How Do Personal Injury Lawyers Get Paid in Texas?

Brad Parker, the founder of  Parker Law Firm, shares with us how Parker Law Firm handles personal injury attorney fees.

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In personal injury cases, lawyers’ services are offered on a contingency basis, meaning the lawyers’ fees for representing their client will come from the final personal injury settlement. If a client doesn’t get a favorable outcome, then the lawyer collects no fees. The primary concern for most people when they consider hiring a lawyer is the expense. They wonder, “How much will it cost me to hire an attorney?” Here’s what you need to know before hiring a personal injury lawyer.

What Fees and Expenses Are Incurred in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

A law firm’s expenses to work on your case vary. Common expenses are related to the investigation and expert witness fees, such as:

  • Medical doctors
  • Engineers
  • Biochemists
  • Metallurgists
  • Physicists

Additional expenses can include:

  • Legal research
  • Copies of records and reports
  • Court filing fees, reporting fees
  • Witness deposition fees
  • Jury fees
  • Mileage and travel

It’s important to point out that these costs, unlike the contingency fee, must be paid by your lawyer even if you lose your case. In this fee structure, all parties unequivocally agree beforehand to the sharing percentage. Therefore, it is unethical for a personal injury lawyer to create an agreement that insists on a higher percentage than initially agreed upon if the case succeeds.

Most personal injury lawyers shoulder the financial burden, pay all the fees and expenses upfront. Because of that, lawyers perform a comprehensive review of the facts to ensure that there is sufficient evidence to win compensation for their clients before accepting the case. This initial consultation is free of charge. At this meeting, we will ask questions about the circumstances leading up to and surrounding your accident and give you a general assessment of your case.

How to Prepare for the First Meeting With a Personal Injury Lawyer

Before meeting with a lawyer for the first time, the State Bar of Texas suggests preparing a list of questions, such as: Our lawyers only take selected cases that we believe in. We are not interested in taking every case that comes our way simply to settle as quickly as possible. You can rest assured that if we take your case, we are committed. Being selective in the cases we accept allows us to focus on your case and provide the type of legal representation that we would want for our own families.

How Are Contingency Fees Determined?

At Parker Law Firm, our contingency fee arrangement is calculated as a small percentage of the overall personal injury case settlement or verdict. This way, our clients can be assured that they’re getting the compensation they need to recover after an accident. Whether it’s a car accident or injury on the job that you need assistance with, don’t be shy about asking a lawyer up front about how he or she gets paid for their services. Remember, they are working for YOU.

What Lawyers Consider Before Taking a Case

A lawyer’s job in an injury case includes the determination of liability and checking the insurance policy. Most personal injury lawyers will ascertain answers to specific questions before taking a case, including:

  • Does the defendant have an insurance policy?
  • Is the policy coverage enough to cover a claim and other expenses, including court filing fees?
  • Is there any liability coverage on the property if the injury is from a slip or fall?
  • Did the accident cause significant personal injury or property damage?
  • Does this accident fall within the statute of limitations?

You are at the best advantage if you hire a lawyer early in the settlement process for your personal injury claim. They can regulate communication with the defendant’s attorney or their paralegals to protect your rights and to ensure you are requesting the full amount of compensation you are due.

How Much Will I Walk Away with from a Personal Injury Claim?

The first step in calculating your settlement request, you will want to include all monetary losses in your claim. This consists of money you have already paid or may still owe, as well as foreseeable expenses for medical treatment or lost income from not being able to work. In the rare instance that a client has any regrets or reservations about retaining our services, they are free to walk away within the first 30 days. We consider our relationships with clients to be our lasting legacy, and we take it seriously.

Do I Have to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?

Many injured victims find themselves facing an uncertain future after a serious accident. When this happens, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you through this difficult time and protect your rights to compensation along the way. But when do you need to hire a personal injury lawyer? While there is no specific guideline or deadline as to when you must hire a personal injury lawyer, especially after a car accident injury, it is very important to engage the services of an attorney shortly after the accident. You do not want to go without counsel during any part of the process, and you can usually hire a lawyer on a contingency basis.

