maximum. Your attorney can give you a good idea of what to expect and will walk you through the process from start to finish.
How Long Does It Take For Me To Receive My Settlement?
When the settlement has finally been reached, you’ll be asked to sign a release so the court can mail the check to your attorney.
Depending on the case’s complexity, it can take four to six weeks for your personal injury lawyer to receive the settlement check.
Your lawyer may hold the check in escrow to ensure it clears before taking the contingency fee. This can add a few days or weeks to the process, especially if the settlement is significant.
Once they deduct their fees, the law firm will write you a check that can be picked up at the office or mailed directly to your home.
You can use this money as you see fit to pay medical bills and debts incurred from your injury and give you and your loved ones some breathing room.
What Are the Steps to Filing a Personal Injury Case in Las Vegas?
The personal injury claims process starts when you consult with an attorney to determine whether or not you have a case. Most lawyers offer a free case evaluation, so there’s no cost to reaching out and seeing your options.
If you do, your lawyer will conduct a full case investigation. This includes reviewing all information relevant to your claim, including:
- Video Surveillance & Witness Testimonies
- Medical Documents & Input From Medical Providers
- Police Records
- Expert Witness Testimony
- Insurance Company Correspondence
Your attorney will also determine the impact your injury has had on your working ability. You may be asked to complete an FCE exam with a licensed medical professional to determine how well you can perform your current duties and whether or not your injury impacts your performance.
The next steps are to request a settlement with a specific amount based on your pain and suffering. The proposed settlement offer will also consider medical bills, decreased quality of life, required medical care in the future, and other factors.
You’ll usually be able to reach an agreement at this stage, but if not, you may need to work with your attorney to file a lawsuit. But don’t worry. You will not have to pay any lawyer fees unless your case is successful.
What Does Proving Negligence Mean For Personal Injury Claims?
Negligence is the foundation of every personal injury case. To obtain compensation, you must prove that your injuries directly resulted from a person or company’s negligence.
Proving this involves showing that the defendant had a duty of care to preserve your safety. For example, a driver has a legal duty of care to drive safely, so others on the road stay safe. So if a car accident occurs, they are responsible for both personal and property damages.
Likewise, a doctor has a duty of care to treat their patient with the level of skill that another reasonably skilled position could expect under the same conditions. So if a loved one has experienced wrongful death or received incorrect medical care, you could have a case.
After establishing the duty of care, your lawyer must determine that the duty of care was breached by the defendant, who acted in a way that a reasonably responsible person would not in the same circumstances.
Then you must prove that the negligence was the direct cause of the injury and that you, the plaintiff, should receive monetary damages.
This is why having a experienced personal injury lawyer ensures you have a solid case that will help you obtain a personal injury settlement.
How to Start a Personal Injury Claim
At a time of physical suffering, emotional trauma, and loss of income, you shouldn’t be left to fight a legal battle by yourself.
If you’re facing liens, medical bills, as well as experiencing pain and suffering, the last thing you need to worry about is attorney fees upfront. You need a legal team ready to fight for everything you deserve.
The best time to start is now. Most states have a statute of limitations on personal injury cases ranging from two to four years. Be sure to research and see the statute for the state you were injured in.
Make things easier by teaming up with an experienced attorney who can provide you with personal injury tips, a free case evaluation and increase your odds of obtaining a fair personal injury settlement.
Injury Facts . (2021). In NSC . Retrieved from https://injuryfacts.nsc.org/