Many people believe that hiring an attorney will be expensive and will not provide any real benefits. Nothing could be further from the truth. According to the Insurance Research Council, insurance payouts are, on average, 3.5 times higher to clients who have hired an attorney than for those without one.  So statistically, you are at an advantage by having an experienced attorney. 

Generally, personal injury attorneys offer a free initial consultation and then charge a “contingency fee” if he or she takes the case. A contingency fee means that fees are charged to the client for an attorney’s services only when there is a successful verdict in a lawsuit or the case is settled favorably outside of court.  This means that the lawyer upon conclusion of the case will receive a percentage of the recovery.  Normally, these fees range from 33-40 percent in personal injury cases, depending on the complexity. Additionally, once the case is resolved, clients are usually responsible for “costs” that are advanced by the attorney. Costs can include requests for the medical records, copy and postage charges, court filing fees, and other litigation expenses related to their cases.

As to the attorney fees, beware of attorneys charging a fee that is less than the standard 33-40 percent.  Would you rather have a lawyer who charges the standard fee and has 50 clients who he can devote his time and attention to in each case, or a lawyer that charges a reduced fee and has 500 clients?

Christopher J. Hudson
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Local Augusta lawyer specializing in workers' compensation, car accident and personal injury claims.

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