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How Contingency Fees Work

In the aftermath of an injury or accident, a lot of people put off hiring a lawyer, even when they know they need some advice, simply due to concerns about the expense. Good legal advice comes with a price tag; but it’s worth the cost.

In a personal injury matter, the stakes are high; you need compensation for your medical treatment and rehabilitation, and you may also have concerns about long-term costs associated with your injury—such as follow-up medical care, medications, loss of income due to time away from work, an inability to work for an extended period or even permanently, or increased expenses for housekeeping, child care, and other tasks you can no longer perform due to your injury. Many people lack the knowledge of the law, and the familiarity with legal procedures, needed to handle a personal injury matter on their own. People who seek the aid of a legal professional are more likely to achieve a better outcome than those who try to go it alone.

A lawyer can be an invaluable resource—but what about the expense involved? In many cases, your lawyer will be willing to work on a contingency fee basis. This basically means that your lawyer gets paid only if he or she is successful in obtaining a settlement or judgment for you. Contingency fees are usually based on a percentage of the settlement or judgment that the client receives, regardless of whether that amount was achieved through successful courtroom litigation or through a negotiated out-of-court settlement.

In many personal injury cases, there are additional costs, such as securing expert testimony or other associated litigation expenses. Be sure to ask your lawyer how those types of disbursements will be handled as well. At the Lomax Law Firm, personal injury lawyer Rein Lomax charges those disbursements to the client when a successful result is obtained. However, often we can get the insurance company involved to pay many of those disbursements, which substantially reduces what the client’s have to pay. In the meantime, the law firm pays for those disbursements. If for some reason the case is unsuccessful, there is no cost to the client.

The advantage of contingency fees is that high-quality legal representation is available to more people, even those who may not be able to pay large up-front retainer fees or hourly rates. A contingency fee also means comfort and peace of mind for clients, who can rest assured knowing that the legal aspects of their situation are being taken care of by a qualified professional. In the wake of a life-changing injury, many people need solid advice without having to worry about where to find the money to pay for that service.

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