After sustaining a serious injury, the last thing that you want to do is deal with a legal battle. That is why you need to employ the services of a reliable lawyer.
But how do you know which attorney to trust? What is a fair price? What questions should you ask when selecting an attorney to represent you?
You need an attorney because they have a long list of skills: be it knowledge of legal proceedings, assistance with filing paperwork or something else, you will be relying on this person as your case is handled. While these skills are invaluable, they will also take what is known as a contingency fee, or a part of your settlement.
Keep in mind that not every injured person needs an attorney. It comes down to the injuries sustained and the amount of money at risk. If you only received scrapes and bruises and there are no issues with liability, you may not need a lawyer. This approach is a great way to save money, but is not an option for those with more serious injuries.
This is not an easy decision. Know what you can handle alone and what cases you will need a lawyer for.
Most people would never even consider handling their own case due to lack of legal knowledge. If you are in this majority, then you will want to hire the best attorney possible. Luckily, there are easy ways to tell if your potential lawyer is someone that you can trust or just a snake in the grass.
Lawyers' fees are as varied as lawyers themselves, but there are certain rules of thumb that most will follow. A contingency fee will usually be one third of the final settlement - that's after other expenses are taken out. However, you should expect to pay 40% of the settlement if your case goes to trial.
There are times when you can negotiate fees, but you should not expect significant changes.
If you choose to hire an attorney, keep an eye on their progress. Spending months without hearing from your lawyer will do terrible things to your nerves. That said, you should not be pestering your lawyer. Find a happy medium right here.