If someone runs a light and crashes into you, you are not going to want to pay thousands of dollars up front to hire a lawyer to recover your damages. But there is good news: a Fort Worth personal injury lawyer can recover your medical bills, lost wages, and other items without you paying any money down. Some people think it is a better idea if they try to handle all of the legal details on their own. This is usually a big mistake. This post will explain why and answer these questions:
- How much does a car accident lawyer charge;
- How he can make you substantially more money than you can on your own
- Why his legal services can be virtually free
Professionals including doctors, accountants, and attorneys in almost every other area of the law charge by the minute. The hourly rates can be high and bills can add up. In addition, retainers of thousands of dollars are usually required.
Rather than make the injured victim pay a lot of money up front, personal injury lawyers developed a unique system back in the 1950’s that is much more advantageous to the client. Instead of requiring a deposit, the lawyer charges a contingency fee. That means that his payment is contingent on his client getting paid, so if there is no recovery, there is no fee.
Further, the car accident attorney is willing to assume the risk of possibly not getting paid. In addition, he often waits a long time for an insurance settlement or court verdict to be reached.
If the case can be successfully settled without filing a lawsuit – and most can – attorneys are paid one-third of the total recovery. But sometimes the other driver’s insurance company refuses to pay what the claim is worth or it is more advantageous to go to court. If a lawsuit is filed, the percentage is 40% of the total recovery, as substantially more legal work is required.
But the fee can be totally worth it. Here’s why.
Benefits of the contingent fee
1. If you have been involved in a car wreck, you do not want to invest a lot of your money into your injury claim. Everyone knows that lawyers can be very expensive. You may also be losing wages from your job or now have a car payment because your car or truck was totaled and money may be tighter than usual.
2. The more money you make, the more your injury lawyer makes. The faster that happens, the quicker you and he get paid. That gives him an incentive to obtain a larger recovery for you and to do that as efficiently as possible.
3. Investigating the wreck and going to court can be very expensive. The attorney pays for all of your expenses and deducts them from the final settlement or court verdict.
4. The lawyer can help you find doctors that are willing to be paid from the final settlement so you don’t have to be whipping out your checkbook or Visa card every time you see him.
5. On the chance no money is obtained, the attorney’s work is free.
So it’s a win-win arrangement for the injured party and the attorney.
Example of how hiring a car wreck lawyer makes you more money
The total amount that is recovered by the attorney is in almost every case far greater than the injured person would have received on his own. A study by the Insurance Research Council found that injury lawyers are able to get settlements that are 3.5 times higher than for people who don’t hire attorneys.
Here’s a hypothetical financial scenario in a typical small case with small property damage and limited injuries and medical treatment and no lost wages: the offer from Allstate to the injured party representing himself could be say $5,000. After he or she pays back $3,000 in medical expenses, there is only $2,000 remaining.
Compare this to what a good car accident lawyer might be able to do: increase the offer (or court verdict) to say $12,000, reduce medical bills to $1,000, and even after the one-third fee, the client receives $7,000, or $5,000 more.
How the attorney’s fee can be virtually free
There are two basic ways an injured person can make more money: make the insurance company pay more money and reduce his medical bills. If the injury lawyer can accomplish these, often his fee is absorbed in the additional money paid out and the savings to the client as the example above generally showed.
The other driver’s insurance company builds extra money for legal fees into the settlement offer. It does not want to get sued and run the risk of being on the losing side of a large verdict. As a result, the amount your attorney can secure is far more than you will be able to get if you try to negotiate on your own.
Also, you will spend countless hours getting documents and materials together, talking on the phone with insurance adjusters, and preparing for and attending going to meetings. This is in addition to going to doctors for your medical care, attending physical therapy, performing your normal household duties, and getting back to work. If you have to file a lawsuit and go through litigation, you probably won’t know how to proceed through what can an extremely complicated process.
Insurance companies will take your case much more seriously if you have an attorney. They know that he can take your case to a jury.
Here are reasons hiring Berenson Injury Law makes good sense
- The first meeting here is free or we will send a representative to your house. So there is nothing to lose by at least finding out how the claims process works and whether you think our law firm can get you the results you want.
- There is no fee charged to help you get your vehicle damage repaired/totaled and for certain legal services.
- We fight for the full value of the claim and aggressively reduce outstanding medical bills.
- We are often able to obtain a client’s medical file at either no charge or at a reduced cost than what you would be charged ( if you knew how and where to obtain it).
- We do not charge any interest for emergency loans.
- We do not charge for the firm’s expenses paid for items like Federal Express deliveries, certified mailings, local travel, photocopies, etc.
Call Berenson Injury Law to discuss your case
Contact us to learn more about how we can help you with your car or truck collision case. Mr. Berenson has been representing injured people for almost 40 years.