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