If you or your loved ones have sustained injuries due to the negligence or intentions of others, your utmost priority, along with getting medical treatment done is to file a personal injury lawsuit against the wrongdoer. In most of the cases, the defendant proposes to indemnify your losses. Even the insurance companies, try to make cheap and unfair settlements, because they take the layman to be unknowledgeable about legal matters.
In most of the cases, where personal injury lawyers have not been hired by the victim, they have had to settle for unprofitable settlements. So it is most favorable to hire a personal injury lawyer in order to get a deserving settlement. One has to be resourceful in finding a good personal injury attorney. Almost everyone you know, knows a personal injury lawyer. Before finalizing on one, meetings should be done with few experienced personal injury lawyers and the best one should be hired. For special type of personal injuries for example:- traumatic brain injury, mesthelioma, dog bites, etc. specialist personal injury lawyers should be hired. These specialist personal injury lawyers are more accomplished in their respective fields and have the apt sense to direct your specific personal injury litigation.
Before hiring a personal injury lawyer, his previous records should be checked. His credibility can be reviewed through the number of cases he has done and his success ratio. Even details such as time taken to solve the previous cases should be looked into, so that a rough idea of the duration of one's own case can be calculated. It is very important to keep the time factor in mind because , to get compensation on the right time , almost solves more than half the problem of the plaintiff , as the medical treatment and economic loss can be taken care of. One should not be hesitant in asking the success chances of one's lawsuit.
Another very important issue which should be clarified before finalizing a personal injury lawyer is asking him about his fee structure. Mostly, all personal injury lawyers charge on a contingent fee basis. If the case is lost, they do not charge any fee. This in a way falls economical for the plaintiff. Still, it is better to ask the lawyer, the percentage he would take, if they win.
A written retainer agreement should be taken from the personal injury lawyer, so that no clash arises between him and his party. Usually, at the start, they take money to cover their costs which include fee to file the case in the court, legal assistant fee and travel expenses.
Every personal injury lawyer has a price. An experienced personal injury lawyer has more ability to build your case, negotiate it with an insurance company and if necessary, to take it to trial. He knows that he is often able to recover more damage claims for his clients than a personal injury attorney with lesser skills and therefore demands a higher fee.
A personal injury lawyer who specializes in specific personal injury cases such as medical malpractices, defamation, assault and battery, wrongful deaths, and automobile accidents is more adept in his field. So the fee charged by a personal injury lawyer depends on various factors .The primary ones being:-
• Experience of a personal injury lawyer
• Time spent on the case
• Energy spent on the case
• The costs associated with the case
• Difficulty with the claim
• The state in which the lawyer is practising
Standard payment options offered by personal injury lawyers to their clients are:-
It is the calculated percentage of the recovered claim won by the client which is taken by the personal injury lawyer. It is a conditional fee. If the personal injury lawyer looses he does not get payment for his services. It is a "no win, no fee" criteria. It is "key" to the jury system for most Americans.
Mostly personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis and it varies from lawyer to lawyer and state to state .In most states, the personal injury attorney fee is one third or 40% of the personal injury recovered claim. Personal injury attorney fee for worker's compensation is usually lower than the regular personal injury matters. Solo practitioners are also more willing to take a lesser percentage from their client. Courts have set limit on the contingency fee of personal injury lawyers. In most cases it should not exceed one third of the settlement. Florida had passed a law limiting contingent fees of personal injury lawyers in medical malpractices.
This is also a common payment option of personal injury lawyers. They charge according to the number of hours they work on their client's case. Hourly rates may vary from $50 an hour to $ 1000 an hour. These rates depend on personal injury attorney's experience, operating costs and the location of his practice. In major metropolitan cities, like Los Angeles, New York and Chicago average hourly rates of personal injury lawyers is $ 200 to $ 400, whereas, in smaller towns the average hourly rates is between $100 to $200.
A retainer fee agreement is also referred to as short fee agreement. It is an advance payment made to the personal injury lawyer.
It is a Latin word which stands for "public good". Personal injury lawyers are recommended under American Bar Association (ABA) to do fifty hours of pro bono work.