How Are Personal Injury Lawyers Paid in Tampa?
If you’ve suffered a severe injury in an accident that was not your fault, you may be considering hiring a lawyer to represent you and fight for fair compensation. You’re probably thinking you have a better chance of getting the money you deserve with the help of an attorney. You’re right.
But how do you know if you can afford the right personal injury attorney? After all, hiring a lawyer is expensive, right? If you’re already facing costly medical bills and your injuries have left you unable to work, how will you pay for the legal services you need to be fully compensated for what you’ve lost?
Don’t worry. Hiring a personal injury lawyer is more affordable than you might think. The Florida personal injury attorneys at Brooks Law Group fight for accident victims to get fair compensation after being injured, regardless of their financial resources.
Since 1992, we’ve helped injured Floridians recover millions of dollars in compensation for injuries sustained in a broad range of accidents. We’ve earned widespread recognition for providing high-quality legal representation to our clients, including being named one of the National Trial Lawyers’ Top 100 law firms.
At Brooks Law Group, we demand justice and maximum compensation for every client. Get a free initial consultation by calling one of our four offices or filling out our contact form.
Why Should I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
If you’re worried about the cost of hiring a lawyer, you might be thinking about trying to handle your personal injury claim on your own. Pause for a moment. We strongly recommend you get a personal injury attorney to assist you with your claim. Here’s why:
- Lawyers have special training, knowledge, and experience. To get full and fair compensation after an accident, you need someone who knows the rules surrounding personal injury claims and how to navigate the legal system. Each state has its own regulations surrounding these sorts of cases. A personal injury lawyer has the experience and background to make the claims process as painless as possible while giving you the best chance at recovering maximum compensation.
- Your attorney can handle your claim while you heal. There’s a lot of work involved in personal injury claims. To build the most robust case, you’ll need to gather evidence, interview witnesses and experts, file paperwork, and engage in delicate negotiations with the liable parties and their insurance companies. That’s a lot to do when you’re recovering from a serious injury. A personal injury attorney can handle the legal legwork for you as you rest and recuperate.
- Without a lawyer, you run the risk of not getting any compensation for your injuries. Insurance companies are very good at finding and exploiting legal loopholes to deny your claim, delay payment, or not pay the full amount you may be entitled to. Suppose you don’t get help from an attorney. In that case, you might not recover anything for your injuries, leaving you struggling to pay your medical bills and without any money for your lost wages, damaged property, and other expenses related to the accident.
I Cannot Afford to Hire a Lawyer — Now What?
Don’t despair if you’re worried that you cannot afford to hire a personal injury attorney. Unlike other types of lawyers, such as criminal defense attorneys or corporate lawyers, personal injury lawyers usually use a different payment arrangement to make it so that even people with few financial resources can get proper legal representation. Keep reading.
How Are Personal Injury Lawyers Paid?
To make it easier for clients of modest means to afford legal representation, many personal injury lawyers aren’t paid hourly. Instead, they’ve come up with a different fee structure that puts less of an upfront financial burden on clients. This is called a contingency fee arrangement.
Working on a contingency fee basis means that your personal injury lawyer will cover most or all of the costs associated with your case. That doesn’t mean he or she is working for free. You’ll pay them a portion of the compensation you receive after the case is resolved (either through a settlement or a trial verdict). If your case doesn’t win, you don’t have to pay anything back. This gives your lawyer a strong incentive to fight as hard as possible to get you compensation for your injuries.
What Is a Contingency Fee?
A contingency fee is what you will pay the lawyer if (and only if) he or she successfully recovers compensation for your injuries. Usually, the contingency fee is set at a certain percentage of the final award.
The particular percentage will vary from lawyer to lawyer, and it may also vary based on the perceived difficulty of the case. If the attorney looks at the case and sees that it could be a tough fight, they may ask for a higher percentage of your compensation. The typical range for most cases is 25 percent to 40 percent of whatever compensation you receive for your injuries.
When you speak to a personal injury lawyer about their payment arrangements, it’s important to get as many details as possible and get the agreement in writing. Some personal injury attorneys cover all the costs from a case under their contingency fee, while others may cover most expenses but bill the client separately for some specific costs. Make sure to have your lawyer walk you through the full details of your financial arrangement before you hire them.
How Does a Contingency Fee Affect My Settlement?
It’s essential to be aware of your contingency fee agreement when considering any settlement offer from the insurance company. Assuming you accept the offer, you agree to give a substantial percentage of your compensation to your lawyer. You’ll want to make sure that the offer is fair so that you retain the maximum amount of compensation for yourself.
You should also consider how much you would have received without a lawyer’s help — or whether you would have received anything at all. In most instances, the value of having an attorney’s help outweighs the cost of their contingency fee. Even though your lawyer ends up with some of your compensation, if they’ve done their job correctly, you’ll still end up with much more money than if you tried to go it alone.
Is It Worth Hiring an Injury Attorney Over Taking an Insurance Settlement?
In most instances, it’s well worth it to hire an injury lawyer to take over insurance settlement negotiations from the start. It’s in the insurance company’s financial interest to pay you as little as possible for your injuries. Knowing this, an adjuster may approach you with a settlement offer within days — or even hours — of the accident. Accepting their offer may be tempting, but you’ll likely be agreeing to an amount far short of what you are owed. That’s especially true if the injuries are catastrophic and the doctor cannot make any predictions about a full recovery.
By getting help from a personal injury attorney, you have a much higher chance of getting a substantial settlement for your injuries. Insurers know that clients with lawyers mean business. They’ll still try to wrangle their way out of making a fair payout. But knowing you have a lawyer on your side will make the insurance company take your case more seriously than they would have if you were acting alone.
How Can Brooks Law Group Help Me?
The Florida personal injury attorneys at the Brooks Law Group can help with your case from start to finish. We will:
- Identify everyone who may be liable for your injuries, as well as all possible sources of compensation
- Gather the necessary evidence to support your case, such as medical records, photos or videos from the accident scene, testimony from experts, interviews with witnesses, etc.
- Help you find the right doctors and other specialists to get you the care you need
- Take care of all the necessary legal paperwork and negotiations with the various insurance companies
- Bring your case to court in case a fair settlement can’t be reached
If you’ve been hurt in a central Florida accident and someone else is to blame, put Brooks Law Group to work for you. Call or contact one of our offices in Tampa, Winter Haven, Lakeland, and Auburndale for a free consultation with a trusted personal injury lawyer.