Will I Lose Money If I Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?
When you decide to seek assistance from an Ohio personal injury attorney, one of your biggest concerns is how much legal representation will cost you. Clients often wonder – am I better off hiring an attorney for my personal injury case, or should I pursue it myself. Although the standard answer coming from an attorney is: “If you think you might need an attorney, you probably do.” In some situations and simple claims, you might be okay to handle the case yourself.
Currently, approximately 1.3 million lawyers are currently registered in the United States, and they have differing attorney fees.
At The Henry Law Firm, we are committed to honesty and transparency. When clients ask questions about fees, they get direct answers. Consultations are free and if you are considering hiring an attorney, talk to us about the benefits of attorney representation and how it can help achieve your goals.
What Is a Contingency Fee?
You’ve seen the commercials, “If you don’t get paid, I don’t get paid.” It’s a typical tactic in attorney advertising. It’s not my style to engage in corny advertising or sales tactics. But regardless, the contingency fee remains the industry standard for a personal injury, medical malpractice, or wrongful death case.
It is true that under a contingency fee agreement, your attorney will only be compensated if you are. If the attorney wins the case, they will take a percentage of your settlement earnings that usually ranges between 33 and 40 percent. This amount is generally less than what you would pay if you were working with an attorney on an hourly basis.
Additionally, with most contingency fee agreements, the percentage an attorney receives will depend on when your case was settled. In most instances, if your case was settled before a lawsuit, the attorney will receive a lower percentage of your settlement.
We typically make our expenses contingent too. This is an important point as costs in a case can range from a few hundred dollars (or less) up to a few hundred thousand dollars. With contingent expenses, your attorney will advance all expenses, and if your case is unsuccessful, the attorney will cover the loss.
The most significant benefit of a contingency fee agreement is that you have no out-of-pocket commitment or risk of paying legal fees if your case is unsuccessful.
If probate is involved, the contingency fee must be approved by the court.
Although you and your attorney may agree on a contingency fee percentage, if your case is subject to probate court approval, that fee must still be approved by the court.
Cases that must have probate court approval include wrongful death actions and actions on behalf of a minor child or legally incompetent person.
The probate court will review the facts of the case and ensure that the attorney’s contingent fee is fair. Some factors the court will consider in determining a fair contingency fee include:
- How complex your case is
- The amount of time your attorney has spent on the case
- How much experience and education your attorney has in their field of law
- The results your attorney obtained in the case
- What the general attorney fee is for the type of case you have
Debunking Lost Funds
Although it is theoretically possible that a client loses money by hiring a personal injury attorney on a contingency fee, as a practical matter, the risk of losing money falls squarely on the lawyer. I have never had a single case over 11 years and thousands of clients where my client lost money by hiring me on a contingency fee contract.
In almost all cases, the client sees a more significant recovery on their case after hiring me. That is because I am in the results business – and if I cannot deliver you results, I have not done my job. I will always look for solutions that maximize your recovery. If the facts of your case show that we cannot prove liability or damages, I will bear that loss myself.
When clients ask me if they will lose money by hiring me on a contingency fee agreement, I tell them the truth: I am assuming the risk of loss. Unless you agree to pay expenses, you will not have the threat of losing any money.
Will I Get Less Money if I Use an Attorney for My Case?
Each case is different, but I am committed to ensuring that my clients will not get less money for their cases by hiring me.
Data shows clearly that most people who use an attorney receive more money than if they tried to resolve their case themselves. That’s why it’s crucial to speak with an attorney at The Henry Law Firm. We can help determine if your case will have a fair settlement amount and if you should use an attorney.
Expert Attorney Guidance
My standard answer is “Yes” because, in addition to maximizing value, you may have complicated repayment obligations for your medical treatment. If you do not understand who you have to repay (and who you don’t), you may end up owing more money than you recover. However, there are a couple of limited situations where I may advise clients that they are better off handling the matter themselves.
These situations include:
- A minor claim with no medical treatment; and
- A claim where the client already has an offer (that I consider full valuation) on the table.
Even if you think you will be better off handling your case yourself, you are better at consulting with an attorney for guidance and direction. I always provide these consultations free of charge.
Contact an Ohio Attorney to Discuss Your Lawsuit and Fees
Lawyer fees can be complicated and confusing, which is why speaking with an Ohio attorney is in your best interest. At The Henry Law Firm, we can help you understand the different fee options available to clients.
Our team can advise you on the type of legal fee agreement best suited to your case. Additionally, we can tell you the various legal costs not included in a general legal fee agreement. Should you want to speak with one of our expert attorneys, contact us today.