What you’ll learn reading this article
- How a contingency fee works and why it makes it affordable to hire a personal injury attorney
- Why a personal injury attorney is better equipped to figure out how much money you should receive
- Why injured people who hire attorneys end up getting higher settlements
Sadly, accidents that take place as a result of negligence are all too common. The consequences from mishaps such as car accidents, injuries that result from slips or falls, or even dog bites, can have repercussions ranging from a sore neck or broken bones to, or in the most catastrophic of all circumstances, death. If you’ve been a victim of an accident, you might be tempted to handle the legal process on your own. Many people assume that they will lose money if they hire a personal injury attorney. But is that the case? Read on to find out.
According to a 2014 study and a subsequent study by the Insurance Research Council, people who hire lawyers to represent them in personal injury cases, on average, receive three and a half times more money for their judgment or settlement than those who try to resolve cases on their own. Another study showed that 85% of the money paid by insurance companies was to people who hired attorneys to represent them in the claims process.
Contingency Fees and How They Work
Perhaps you think you can’t afford a personal injury attorney or that if you receive money from a settlement, it will all go towards paying your lawyer’s fees. Reputable personal injury attorneys work on contingency fees. In contingency fee arrangements, you pay the attorney only if the case is successful. The fee is a fixed percentage of the money you receive from the settlement. If you win the case, the payment will come from your award. The lower the percentage agreement, the more money you will be able to keep. If you lose, you won’t owe your lawyer a fee for their services.
Calculating How Much You Should Receive
One of the first steps to filing a personal injury claim is to know how much money to ask for. Insurance companies work to protect their best interests by paying as little as possible to settle claims. That is where an experienced personal injury lawyer comes in. With the help of their experience assessing the long-term ramifications of injuries, attorneys can more fairly and accurately determine the worth of a case at the beginning. Rather than costing you money, they can ensure you receive the maximum settlement.
According to Nolo, an organization dedicated to helping consumers and small businesses find answers to their everyday legal and business questions, the amount of a personal injury claim usually includes out of pocket medical costs, loss of pay or paid time off for missing work, damage to property, and pain and suffering. Attorneys typically request three to five times the amount of out-of-pocket damages to compensate their clients for “pain and suffering.”
These are rules of thumb, but the calculations can be much more nuanced, taking into account factors such as how the results of an accident could impact your future. Once your injury lawyer helps you determine a reasonable settlement amount, they have the expertise and resources to take the necessary steps to ensure you receive what you deserve.
Accurate Accident Scene Analysis
Investigating an accident is a complex and lengthy process. If you’ve sustained an injury, you should be focused on healing rather than on collecting evidence. A personal injury attorney has the resources and ability to employ a thorough process to analyze the scene.
For example, if the incident was a car crash, your attorney may look for puddles or debris, such as glass or shredded tires. Skid marks on the pavement can provide valuable information as can measurements from the point of impact to where the vehicle ends up following the collision. Lawyers also have access to professional accident investigators who know how to identify signs of negligence that you might miss if you were to look for evidence on your own. In addition, these investigators are too expensive to hire independently. Without these beneficial resources, you are likely to miss key pieces of information that could affect your settlement amount.
Maximizing Your Settlement
Despite some misconceptions, working with a skilled personal injury can help save you money and ensure you don’t lose on any of the compensation to which you are entitled. They can leverage their experience, resources, their ability to identify how much you should receive and litigate insurance companies to maximize your settlement.
Poynter & Bucheri Accident Recovery – Indianapolis Personal Injury Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been injured physically or mentally by a person, product or company, you need to know your legal rights. Our personal injury attorneys are experienced with cases like yours and can evaluate what your case may be worth. We will ensure that you are protected and compensated for your injuries and losses. Why pay up to 40% in attorney fees? Our fee is only 25%*, and we fight to win your case or you pay no attorney fees at all. Don’t hesitate — one of our experienced attorneys can assist you right away. Call 1-800-265-9881 for a free case review.
Hi, I’m Rich Bucheri from Poynter Bucheri Accident Recovery Attorneys. And the question that I get asked a lot from a potential new clients is, “Won’t I get more money without a lawyer?” And logically, this kind of makes sense. If I have to pay my attorney 25 or 33 or 40 or 45% of my settlement or my judgment, then how am I going to make any money once I pay the expenses and the doctors on top of that?
But what I would tell you is this, that generally speaking most people that handle their case without a lawyer are not compensated as well as those that are represented by an attorney. And that’s based on studies. There was a study by the Insurance Research Council many years ago, and then another study that’s happened since then, that shows that people with attorneys generally get by a multiple of three and a half times more money for their judgment than they would without their attorney, or their settlement, without an attorney. Another study showed that 85% of the money paid out by insurance companies for claims went to people that were represented by an attorney. So you can see that a vast majority of the money that’s paid out seems to be going to people with an attorney.
And so there hasn’t been a lot of recent studies on this, as you can see. Really, insurance companies are the only people in a position to be able to do such a study, and they don’t have any interest in getting that kind of result out there. But it makes sense because an attorney, through their experience, through their dealings, through their leverage of being able to use litigation, are able to more fairly and more accurately determine the worth of the case at the very beginning. And they do have the leverage of filing a lawsuit and forcing the insurance company then to hire a lawyer if they’re not going to be reasonable.
And so you would expect that as a result of that, insurance companies knowing they can’t just push injury attorneys around because they have knowledge that the normal person may not have, that they would pay more to resolve the case. But if you have any questions about this, you should contact a injury attorney, such as Poynter Bucheri Accident Recovery Attorneys. We’d be happy to walk you through it, talk about our fees and how they work, and why we think that it might be beneficial for us to represent you. If you have any questions, please give us a call. Thank you.