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Calhoun, Meredith, Sims Logo
March 3, 2021

Being wronged by the deliberate negligence or indifference of someone else is one of the worst experiences in life. The financial and non-economic losses incurred upon a person due to such events can have lasting impacts, and it is unfair considering how you have to suffer due to someone else’s mistake, but you can seek compensation for all of your damages.

However, some people tend not to explore their legal options right away fearing that they may not be able to afford a lawyer. Let's take a look at personal injury lawyer costs.

Having proper counsel for personal injury claims can help you greatly in claiming fair compensation and avoiding any legal traps laid down by the at-fault party or their insurance company. The process of seeking rightful reimbursement is not as straightforward as it appears.

Having a lawyer with you will not only safeguard your interests but also ensure that you don't get caught in one of the technical pitfalls.

But the cost question is still there.

Luckily, most lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning that they will charge you only a fraction of the sum you’ll get paid as compensation – nothing upfront.

Is It Expensive To Hire A Lawyer?

Many victims come across the question “can I hire a lawyer?” Everyone knows that they ‘should,’ but the question is: ‘can’ they? The answer is yes. You don’t have to sacrifice your healthcare for hiring a lawyer as they don’t usually demand an upfront payment. The structure of lawyer payments is designed to give maximum space to the clients.

If you've been through a traumatizing accident, you'll need premium medical care and you'll be spending money on mending all the property damages too (in the case of a car accident). With so many financial drains bothering you as-is, you don't need another avenue of dolling out your hard-earned gains. And lawyers know this, that’s why make sure to not burden you any further in the financial arena.

Thus contacting a lawyer after a personal injury case should be your foremost priority. Remember that you will find numerous ways to pay your attorney but if you lose your legal right for compensation – there won't be any reimbursement for your losses. Don't let your worries keep you from making a stand, you need the legal muscle to fight all the crookedness in this tussle.

Automobile accidents, animal attacks, slip and fall accidents, taking harm due to defective or wrongly advertised products, and negligence accidents are some of the most common personal injury cases. And people can earn fair compensation for all of them through proper legal protocol, the first step, however, is to stop worrying and seeking legal help.

How To Arrange Your Lawyer’s Payment?

So, how will you pay your lawyer now that you’ve got one by your side?

As it turns out, the payment part is not universal. Instead, different lawyers prefer different methods. The first and most frequent payment solution sought by personal injury lawyers is a contingency fee plan. This is the most common form of payment plan among lawyers, especially for personal injury attorneys (it is almost a standard), and it does not involve any upfront fees.

The idea is simple: the lawyers will offer you their service after reviewing your case – it must be promising enough to make them commit – and if you win your claim, they’ll get a predetermined share from your winnings. The percentage depends on how much you get from the court and is ascertained beforehand.

Contingency fee basis is one of the most popular ways to pay lawyers for their services and is the most convenient one too. Not only does the prospect of securing a percentage compel your lawyers to strive harder and secure a greater compensation but it also keeps you stress-free about the payment because you won't have to spend a cent from your pocket.

If you don’t win, you won’t owe anything to your lawyer, making this plan fool-proof. However, in addition to the legal fees, lawyers also charge for some miscellaneous stuff like filing your lawsuit or getting documents copied. You’ll have to decide upfront how those charges will be managed.

lawyer payments

There are other methods of payment too, but none of them can match the level of convenience afforded by the contingency fee plan.

The most common alternative is the hourly payment solution:

Some lawyers may choose to set an hourly rate and get paid accordingly. This payment plan is quite popular but not that widespread in the personal injury arena. The client must pay a deposit and sign an agreement with the lawyer, who will then keep tabs on the progress and report to the client about the work done.

You will have to pay accordingly, and the deposits will flow into the attorney’s account until they are depleted in which case the attorney will either send you bills every month for you to pay, or you can make another deposit to keep the cycle running. This payment protocol is mostly predominant in criminal cases or family law, however, some lawyers prefer to work this way even in the personal injury niche.

Based on your financial state and the standing of your personal injury claim, you can choose between different payment protocols. The contingency fee basis is perfect for those who wish not to pay out of their pocket, but if you can do so, you can work with a lawyer who charges by the hour and keep all of your reimbursement to yourself.

Deciding The Hourly Rate For Personal Injury Lawyer Cost

Attorneys who prefer to be paid by the hour instead of laboring for a share in your winnings will already have a predefined hourly rate. In most cases, this rate is justifiable, and it has to be because it would otherwise become an ethical violation, prompting the bar to put sanctions on the said lawyer.

That being said, you can still judge whether or not the hourly rate is justifiable and reasonable based on some parameters:

  • What is the level of effort and time needed for your case?
  • Are there any complexities and intricacies that demand professional excellence in your lawsuit?
  • What skills are needed to execute your claim flawlessly?
  • Will the acceptance of your project keep the lawyer from taking up other work?
  • What is the cost of similar projects in your area?
  • What is the importance of your case and how much amount is involved in it?
  • How much responsibility and experience does your project demand?
  • What are the possible outcomes of your lawsuit?
  • Are there any time limitations set by you or demanded by circumstances that will make the attorney rush through your work?
  • Have you had a professional relationship with the lawyer, and if yes, then for how long?
  • What is the reputation and experience of the lawyer you’ve approached?
  • How has the lawyer’s performance been so far?
  • How much effort is the said lawyer known to put in projects?

Try to weigh the pros and cons of hourly rates before committing to this method.

Hourly Payments VS. Contingency Fee Plan

If you feel like you can't afford (or risk to afford) a lawyer on an hourly basis, there will always be those who're offering their services on a contingency basis.

Just remember that the latter will charge more as they are risking a loss for themselves in case you lose the legal fight.

But if you are set on hiring a lawyer by the hour, negotiate the hours needed to get the job done, seek some sort of assurance for a positive outcome (or at least the likelihood of a positive outcome), and be extra vigilant about the progress throughout the process.

Both payment methods have their applications and saying that one is better than the other would be unfair.

However, if you wish to avoid paying out of your pocket and are, instead, content with having a minor cut in your winnings, go with a contingency fee plan. But if your case is solid and you can afford to pay by the hour, it is also a good option – and you'll get to keep all of your winnings.

Calhoun, Meredith, and Sims, PLLC Offers Convenient Payment Solutions

We believe that everyone has the right to seek justice, and affordability should not be a concern. At Calhoun, Meredith, and Sims, PLLC, we our a Houston injury firm that your concerns and don’t wish to burden you, especially under the circumstances that you’re facing.

We offer our services without any upfront fees and will strive to deliver you the compensation you deserve in Houston, TX. Our contingency fee plan is perfect for those who wish to keep their expenses to a minimum during this rough patch and instead focus on getting some financial compensation.

As we have done with several clients in the past, we will fight for you and deliver you justice.

Give us a call, consultation is free!

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