Certain circumstances require a greater need for representation than others. These may include:

You are Being Partially Blamed for the Accident

If you’ve been in an accident, the other driver’s insurance company may agree to compensate you for your injury. There is the possibility that they will say that you were partly to blame. For example, the other driver’s insurance company can say that the car accident happened because you were speeding going. If a judge decides that you are to partly to blame for the accident, you only get a percentage of the compensation. A claim of “contributory negligence” is often used by insurance companies to minimize the cost they have to pay to settle a claim. An experienced personal injury lawyer knows how to defend you against these false accusations.

Multiple Parties are Involved

When more than one person is involved in your accident, hiring a personal injury attorney can help. Medical negligence claims and other types of claims from construction site accidents, multiple vehicle accidents, as well as product liability are all examples of cases that usually involve multiple parties. Personal injury lawyers are experienced in dealing with the extra problems that come up when there is more than one defendant.

You are Permanently Disabled or Suffered a Traumatic Injury

Cases that involve traumatic injuries as well as permanent disabilities have problems that aren’t present in other types of personal injury cases. For instance, if your accident gives you a condition that makes you unable to work, you may need continuous medical care. There’s a possibility that you may never be able to work again. This means you’ll be susceptible to future damages because of your disability or impairment. Depending on your age, your disability, and some other variables, future damages can potentially amount to millions of dollars throughout your lifetime.

A personal injury attorney can hire medical, economic, and financial experts to help figure out how much your future damages will be worth. To avoid losing money, insurance companies fight hard to lower the cost of these claims. Getting the compensation you’re looking for after an injury is more likely if you have an experienced personal injury lawyer who knows how to document damages and get you the most money.

The Insurance Company is Acting in Bad Faith

In many cases, insurance companies operate in bad faith. For instance, the insurance company may try to drag out the claim so that the deadline for filing your personal injury lawsuit expires. The Insurance Information Institute provides consumers insurance company rankings based on data-driven insight. The following are some other ways an insurance company can act in bad faith:

  • Failing to investigate a claim
  • Making you fill out too many unnecessary forms to process a claim
  • Making up lies about how the insurance policy works
  • Not paying a valid claim
  • Bringing up false claims of being partly to blame

Personal injury lawyers understand how insurance companies work and how the law works when it comes to injury claims. An accident victim with a lawyer is less likely to be treated unfairly by the insurance company. Just the threat of a lawsuit can sometimes convince the insurance company and others involved in your claim to settle.

A Government Entity is Involved in The Claim

Bringing a personal injury claim against the government is more difficult than bringing a claim against an individual. Governments often have immunity from liability, but there are a few exceptions. When compared to other claims, you have less time to file a claim against the government.

Are you in need of a personal injury lawyer? Parker Law Firm’s experienced personal injury lawyers are standing by to help you. Contact us for a free, no-obligation case evaluation to review your options.

7 Ways to Strengthen Your Personal Injury Case

Proving that someone else’s negligence caused you to suffer an injury is just half of the battle in a personal injury claim. In order to secure full compensation, you also need to prove how you have suffered as a result of your injury. Getting a diagnosis from a medical professional is very important to this effort, but it is not all you need to do. Here are seven ways to strengthen your personal injury case.

1. Take Photos of the Scene and Your Injuries

Photos can be invaluable to your personal injury case. No matter what type of accident you have been involved in, taking photos of the scene, damaged property, and bodily injuries you sustained can be helpful. If needed, our team will also hire accident reconstruction experts to help you get the best results possible. Injuries may heal over time, so taking pictures of your injuries periodically, even after your accident, help to build your case. 

2. Don’t Skip Doctors’ Appointments and Always Follow Doctors’ Recommendations

Many times, injuries sustained in an accident may not be fully felt until well after the accident has occurred. This delay is due to the surge of adrenaline the body is programmed to provide following a high-stress situation. Skipping medical attention following a traumatic injury brings with it the enormous risk of weakening your overall health in the long run, but it also can weaken your case. Any gaps in medical treatment can be viewed as a lack of severe injury and, therefore, not an accident deserving of a large settlement. If you have received your initial treatment and were scheduled for a follow-up appointment, attend it. Failing to do so could make the severity of the injury come into question.

3. Don’t Talk About Your Case with Anyone but Your Lawyer

It can be easy to accidentally admit fault. With insurance companies looking for any possible reason to deny or minimize a case, the best advice an attorney can give is “don’t talk about your case.” When you speak with a lawyer before anyone else, they can advise you regarding what to say to whom, thereby helping you maximize your odds of winning a substantial settlement.

