You've Been Injured....You Can't Afford A Lawyer....What Do You Do?

One of the first questions you will ask yourself when you get injured and realize that you need to hire a lawyer (which will occur because you will get jerked around by the insurance company) is ‘how can I afford a lawyer?’ The answer for most injury and medical malpractice cases is to hire a lawyer and pay him a “contingent fee.”  Do you know what it means when you hear a lawyer advertise that he “takes cases on contingency” or offers “no fee, if no recovery?”  Let me explain. 

Lawyers charge you for the time they spend working on your case. There are two methods you can use to pay your lawyer - an hourly rate or on a contingent fee basis.  If you pay your attorney an hourly rate, you will usually have to pay the attorney a retainer fee up-front and pay the attorney for every hour of work that is done for you, even if you lose your case!  Unfortunately, most of us can’t afford to take that chance because (a) we don’t have the money to pay an upfront retainer fee, or (b) we cannot afford to lose the money if we lose our case. 

On the other hand, you can hire the lawyer to work for you on a “contingent fee” basis.  For a client, the “contingent fee” is often the only key to the courthouse.  Since you do not have to pay your lawyer by the hour, you have the opportunity to hire a very experienced attorney to represent you and not have to worry about how the bill for legal fees will be paid.  This means that instead of paying an hourly rate to the attorney, you agree to pay the attorney a percentage (%) of any recovery in the case.  Depending on the type of case, that percentage fee can be anywhere from 25%-45% of anything recovered for you in the case.  Of course, if you don’t win your case, you owe the lawyer nothing. 

What does the ‘contingent fee’ system mean for you?  It means that most lawyers are going to evaluate your case very carefully before accepting you as a client.  In other words, a lawyer is going to assess what the chances are to win your case.  Because a lawyer only earns a fee if YOU recover, there is absolutely no incentive for a lawyer to take on a frivolous case – why would they?  No lawyer in his right mind is going to take on a frivolous case, work hundreds of hours on it, for $0.00 payment.  Thus, if you ask a lawyer to take on a silly case or one that looks like it might be frivolous, they will probably say “no.”

At The Miley Legal Group, we only do work for people on a contingent fee basis.  We will also typically advance all of the expenses in your case so that we can adequately prepare it for trial – these expenses may be for experts we hire, deposition costs, medical records and bills we obtain, and other case related expenses.  If we recover anything for you, the fees and expenses will be taken out of that recovery. If we do not recover anything for you, you owe us nothing.  It doesn’t get any better than that.  Give us a call if you have been injured, you won’t be disappointed.