How is My Personal Injury Lawyer Paid if I Lose My Case?
Most people understand that Augusta personal injury lawyers are paid on a contingency basis. But, what does this really mean? Lawyers have to make money. They need to pay their bills just like the rest of us. So, what happens if they work on a case for months and lose?
Attorneys who work in personal injury understand the risks they’re taking. Deep down, all lawyers have that dream of getting the whale of a client. There are some cases that come along that can make or break an attorney’s career.
Most lawyers never see this kind of case. It’s rare that someone walks through a lawyer’s door and announces, “I have a sure-proof case against a multi-million-dollar company and want you to represent me!” It just doesn’t happen this way.
Most plaintiffs who have a large case don’t even realize it. It could be a woman whose husband died from cancer caused by a weed killer. Or maybe it’s a mom whose baby was born with a birth defect because of a drug she took while pregnant.
Very rarely will your run of the mill car accident case lead to a million-dollar settlement. But lawyers take the good with the bad. It’s not just about making money. Lawyers want to help people. That’s why most of them go to law school in the first place.
What Kinds of Cases do Augusta Personal Injury Lawyers Handle?
Most Augusta personal injury lawyers handle stereotypical cases. Someone gets into a car accident and suffered whiplash. Or maybe their client got bit by their neighbor’s dog and needed surgery.
Some of the most common types of personal injury cases are:
- Slip and falls
- Workplace accidents
- Car accidents
- Premises liability injuries
- Product liability
Although there is the chance that one of these cases could be worth a ton of money, for the most part, this isn’t the case. Most personal injury plaintiffs are entitled to compensation for the following:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Future lost earnings
- Property damage
- Permanent disability
- Pain and suffering
For most economic types of damages, you only receive what you’ve lost. For example, if insurance covered your medical bills, your insurance company will receive most of the damages allocated to medical bills.
If you’re compensated for lost wages, then this is simply replacing money you would’ve earned had you not been injured.
Future income and pain and suffering are the types of damages that make up the lion’s share of your settlement.
Attorneys Receive Nothing if You Don’t Win
The way personal injury attorneys are paid is through something called a contingency fee. You sign a retainer agreement that stipulates what percentage of your settlement your attorney is entitled to. Most Augusta personal injury lawyers receive anywhere from 33-40% of your damages.
Your attorney does take their fee off the total settlement amount. So, if you settle for $100,000, your attorney would get about $33,000. You need to use the remainder to pay outstanding medical bills and other expenses.
You may have liens against your settlement by your insurance company, Medicare or Medicaid. If these providers covered your medical care while your suit was pending, they’ll be entitled to reimbursement. To make sure they get their money, they file a lien against your case. This means that they’re paid as soon as your settlement check clears.
If you don’t win your case, you won’t receive any damages. Neither will your attorney. This is why lawyers usually encourage their clients to settle. Sometimes, it’s better to settle for less than you want rather than risk getting nothing at all.
Since you don’t pay until you win your case, your attorney will be footing the bill for all the expenses. Your Georgia injury lawyer has to pay your experts. They also have to pay ancillary costs such as copies, faxes, and postage. If a case takes months or years to resolve, these expenses can be very high.
Contact a Georgia Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you’ve suffered any sort of personal injury, you should call and speak with the experienced Augusta personal injury lawyers today at Ted Greve & Associates. Your lawyer can review your case and let you know what it may be worth. They can also answer any questions you may have.
Call and schedule your free initial consultation. You don’t pay your attorney unless and until you win your case. This is why any personal injury lawyer in Augusta will be upfront with you. If your case isn’t valid, they’ll let you know. They won’t want to waste your time or theirs if there’s no chance of winning your case.