4. Keep a Written Record of What Happened During Your Accident and Events After

Document every detail. Your case could take a year or two years before you get compensated, and memories fade or may become distorted over time. In the case of a car accident, the information you might want to document includes:

  • How fast you were traveling
  • The direction you were headed
  • What the other driver was doing right before the accident

You’re going to forget the severe pain you were in or how you laid in bed night after night unable to sleep because you were in pain. If you document it in a journal, it will help you remember everything you went through when you must tell your story. 

5. Look Ahead

When determining your claim, don’t forget to include any future damages you might incur because of your personal injury. Say, for instance, you experienced an injury that left you severely burned. In addition to the medical costs, you’re experiencing in the short-term, you may have a long-term treatment plan from your doctor that lays out plans for surgeries over the next 10 years. Your attorney can work to calculate how much each procedure will cost, taking inflation into account, then fight to make sure those expenses are covered in your settlement.

6. Steer Clear of Social Media

We understand that social media is a big part of people’s lives these days, but it is best to avoid it altogether during the duration of your case. Any statements about your injuries, even just to reassure your friends that you are okay, can be manipulated and used against you. Even what you may think are completely innocent posts, such as having dinner or going for a walk, can be used against you in ways you never anticipated. The other side is absolutely watching what you post. Don’t give them anything to work with.

7. Supply All Requested Documents on Time

In personal injury cases, it is so important to provide documentary evidence to support your case. Give yourself enough time to collect all the documentation you and your attorney will need and ensure that it is as complete and accurate as possible. Don’t let delays be caused by waiting until the last minute to begin collecting documentation.

If you’ve been in an accident due to the negligence of someone, Parker Law Firm’s experienced personal injury lawyers are standing by to help you. Contact us for a free, no-obligation case evaluation to review your options.

7 Benefits of Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer

The legal process can be complicated and overwhelming for those that are not too familiar with injury claims. Hiring a personal injury lawyer can provide you with the guidance and support you need throughout the entire claim process. To help you make that decision with confidence, here are the seven benefits of hiring a personal injury lawyer.

1. They Can Improve Your Odds.

If you’ve suffered an injury due to the negligence of someone else, you have the right to seek compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other injury-related expenses. Instead of trying to deal with the stress, paperwork, and legal system on your own as you recover, it’s in your best interest to consult a personal injury lawyer. Research shows that injury victims generally receive higher compensation when they have legal representation.

2. They Can Negotiate the Settlement Agreements.

A personal injury lawyer prepares all the details for the settlement demand, and they will talk to the other party’s representative and negotiate for a settlement. Your lawyer will gather evidence to prove you are not the one at fault in the case. A personal injury lawyer can help you file a settlement claim, and the process will faster and easier than if you do it yourself.

3. They Have Experience with Similar Claims.

Without a personal injury lawyer’s expertise, it may be hard to determine the value of your claim. While online calculators can give you an estimate, this is not an accurate measure of your claim. Getting the highest settlement, you deserve involves understanding how insurance companies operate and analyzing your injuries and pain and suffering to negotiate on your behalf. Hiring a personal injury lawyer allows you to benefit from their knowledge and experience with similar claims to achieve the best settlement for you.

4. They Can Represent You in Court.

Lawyers are your legal representatives and can represent and go to trial for you. Some people may not be aware that in most cases, personal injury claims don’t end in court. If an insurance claim is denied, a court trial would be possible. Having a personal injury lawyer with you can help you handle these lawsuits.

5. They Can Help You Get Medical Attention. 

At Parker Law Firm, we assume your healthcare providers are the experts on your recovery from injuries. If our clients feel like their healthcare provider is not helpful, we can provide direction on seeking second opinions or different approaches to treatment. We can help the client find ways to get the treatment they need even when there is no health insurance or inadequate insurance. Our primary focus is making sure our clients get the treatment they need for their accident-related injuries.

6. They Can Help You with Insurance. 

Insurance companies have lawyers that minimize the amount of the claim they give. You need a skilled personal injury lawyer to advocate for your rights and to help you settle your insurance claim. 

7. They Give You Peace of Mind. 

This may be the most important reason you need to hire a personal injury lawyer. Accidents commonly bring about trauma, stress, and emotional exhaustion. But they don’t have to. Your personal injury lawyer can address the confusing legal processes that accompany injury claims. When you receive the compensation you deserve, you can put much of it towards mental and physical recovery. 

