When people consider hiring a lawyer, money is almost always one of the first things they think about. Traditionally, attorneys have been considered expensive. A lot of people fear they cannot afford a lawyer or they worry that the lawyer will take so much of their money that they won’t have any money left over. But these fears can easily be eased when one understands just how personal injury lawyers get paid.
Ohio law is complex, and it is always subject to change. Insurance companies stay up-to-date on every legislative change and new case that affects your ability to recover money for your injuries. They know the system, and they play it very well. Sadly, most Ohioans do not really understand the process of hiring a lawyer. But it is quite simple and less expensive that one may imagine.
In Cincinnati, the lawyers of the Chester Law Group Co. LPA are always available for a free consultation and will carefully explain your rights so you understand what to expect. Here are six things a lot of people do not understand about hiring a personal injury lawyer.
1) All Attorneys Do Not Bill the Same Way
Unlike some professions, attorneys do not have a standard method of billing. Some attorneys bill by the hour, charging an initial retainer in order to ensure there is sufficient money available to fund the work requested. But this is just one of the common ways of billing. This is the primary billing method for divorce and criminal lawyers, as well as many others. Some lawyers, on the other hand, set flat fees for their work. This is commonly seen in simple estate planning or traffic cases. But when it comes to personal injury lawyers, contingent fees are the most common. A contingent fee means that the fee is entirely contingent upon recovering money for the client. No award, no fees.
2) All Attorneys Are Not the Same
Although all attorneys must go to law school and pass a bar examination to practice in Ohio, not all attorneys have the experience and reputation to get the justice you deserve. And while experience alone does not guarantee a result, it is one important thing to look for in a lawyer and a firm. The Chester Law Group Co. LPA has tried numerous multi-million dollar cases. Another important consideration is finding a law firm with the resources and experienced to take on the big insurance companies and get the respect you deserve. Insurance companies know which attorneys are willing to take cases to trial. Indeed, hiring a respected and seasoned trial attorney is important.
3) Lawsuits are Expensive, Even Without a Lawyer
People generally worry about the cost of hiring an attorney, but what they may not know is that filing a lawsuit requires a lot of other expenses that can be unaffordable for many people. Reputable personal injury firms will generally front the cost of litigation. This means your attorney will take on the massive expenses of filing a lawsuit, paying experts, hiring court reporters, paying for copies of medical records, among others. These expenses can reach into the thousands, even before ever filing a lawsuit.
4) Most People Recover More When They Have a Lawyer
According to the Insurance Research Council (IRC), people who use an attorney for their personal injury claim recover over than three times more than those who go it alone. While this may not be true in all cases, and it largely depends on the state, the insurance company, and the lawyer you hire, this generally means it is better to have representation than not, even accounting for the attorney’s fee.
5) You Can be Compensated Even if You Were Partly Responsible
This one is confusing to some, but yes, even if you were partially responsible for the accident, you may be able to recover for your injuries. Every state deals with partial responsibility differently. In Ohio, it is called contributory fault. The law is clear: it says that you are not barred from recovering for your injuries, so long as you (the plaintiff) were less at-fault than everyone else put together. Provided you meet that requirement, your share of liability will be considered in reducing the award you may receive. This is not as simple as it appears, though.
The State of Ohio even offers a quick fact sheet on this rule, but when suing for injuries, your attorney is your best source of information and is in the best position to explain how this rule applies to your unique case. If you have any doubts about your possible liability, you should contact an experienced Cincinnati auto accident lawyer.
6) Your Attorney Will Help Make Sure Your Medical Bills Are Paid
A lot of people forget about those medical bills that are piling up after a serious accident. When victims represent themselves, they sometimes forget to communicate with all the medical providers. They receive a small award from the insurance company and spend it, only to quickly discover they owe thousands in medical bills and liens. These often turn into judgments and can destroy the victim’s credit and have lasting effects on the entire family. In fact, medical insurance companies, Medicaid, and Medicare can all place liens on your case and require you pay them back from your settlement.
A lawyer can carefully assess your medical bills and liens and work to ensure these debts are properly negotiated and paid as part of your recovery. This way, when the case is over and you are paid, the debts are paid as well.
Contact Experienced Cincinnati Personal Injury Attorneys Today
Given the strict time limits on filing a lawsuit in Ohio, it is important to contact a lawyer early. If you were hurt in a car accident or someone you know was seriously hurt or even killed, do not waste time worrying or trying to get the insurance company to do the right thing. It is in the insurance company’s interest to pay you as little as possible to make you go away. Insurance companies do not make profits by paying people for their claims. They make money by denying claims and making low-ball offers in hopes that people will take the money fast and never call a lawyer. This is a mistake. Don’t let the insurance company tell you what your case is worth, and don’t let the insurance company tell you your rights.
You want the hard-working, aggressive, and experienced Cincinnati auto accident lawyers of the Chester Law Group Co. LPA. Call to learn more about your rights.