Most people do not anticipate being involved in a car, truck, or personal injury accident and so therefore, most people are not financially prepared to deal with the aftermath. From sky high medical expenses to missed work, the financial consequences caused by a car accident can be devastating. Fortunately, the U.S. court system allows accident victims to pursue compensation from the liable party via a legal cause of action. However, at an already financially difficult time in the average victim's life, it can be impossible for him or her to pay for an attorney. A contingency fee arrangement effectively resolves that problem.
What is a Contingency Fee?
A contingency fee arrangement is one in which a Dallas personal injury lawyer accepts a client's case without charging a retainer or hourly fee. Rather, the lawyer's fee is an agreed upon percentage of the final settlement or judgement that the lawyer wins for your case. Any expenses accrued during your case, such as the cost of an expert witness, is typically covered by the attorney from money he or she has won from another case and reimbursed via your earnings. If your lawyer is unable to obtain a settlement, you do not owe him or her anything.
Advantages of a Contingency Fee Arrangement
There are several advantages of a contingency fee arrangement, the biggest of which is that you do not need capital to hire an attorney. Though it is not necessary to hire a personal injury attorney to help with your case, it is recommended. An experienced attorney understands personal injury laws, has perfected negotiation skills, and can accurately value your claim. If you represent yourself, you risk making a crucial mistake that could cost you your case or undervaluing your case's worth. Thanks to contingency fee arrangements, there is every reason TO hire an attorney and no reason NOT to.
Another benefit of a contingency fee arrangement is that you can rest assured that your lawyer accepted your case because he or she identifies merit in it. Additionally, you can be confident that your attorney will work hard to get the best settlement possible, as his or her income relies on the outcome of your claim.
Downfalls of a Contingency Fee Arrangement
The only real pitfall of a contingency fee arrangement is that it gives an attorney incentive to settle when the going gets tough. If your case takes longer than your lawyer expected, and if he or she begins to believe that your case is not as sound as he or she initially thought, he or she may be tempted to take the next settlement the opposing party suggests just so that he or she can get paid. The amount may be way below what your case is worth, but if your attorney does not want to spend any more time on your claim, he or she may not feel any qualms about pressuring you into accepting a low-ball settlement offer.
Talk to Your Dallas Personal Injury Attorney Regarding Payment Schedule
Contingency fees are a great option for accident victims with little capital, extensive medical bills, and no income for the foreseeable future. Before you agree to a contingency fee arrangement, however, read the fine print, and ask your lawyer about what is and is not covered by the agreement. If you want to know more, reach out to Udeshi Clark and Associates to discuss your case and payment options today.
(image courtesy of Sebastian Pichler)