There is no up-front cost to hiring a car wreck attorney. Most car accident attorneys, like those at Foster Wallace, will work on a contingency fee basis in these matters. That means that our law firm only gets paid if we are able to obtain compensation for you for the wreck in which you were involved. If the attorney is not able to collect money for you, you owe that attorney nothing. Personal injury attorneys understand that it is difficult for most people to come up with a lot of money to pay for an attorney up front and throughout the pursuit of their injury claim on a monthly basis. This allows injury victims the ability to engage legal representation without the added burden of recurring legal fees while the victim of the accident must also pay all of his or her other bills.
How Does A Contingency Relationship Work
- You are injured in a car wreck and the other insurance company is calling you asking about your injuries and asking whether you would be interested in settling your claim now. They often do this early in an attempt to settle your case for pennies on the dollar.
- Because you are still treating with your medical providers and do not know the extent of your injuries, you decide not to settle your case. Tip: you should never settle your case quickly without knowing the full extent of your damages.
- You meet with a personal injury attorney who works on a contingent basis and sign an engagement letter that lists out how the lawyer is paid, including how the case expenses are advanced and reimbursed at the end of the case.
- The contingent fee agreement states that you agree that the lawyer will receive a set percentage of whatever compensation the lawyer obtained for you if a lawsuit is settled before a lawsuit is filed. That percentage often increases if, for example, a lawsuit is filed or the case is tried or appealed.
- The contingent fee agreement also states that the lawyer will advance all case expenses in pursuing the case (which are sometimes significant) and that if the lawyer does not win the case, that lawyer eats those costs.
- You are still responsible for hospital bills and medical expenses.
- If the case is settled or won, the attorney recoups the costs/expenses he or she has expensed back off the top of the settlement.
- The contingent fee percentages are calculated after the attorney has been paid back for their expenses.
One way to look at the contingent fee relationship when considering whether to hire a lawyer for your claim or settle your case on your own is to ask yourself whether the lawyer can get you more, after payment of attorney fees and expenses, than you would likely be able to get if you handled the case yourself. Most of the time the lawyer can because insurance companies make it difficult for you to handle your case alone. Hiring an attorney makes the threat of a lawsuit that much more real to the insurance company. A lawyer will also have a general idea of what a personal injury case might be worth.
Have You Been Injured in a Kansas City Car Accident?
If you've been hurt in a Kansas City car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.249.2101 to schedule your free consultation.