Reasons You May Need a Lawyer

  • There was only minor property damage because of the accident
  • You didn’t sustain any injuries, or your injuries were extremely minor
  • There was no immediate medical care provided and no future medical care is anticipated
  • No more than a few days of work were missed
  • The potential recovery for a claim is so small it doesn’t justify hiring a lawyer

In Texas you have two years from the date of the accident in which to file a lawsuit. This is different from the period to file a claim. You can begin negotiations and fully file your claim with the insurance company, but if the two-year period from the date of the accident passes without an actual lawsuit having been filed you will lose all legal rights you have involved in the claim regardless of whether you’ve been negotiating with the insurance company or not.

As a rule of thumb, the more serious the injury, the more complex the case, and the more beneficial a personal injury lawyer will be for you. If you’re skeptical, trusted referrals can help you find a reputable, accomplished lawyer to give you peace of mind that you’re making a smart decision with your case.

If you’ve been in an accident due to the negligence of someone, Parker Law Firm’s experienced personal injury lawyers are standing by to help you. Contact us for a free, no-obligation case evaluation to review your options.

9 Questions You Need to Ask Before Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer

Almost everyone is unprepared following a serious injury. It’s important that you take the right steps and make the best decisions regarding your case from the very beginning. First and foremost, you should always seek immediate medical attention for any injuries. It is also imperative to seek the assistance of qualified, experienced legal representation. No two people are alike, and no two cases are alike. To figure out whether someone is the right lawyer for you, you need to ask them some questions to get to know them and how they work in their practice. Asking these nine questions will get you the basic information you need to move forward.

1. What areas of law do you specialize in?

Many law firms will handle just about any sort of claim that is thrown at them. This has its advantages, but it can also have its disadvantages. Lawyers that lack a focus area can have a hard time keeping up with important developments in various legal areas. A lawyer who focuses solely on personal injury will be much more aware of any important modifications in the law.

2. Have you ever handled any other cases similar to this one?

It always helps if your lawyer has successfully handled personal injury claims similar to the one you have brought them. With that specific experience under their belt, they will know what to expect in your case and prepare accordingly.

3. How long will it take to resolve this case?

There are many factors that can influence how long it takes to resolve a case, but potential lawyers should be able to give you a rough estimate. It’s important to make sure your lawyer is committed to resolving your case as quickly as possible.

4. What damages am I entitled to?

Typically, the damages available in a personal injury case include medical expenses, property damage, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of earning potential. Wrongful death claims may also seek compensation for funeral expenses, loss of companionship, and loss of inheritance. An experience personal injury lawyer will work with medical, economic, and life care planning experts to help clients determine and prove the full extent of their damages.

5. Will you be the only one working on my case?

Large firms have the benefit of an army of attorneys and staff members, but this means the initial person with whom you spoke may not actually be the one handling your case. Though many big firms advertise their “team” of lawyers as an advantage, our attorneys are able to take the time to know you personally and develop a deep understanding of the background of your case. Since you are not just another client in a hundred, you will receive the professional, caring, and attentive treatment you deserve.

6. Does my personal injury case present any challenges?

It’s better to find out the challenges of your case sooner than later. No matter how strong a case is, there is almost always an area of concern that should be addressed.

7. Do you work on a contingency basis?

Most personal injury lawyers work based on a contingency fee agreement. This means that you only pay legal fees if they’re able to obtain monetary compensation for your injury. Be wary of law firms who advertise that they can do your case “on the cheap.” Generally, you get what you pay for.

8. How will you inform me of updates in my case?

You want to be kept informed about the progress of your case as it winds its way through the legal system. It is nice to have a contact person, whether the attorney, paralegal, or assistant, who will always either take your call or return your call promptly if you have a question.

9. Can you provide references from past clients?

Do not hesitate to ask a potential personal injury lawyer for references. He or she should be able to provide you with contact information for at least one satisfied former client. Never rely on website testimonials or promotional materials alone.

Asking the right questions in the initial meeting with your personal injury attorney can make the difference between hiring an attorney who can successfully handle your case and one who can’t. Parker Law Firm provides knowledgeable representation, outstanding client service, and skilled legal advocacy in every case. We have experience handling a wide array of personal injury cases including:

If you’ve been in an accident due to the negligence of someone, Parker Law Firm’s experienced personal injury lawyers are standing by to help you. Contact us for a free, no-obligation case evaluation to review your options.