Typically, when you need to hire an attorney for whatever reason, be that to draft a will, write a contract, defend you against criminal charges, or any other legal cause, you will have to start with a retainer fee (or down payment). Then, your attorney will charge an hourly fee. You may be familiar with this method of payment when hiring an attorney. Personal injury attorneys are different. There is no retainer, no upfront fees, and no hourly charge. In fact, your personal injury attorney might even help you by paying legal fees out of their own pocket.
So, why are personal injury attorneys different and what’s in it for them? The difference is the contingency fee arrangement. And the attorney benefits from the outcome of your claim, if you receive compensation, of which the attorney will take a percentage and repayment for their out of pocket expenses leading up to the settlement or trial verdict.
What is a Contingency Fee?
You have probably heard of Ohio personal injury attorneys advertising that they don’t get paid unless you get paid. What they are referring to is the contingency fee arrangement that you will agree to if you hire their services to seek compensation for a personal injury. This is a gamble for the attorney, because not all personal injury claims will be successful. Having said that, most personal injury attorneys will let you know if they think you don’t have a solid claim, because they won’t want to take the risk if there is little likelihood of getting paid.
Your interaction with an Ohio personal injury attorney will begin with a consultation, or discussion and review of your claim, and this initial consultation is usually free. You can contact the Chester Law Group to get a free consultation and to find out if you do have a strong personal injury claim. If we believe that you are rightfully entitled to compensation for your damages, then we will help you to pursue those damages on a contingency fee basis.
After your initial free consultation, if we take your case, we will have you sign the contingency fee agreement which will clarify the percentage that you will pay us if you receive compensation for your injuries and losses. It will also specify that if you don’t ultimately receive compensation, we will not charge you any fees for our time and services.
We will gladly go over the terms of this agreement to make sure that you fully understand what you are signing before you do. Not all attorneys will take the time to make sure that you understand the arrangement before you sign the contract. Thus, it is essential that you take the time yourself to read through the agreement and ask any questions that you might have. While many personal injury attorneys in Ohio work on a contingency fee basis, they don’t all charge the same percentage or operate with the same arrangements. You are bound to any contract that you sign, so be sure that you know what you’re agreeing to.
How Are Legal Expenses Paid?
There are many legal expenses associated with pursuing a personal injury claim, aside from the attorney’s fees. These include the costs of depositions, expert testimonies, court costs, and administrative expenses. In many cases, your lawyer will cover these expenses and will be repaid for them if you are able to successfully obtain a settlement or favorable judgment. These expenses will be deducted from your settlement before the attorney’s actual fees for their service are calculated and deducted. If you don’t get a settlement or judgment in your favor, then you will not have to repay these legal expenses.
How Are Medical Liens Paid?
Medical liens are the bills owed for medical expenses for treatment that was provided with the promise of repayment. An attorney can send a Letter of Protection to your physicians and other medical care providers, which is a written promise that part of your settlement will be used to pay for the treatment that they provide while you wait for compensation. This is a binding contract in which your attorney is legally required to pay these medical liens from your settlement or from the compensation awarded from a successful trial.
Do You Need a Personal Injury Attorney?
While not all personal injury claims with necessitate the representation of a determined Toledo, Ohio personal injury attorney, it is best to seek a free consultation if you have any doubts. This is the best way to determine whether you have a strong case and whether the services of an attorney will benefit your claim. Contact the Chester Law Group today to schedule your free consultation.