Many Alabama residents who suffer from injuries a negligent party caused fail to seek an attorney to help them receive compensation. In these cases, victims believe that it is too expensive to hire an attorney and they do not have the funds to pay for the legal fees. However, many personal injury attorneys operate on a contingency fee basis, taking an agreed-upon percentage of the final settlement as payment and refraining from collecting legal fees if they do not secure one.
What Is a Contingency Fee?
Contingency fee agreements help make seeking compensatory damages in personal injury cases more accessible for Alabama residents. Simply put, if your attorney does not secure a settlement on your behalf, you do not have to pay legal fees. If your attorney does secure a settlement on your behalf, he or she will take an agreed-upon percentage of the final settlement amount as payment.
Most contingency fee agreements are between 33% and 40% of the final settlement amount. You will negotiate this amount beforehand and you could receive a reduced agreement in certain circumstances. On average, the contingency fee is around 33%. For example, if you receive a final settlement offer of $50,000, your attorney will receive $16,500 and you will take home $33,500.
What Other Costs and Expenses Could Result?
In some cases, your personal injury attorney may cover costs and expenses related to your case before you reach a settlement and deduct these costs from your share. These costs may include filing fees and record requests necessary for the successful outcome of your case.
- Medical records
- Depositions and trial exhibits
- Postage costs
- Filing fees
- Investigators and expert witness fees
- Police reports
Not all attorneys will charge you for these costs and those who do should inform you of their intentions beforehand. At the end of this process, the attorney may claim 45% to 60% of the final settlement amount. However, these costs will differ from case to case and law firm to law firm.
How Do Attorneys Collect Payment?
At the end of your personal injury claims process, you will not receive your check directly. It is common practice for the court to send your settlement check to your attorney. This process ensures that you uphold your end of the agreement and compensate your attorney for his or her services. The attorney will deduct his or her fees and expenses out of the amount and send the rest of the settlement directly to you.
Why Do Personal Injury Attorneys Impose a Contingency Fee?
Having a personal injury attorney on your side will make a significant difference in your claims process. An attorney will file your case and conduct a full-scale investigation on your behalf so that you can focus on recovery, not paperwork. Your attorney also has the experience and training necessary to craft a compelling, evidence-supported case on your behalf.
Without contingency fee agreements, hiring an attorney will not be a possibility for many people. Legal fees can be quite expensive without additional support. With contingency fee agreements, you can receive representation for your personal injury case and increase your chances at receiving compensatory damages at a much lower risk. In addition, contingency fees significantly reduce your out-of-pocket costs.
Contingency fee agreements also provide an incentive for attorneys to fight for your case as best as they possibly can. If your attorney does not secure a settlement on your behalf, he or she does not receive payment. With a contingency fee agreement, you can hold your attorney accountable to the best of his or her legal ability.
If you suffer from injuries due to an accident that was not your fault, hiring a personal injury lawyer in Alabama is an affordable way to seek the maximum optimal compensation. Contact an attorney as soon as possible to begin your legal proceedings.