The short answer is: Nothing out of pocket up front. Personal injury cases (car accidents, slip and falls, trip and falls, big truck wrecks, etc.) are typically handled on a contingency basis. This just means that we take the case without charging you anything up front, and with the understanding that we will be paid a portion of whatever funds we recover from the at-fault party. Personal injury attorney standard fees are 1/3 of whatever is recovered if the case is settled before filing a lawsuit (most are), or 40% of whatever is recovered if we have to front costs and file a lawsuit to get you a good result. People often say “why so much?” The simple answer is that we are taking a risk, based first on your word, then on the word of others we do not know, and there’s a real possibility we won’t be paid anything after doing a great deal of work. Also, you are hiring us for our experience in the area of personal injury law, and for our knowledge and guidance, because we know what questions to ask and what to look for, and because we have the intellectual tools to get you the best recovery possible in your case.
Unfortunately, it may actually cost you money NOT to hire a personal lawyer. Hiring a good personal injury lawyer is like hiring a guide who knows where the potholes are on a road you need to drive down in the dark with no headlights; it’s possible you could make it down the road without any damage, but if you hit a pothole, you are done. Let us be your headlights in the dark.
There are many elements that go into a personal injury case, such as UM insurance, MedPay coverage, whether or not health insurance must be repaid, how the various liens that may arise must be handled, and the inherent value of having a personal injury attorney on your side with the real threat of litigation (insurance companies tend to pay more when a personal injury lawyer is involved). These are only a few of the things that are handled by a good personal injury attorney, in addition to recognizing the deadlines, and various exceptions to laws. No matter what, it is always good to at least get a free initial consultation from a personal injury lawyer if you were injured by someone else’s negligence. It’s always good to call a personal injury attorney before you talk to insurance adjusters, and our initial consultations are free. Make your first call the right call. Dyal Jenkins.