In the U.S., roadway incidents involving motorized vehicles have directly cost around 3.59 billion dollars in the year 2020.
But most injury victims have a question when deciding to make a personal injury claim. That is–Can I afford to make an injury claim?
This is one popular question most injury victims ask when paying for a personal injury lawyer. It’s usually confusing for a client who wants compensation for an accident to figure out the cost of making an injury claim.
But, the general rule in personal injury claims states that the ‘losing’ party settles all costs of the ‘winning’ party. So, if you make a personal injury claim and win compensation, you can expect the other party to pay your solicitor’s costs.
Here, the good news is that there are several approaches to pay for your case. The expert personal injury lawyers in Kennewick advocate that you need a good legal team to safeguard your right to seek justice. Personal injury claims attorneys are crucial to strengthening your injury case. Hence, overcome your hesitation and hire a qualified Washington accident attorney for solid legal representation.
Read on to know more about paying for making an injury claim.
What’s The Difference Between ‘Costs’ And ‘Fees’?
Often, the terms ‘costs’ and ‘fees’ appear interchangeable. But, the case is different in the legal profession.
Fees refer to the amount lawyers charge for handling a case. Aside from the agreed hourly fees for general legal cases, a personal injury lawyer asks for a contingency fee. If they lose the case, they don’t get paid.
Since this is a risk for the personal injury lawyer, the contingency fee is usually one-third of the client’s share. The amount can increase if the case goes to trial.
Conversely, costs are all litigation-related expenses. Thus, you must pay the costs if you don’t get awarded for the claims and do not pay the lawyer fees.
Based on the type of your injury claim, you will have to pick an injury claim attorney from the types below:
- Social security attorney
- Accidents attorneys
- Animal attack lawyer
- Dog bite attorney
- Bicycle accident attorneys
- Wrongful death lawyer
- General personal injury lawyer
In this case, here go the different payment plans.
Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA)
It’s one of the most common modes of payment for personal injury claims. It’s also called the No Win No Fee Agreement.
The CFA started in 1998 as a way of helping those unable to file a personal injury lawsuit without a lawyer’s fee. This funding arrangement requires the injured person to sign a written agreement with their attorneys.
The agreement states the amount you must pay when you win the claim and get compensation. Fortunately, the social security attorney has favorable terms.
A Conditional Fee Agreement works best for most clients because it doesn’t require any upfront fee. Better still, if you lose the case, you’ll not pay the lawyer’s fees. But the client will have to pay for damages and costs after winning the claim.
Keep in mind that lawyers don’t always agree to a CFA. First, they must do a case study to assess the risks to ensure the chances of winning are at least 51%.
Additionally, there’s a case of paying a ‘success fee’ to lawyers from their opponent when the case is successful. However, solicitors cannot charge a success fee on future damages like future loss of earnings but only on past damages and losses.
Furthermore, there are exceptions where the client isn’t liable for the lawyer’s costs. For instance, a car accident lawyer can dismiss the Conditional Fee Agreement if the client fails to cooperate or lies. In such cases, the client pays their own attorney’s cost.
After The Event Insurance
Image source: Pixabay
As part of the Conditional Fee Agreement, your lawyer recommends an After the Event Insurance policy.
This insurance policy works to protect the client from the opponent’s costs and their own attorney’s expenses in case of a loss. Without the ATE, a client may end up in a complex financial condition piled with fees and costs to pay.
Moreover, the client is liable for the ATE insurance in a successful claim. This recovers the lawyers from any damages at the end of the claim.
After the LASPO ACT in 2013, the opponent no longer pays for the ATE Insurance premiums. A client must pay for the ATE premiums even if the claim is unsuccessful. This is because the policy is self-insured.
Ultimately, the cost of the policy depends on the type and coverage level and is subject to increase after issuing court proceedings.
Trade Union Funding
Sometimes, the client belongs to a trade union that’s able to fund a personal injury claim. Therefore, the trade union can agree with the attorney to offer legal advice based on no payment if they lose the claim.
The client should offer all details of the trade union membership. For example, a Kennewick lawyer will ask for a copy of the membership policy when the claim allows inquiries with the relevant trade union. This helps to establish if the funding is possible.
Legal Expenses Insurance
Also called the ‘Before the Event’ Insurance, it is a standard insurance policy for home, motor, and travel. If a client has an active Legal Expenses policy, signing into a Conditional Fee Agreement is unnecessary.
Before agreeing to a CFA, a lawyer needs to check through all existing insurance policies of the client to see if there are any active policies.
In that case, a solicitor will need a copy of any active insurance policy when the claim begins. This helps confirm the insurer if the cover is legit and active.
There are cases where the home or car insurer has specifications like choosing an attorney from their end. This, however, reduces the client’s choice of representation.
This type of funding requires the client to pay the lawyer an agreed-upon legal fee when they lose or win the claim.
So, the solicitor will calculate an hourly rate and give the client to pay, as well as the total time spent on the case. Still, some lawyers may opt for fixed legal fees, which will also require an upfront payment.
The issue of how to recompense an injury claim is common. Nonetheless, here’s adequate information on several approaches to affording a personal injury lawyer.
Whatever the personal injury, you need to hire an experienced attorney who’ll aggressively fight for your rights to win compensation.
Above all, exhaust all routes of settlement before going to court. This way, you won’t be at risk of paying mandatory court costs.