Aside from personal injury cases, most fees for the attorney are set at a specific amount and are due as soon as service is provided. A lawyer may bill clients by the hour or charge a set monthly fee, depending on the type of service provided. A personal injury attorney usually handles matters differently. Legal representation is paid for on a contingency basis, meaning the lawyer does not get paid if he or she does not win the case. Instead of upfront fees, legal representation for a personal injury case is compensated with a specified percentage of the settlement negotiated or the trial court award the client receives.
An injury settlement for a person represented by a lawyer may be paid out to several entities before the balance is sent to the attorney. The insurer may pay for the person’s medical bills directly, for example. Money that is intended to compensate for lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional trauma and other factors then is sent to the attorney. This ensures that the lawyer receives the percentage fee before the final amount is provided to the client.
Some additional costs and expenses may be the client’s responsibility as well. For example, the client may be responsible for paying expert witnesses and for document filing fees. All of this is explained before the person signs any contract with the lawyer so there is no misunderstanding.
An attorney with a firm such as Harrington Law Group might receive a full one-third of any settlement, as this is a standard percentage. Some charge higher amounts and some charge lower percentages. One-third of a settlement may seem like a substantial amount, but the person must consider various aspects of the situation. Having professional legal representation offers a significant advantage. Research verifies that insurance companies make much higher settlement offers when a lawyer is involved. The adjusters realize that attorneys know what a case is worth and will not allow their client to be short-changed. The injured person is likely to receive more money even after the lawyer’s contingency fee than would have been true without this type of representation.