Many people who are injured in auto accidents wonder if they can afford to hire an attorney. A more important question is whether you need an attorney.
Personal injury lawyers typically use a contingency fee arrangement. This means you pay the lawyer nothing up front. Your fee will be will a percentage of the recovery the lawyer makes for personal injury. The contingency fee system provides access to our civil justice system to people who could not otherwise afford to hire an attorney.
The contingency fee is usually 30 percent if the attorney can resolve your case by negotiations. If your case has to go to trial, most lawyers charge a higher percentage. However, even by paying the lawyer a significant percentage of your settlement, you are likely to left with more money in your pocket at the end of your case than if you tried to negotiate with the insurance company yourself, especially if you suffered a serious injury.
A more important question is whether you need to hire a lawyer. If you suffered only minor injuries and you expect to recover fully in a few days, it may not make sense to hire an attorney. Most lawyers offer a free initial consultation and will give you a candid answer if they think you need legal representation. Most firms will also review your settlement offer and let you know if it is appropriate.
If you have suffered a serious injury, however, negotiating with the insurance company yourself can be costly. You may say or do things that will result in your case being worth less. If you plan to hire an attorney, it's better to so right away. The contingency fee will be the same percentage whether you hire a lawyer right away or later in your case. By receiving the advice of an attorney from day one, your personal injury case will likely be worth more.
Perrotta & Cahn, Attorneys at Law in Cartersville, Georgia, offers a free initial consultation to discuss attorney fees or other issues in car accidents involving personal injury.