Most law firms handle personal injury claims on a contingency-fee-basis. With a contingent fee, you do not pay anything out of pocket during the insurance claim or lawsuit. The attorney gets paid a percentage of the settlement or award at the end of the case.
Some victims choose to hire a personal injury firm after suffering injuries in a car accident because they can discuss their case with a lawyer after an initial consultation. Hiring a lawyer with our firm can help you focus on recuperating from your injuries while also pursuing compensation.
The Amount of the Legal Fees
Georgia law requires contingent fee arrangements to be in writing. You will know how much the lawyer will get paid if the claim settles, if the attorney has to file a lawsuit, if the case goes to trial, and if the matter gets appealed.
The theory behind contingency fees is that an injured person might not have the cash lying around to pay a lawyer upfront to go after the negligent person who hurt them. Justice through the courts should not be limited to the wealthy. Thanks to contingency fees, you do not have to be rich to pursue compensation when someone else’s carelessness causes you harm.
Personal injury attorneys put many hours of work into handling their cases, with no money coming in to cover their overhead until the cases get resolved. They are not going to bet their paychecks on a claim with no merit.
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Who Pays the Litigation Expenses During the Case
Personal injury lawyers also pay the litigation costs while the case is pending. They get reimbursed for those expenses out of the settlement proceeds or award from the court. These costs can include things like:
- Deposition court reporter and transcript
- Court filing fees
- Additional costs, if necessary, to obtain service on the defendant
- Expert witnesses, like accident reconstruction experts, medical experts, or vocation and rehabilitation professionals
Depending on the facts of your situation, you might have other litigation expenses, as well. Expert witnesses can cost thousands of dollars, but if there is a dispute about who was at fault for an automobile or motorcycle accident, for example, these professionals may prove essential for presenting your claim to the court.
An Initial Consultation Does Not Lock You in
Most personal injury lawyers offer a free initial consultation. This service allows you to talk to a law firm about your case without having to commit to hiring a lawyer.
If you decide not to hire an attorney, you will not get charged for the initial appointment. You have nothing to lose when you talk to a firm that provides initial consultations at no charge and with no obligation. Also, the firm will keep your information confidential even if you hire a different lawyer.
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Delaying the Process Could Cost You Everything
Although contingency fee arrangements make it easier financially to pursue a personal injury claim, the mere passage of time could cause you to lose the right to get any compensation for your losses. Georgia only gives you two years to file a lawsuit seeking money damages in a personal injury lawsuit, according to OCGA §9-3-33.
The two-year rule is the statute of limitations. Every state has a statute of limitations for personal injury and other types of litigation.
The American Bar Association (ABA) warns that if you do not file a lawsuit with the appropriate court before the two years expires, you will lose the right to hold the negligent person legally responsible and pay for your losses. You might get stuck with massive medical bills that you can never afford to pay.
Negotiations with Insurers Take Time
Insurance company claims adjusters know the statute of limitations for your case. If you try to handle your injury claim on your own instead of working with a lawyer, the claims adjuster might try to drag out the negotiations in hopes that you will miss the deadline and lose the right to get compensation.
Negotiating with the insurer or defendant does not extend the time limit. An actual lawsuit must get filed with the court before the deadline passes to protect your right to money damages. The clock starts ticking at the moment of the accident.
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How to Get Legal Help for Your Personal Injury Case
At Kaine Law, we help people who get hurt because someone else was careless. We fight relentlessly to get our clients every dollar they deserve. We treat our clients with respect and compassion.
We are proud to offer free initial consultations with no obligation, and we do not get paid unless you win. Our clients get to focus on getting better because we deal directly with the insurance company on their behalf. You can call us today to get started.