How Do I Pay for a Lawyer—and Why Should I?
The law is full of jargon and complicated rules that aren’t easy for the average person to understand. Whether it’s dealing with a car accident lawsuit to get the compensation you need, confronting a case of medical malpractice, or working through a debilitating injury, a lawyer may be an important ally.
You may think you need a lawyer, but how are you going to pay them? If you were hit with huge medical bills and are just trying to live your life without going bankrupt, the thought of hiring a lawyer and adding to your bills may seem impossible. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Personal injury victims in particular can pay for a lawyer without adding to their financial burdens.
In this article, we’ll discuss how much lawyers cost, how you can pay for them even if you have no money, and why you should even consider talking to an attorney in the first place.
How Much Do Lawyers Cost?
There are many types of lawyers and each of them charges a different fee for their services. Usually, these fees depend on what kind of service they offer.
The four main types of fees a lawyer may charge include:
- Flat fees;
- Hourly rates;
- Retainers; and
- Contingency fees, which is what personal injury lawyers use.
Flat fees are usually used for simple legal matters such as wills, bankruptcy cases, uncontested divorces, and some criminal cases.
Hourly rates are the most common way a lawyer charges for their services. Hourly rates vary a lot based on how long the lawyer has been practicing, how difficult the case is, how much money is at stake, and which state you live in. The average rates range between $200 and $600 per hour.
Retainers are usually used by big businesses, rich individuals, and those who need regular legal help. In this situation, the client pays an upfront fee to the lawyer, and the lawyer deducts their expenses from that fee every time they do work for the client. Retainers are uncommon and the amount is entirely up to the client and lawyer involved.
Finally, personal injury lawyers typically use a contingency fee. If you were involved in a car accident, were the victim of medical malpractice, or experienced a personal injury, you will likely hire a lawyer on a contingency fee basis. This means that you don’t pay the lawyer for their time unless you win your case and receive compensation from the other party. Usually, a contingency fee is about 33 percent of the winnings you get in your case.
Where Can I Find Help if I Can’t Afford a Lawyer?
The government does offer some help to individuals who can’t afford a lawyer. The Legal Services Corporation, founded in 1974 to support families who can’t afford typical legal fees, offers a search function, so you can find nearby free legal help for low-income Americans. The American Bar Association has additional resources for providing volunteer lawyers to those in need. Texas also has a website dedicated to providing basic legal help to individuals if they need to ask a question, get help on paperwork, or simply search a database for answers.
Again, however, should you need a lawyer for a personal injury claim—such as a car accident or slip and fall at a store—you won’t need to pay a lawyer anything.
Why Should I Pay for a Lawyer?
Personal injury cases are some of the most serious cases that the average citizen will ever have to face. Car accidents, slips and falls, dog bites, bike accidents, motorcycle crashes, and truck accidents are common in the United States. U.S. courts report that over 40,000 personal injury cases are filed every year, and the numbers are increasing.
When it comes to a personal injury case in Texas, you only have two years to file your case if you want to receive compensation for what you have suffered. If you don’t want to pay for injuries and damages someone else caused you, you will want to file a claim as soon as possible.
In the end, hiring a lawyer is really a win-win situation for you. If you get a car accident lawyer to guide you through the complicated paperwork and help you deal with other parties and insurance companies, you can win your case much more easily. And you won’t need to pay for those services.
If you want to get the most out of your case, don’t settle for the first offer an insurance company makes. While it may be tempting to take the money and run, you will likely not be getting what you actually deserve. To truly get the help you need to pay for the damage you have suffered, you should talk to a lawyer first.
How to Get Started With a Lawyer
If you were in an accident that caused you injury, you are likely suffering a lot of pain and heartache. You shouldn’t have to deal with the stress of fighting a lawsuit by yourself to get fair compensation. No one wants to deal with complicated laws and profit-focused insurance agencies.
Instead, get in touch with a personal injury attorney. They will provide you a completely free consultation to help you decide the next steps you need to take. Then they will help you get what you deserve with as little hassle as possible. Don’t hesitate to seek legal counsel that can help you get your life back on track after an injury.