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blog home Personal Injury I can’t afford an attorney but I was hurt because of an accident: What do I do?

I can’t afford an attorney but I was hurt because of an accident: What do I do?

By The Husband and Wife Law Team on May 11, 2009

Many injury and wrongful death attorneys in Arizona will offer a contingency fee agreement for those who have been hurt due to the negligence of another individual. A contingency agreement is where the client and lawyer will agree to a certain percentage and the lawyer’s fee comes out of the settlement of the case.

Every lawyer is different with the fee that they charge. Typically fees range from 25% to 45%. The fee usually depends on the lawyer’s experience and the type of case. Lawyers who practice medical malpractice for instance usually charge a higher fee because these cases tend to go to trial and they are very expensive to litigate. Some medical malpractice claims require a lawyer to invest a quarter of a million dollars, or more, to bring the case to trial or achieve a settlement. Other claims such as car accident claims typically a lawyer will charge 1/3 of the settlement.

Every lawyer is different. Remember hiring a skilled personal injury attorney in Phoenix is not like getting the same retail product anywhere you go. For instance, if you want a television, you can likely find the television at a high end retail store or possibly the same exact one for a lot less at a place like Walmart or other discount store. When it comes to the law, very often the settlement is based on the lawyer’s experience. Not all claims will get the same settlement. It depends on how the evidence is presented to the insurance company and jury. Therefore, you need to choose a lawyer that you feel comfortable with who will get you the best possible settlement. The interesting thing about contingency fee agreements is that you can find a certified specialist in injury and wrongful death law that will charge the same as a new attorney who has no experience at all.

In short, a contingency fee agreement with an attorney will allow an injured person to pursue their claim and not have to pay any upfront money at all. Ask the attorney you hire what their experience is in injury and wrongful death law. Ask the attorney if they will charge you if your case is not successful.

In our office, we do not charge anything if we are not successful. Lastly, remember when it comes to the amount of the fee, it is the ultimate value of your claim that matters. if you had a case settle with an experienced attorney for $100,000 and they charge a fee, then you would receive $66,666.00. Let’s assume another attorney with less experience obtained a settlement of $75,000 but their fee was only 25%. You would have gone with an attorney who charged 25% instead of 33%, but you would only end up with $50,000 in your pocket instead of $66,666.00 if you had chosen the experienced attorney. All of these numbers are not set in stone, but it can give you a possible outcome of how different settlements and fee amounts works in injury and wrongful death law.

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Confidentially reviewed by Attorney Mark Breyer