How Personal Injury Attorneys Get Paid
You will owe us no legal fees unless we recover money for you.
If you’ve been hurt because of someone else’s wrongful actions, you may know that you are entitled to pursue compensation in a personal injury claim. You might be consider hiring a personal injury lawyer to handle your claim for you, but you’re worried about whether you can afford to hire an attorney. This is especially true if medical bills and other expenses are piling up while you miss time from work during your recovery.
Fortunately, personal injury attorneys offer payment arrangements that ensure you don’t have to bear the costs of a legal action when you can least afford to do so.
We take cases on what is called a Contingency Fee
A contingent fees is when an attorney and a client agree that the lawyer is only paid for services by taking a percentage of the funds recovered. You do not owe us any legal fees unless and until we attorney recover compensation for you. That is the attorney will get a “contingency fee.”
This fee applies whether there’s a negotiated settlement, an arbitration award, or verdict following trial. The attorney then receives a previously agreed-upon percentage of the total compensation, usually ranging anywhere from 25 to 40 percent or more of the total compensation, depending on the circumstances of the case.
The money is deducted from the award, meaning the client never has to pay a fee out of pocket.
Do I Need to Pay Anything Upfront?
Clients who hire attorneys under a contingency fee typically do not need to pay anything upfront to the attorney. Of course, expenses will be incurred during the course of the case, such as obtaining copies of records, hiring expert witnesses, and court filing fees and costs.
In most contingency fee arrangements, the attorney pays all these expenses on behalf of the client. If the attorney successfully recovers compensation for the client, the attorney is reimbursed for these out-of-pocket expenses from the settlement or payment of the verdict.
What is Subrogation?
Subrogation is the legal right of an insurance carrier to pursue compensation from a third-party. If person A is insured and is injured by person B, then person A’s insurance company can go after person B’s insurance company to pay damages caused by person B.
In some cases, the insurance company for A will pay for the losses caused by person B, then file a subrogation claim to seek reimbursement for those payments from person B or their insurer.
Insurance company A effectively “steps into the shoes” of person A to pursue whatever legal claims and rights they had against person B. If person A has no legal standing against person B, insurance company A is not permitted to file a subrogation claim against that person B or the insurance company.
If your case involves a possible subrogation claim we will negotiation with that claim holder and address their claims at settlement.
What is the Common Fund Doctrine?
The common fund doctrine refers to a legal principle that protects a personal injury plaintiff from having to be responsible for all the legal costs of a personal injury claim. Typically, this doctrine applies to third parties who want reimbursement for medical bills pay on behalf of the injured plaintiff.
In brief, the doctrine prevents an insurance company that does not support or assist in an injured victim’s claim or lawsuit from submitting a subrogation claim without first having help to pay a pro-rata share of the injured victim’s legal fees and expenses.. The doctrine is an equitable recognition that all parties who benefit from the recovery of funds that is the “common fund” must share the cost of recovering that fund. In this way, the amount claimed by the third party, often an insurance company, is reduced by a pro-rata share of the cost of recovery.