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Can I Afford a Lawyer?

July 31, 2020 in Personal Injury Litigation

Without a doubt, lawyers are expensive. Many lawyers are unaffordable for most people under any circumstances, charging hundreds of dollars for every hour that they work on your case. If you’ve been in an accident and facing significant medical bills or can’t work, hiring a lawyer may seem like something you simply can’t afford. Fortunately, you have options that allow you to hire a San Luis Obispo personal injury lawyer to get the legal help you need. 

Contingency Fees Explained

Most, if not all, personal injury lawyers work on what is referred to as a contingency fee basis. This means that you will pay legal fees on the contingency that they recover compensation. In other words, you pay no legal fees unless you win. You will not have to pay any legal fees out-of-pocket or pay up-front fees such as a retainer fee. 

Contingency fees are usually calculated as a percentage of the compensation you recover. One-third is a fairly common contingency fee for many personal injury lawyers. Using that percentage as an example, it would work like this: if your San Luis Obispo personal injury lawyer is able to settle your claim for $150,000, they would take $50,000 as their fee from your settlement and you would keep the remaining $100,000.  

Take Advantage of the Free Consultation

Personal injury attorneys typically offer a free initial consultation. This is your opportunity to find out whether or not you have a case, get your questions answered, and find out what your case is worth. It’s also an opportunity to learn about the attorney – how many cases they have handled, whether they’ve handled a case like yours, and their general experience and background. Finally, you also want to discuss how they bill for their time. Assuming that they work on a contingency fee basis, you want to understand exactly how their fee will be calculated. 

Other Costs

Before hiring a San Luis Obispo personal injury lawyer, you also want to understand what other costs you may be responsible for. For example:

  • Court reporters
  • Court filing fees
  • Expert witnesses
  • Copies and other materials

These costs can add up over the life of a case. You also want to understand whether you will have to pay these out of pocket, or whether they will be deducted from any compensation you recover. 

Why a Lawyer is Important to Your Claim

While you are not obligated to hire an attorney, people who are represented by lawyers are much more likely to be successful. One reason is that most non-lawyers underestimate the value of their claims. Another reason is that if you hire a lawyer, the insurance company is far less likely to offer a low-ball settlement. Finally, a lawyer can help you navigate the legal system if your claim does not settle. 

Contact a San Luis Obispo Personal Injury Lawyer Today

San Luis Obispo personal injury lawyer Earl A. Conaway, III has been helping injury victims rebuild their lives for over a decade. We do not charge any legal fees or costs unless we recover compensation for you. If you’ve been injured and need help, call us at (805)546-8797 or contact us online to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

Free Consultation

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