If you want to have a good compensation reward, then you must be able to manage the costs and expenses.
If the compensation is good, then you will have compensation that can be used to help pay for bills that were incurred because of the injury.
However, if improperly managed, then the different costs and expenses may leave you with a compensation reward that is insufficient for you. Fortunately, you do not have to do this alone.
One way of making sure that the compensation reward will be satisfactory is to have a good relationship with your lawyer.
This will help avoid disagreements between you and your lawyer. Your lawyer should be more than willing to help manage the costs and expenses. However, you may be hesitant to ask questions about the different costs and expenses, which you should not be.
It is important to remember you may be the one who will pay for the costs and expenses.
Like any other case, going through a personal injury case will present a new kind of experience for you or anyone. Thus, it is important that you must be able to communicate well with your lawyer.
However, besides consulting with your lawyer, you can do your own research on how to manage the costs and expenses of a personal injury lawyer. You can read the paragraphs below if you want to more.
What is a contingency fee?
First, let us define what a fee is.
A fee is a payment that you will give to a professional for his or her services, which in this case is your lawyer. In the practice of law, almost every personal injury lawyer is paid based on a contingency fee.
To define, the lawyer’s fee is paid by deducting an agreed percentage of the compensation reward. However, contingency fee agreements would also state that a lawyer will also not get paid if your case will lose.
This presents an advantage for the client because he or she does not need to pay immediately in order to avail the services of the lawyer.
Most lawyers will charge one-third or 33.33% of the compensation reward.
However, some lawyers can go lower or higher than that. For example, a lawyer may have a higher contingency fee if your case will go to trial.
However, it is important to note that most lawyers are willing to negotiate for their contingency fees.
Are costs and expenses included in the lawyer’s fee?
Unfortunately, costs and expenses are different from the lawyer’s fee.
Let us explain this some more. You first have to understand the difference between costs and expenses from fees in the legal profession. As stated earlier, one example of a fee is the contingency fee.
On the other hand, costs and expenses are incurred during the progression of your case. These are necessary for your case to proceed.
Some of these will include:
Witnesses still need to get paid, and it is not cheap. If your case does go to a trial, then your party may be required to produce witnesses.
If there were witnesses when your injury occurred, then your lawyer may need their testimony. These witnesses may strengthen your claim and will give you a better result for your case.
One good example of an expert witness is the doctor who treated you. Your doctor can attest to the extent of your injury, the various treatments you underwent, and the pain that you suffered.
Travel expenses and other expenses of witnesses
If witnesses live far from the court, then they can make a claim to be reimbursed for travel expenses. Also, if witnesses need to stay overnight, then they need to have meal allowances and overnight accommodations.
These will include filing fees for complaints, and other court documents that are needed to be submitted to the court’s clerk.
Document retrieval costs
These documents will include obtaining your medical record and police reports.
- Other costs and expenses will include phone bills, deposition expenses, document copies, investigation costs, and meal allowances.
With all these costs and expenses, clients may be left with a compensation reward that is less than what they expected.
This is why it is important for you and your lawyer to communicate on a regular basis. An experienced lawyer will plan your case effectively. He or she should inform you of any cost or expense that is expensive but are necessary for your case.
Should my case lose, who will pay the costs and expenses?
If your case will lose, then it is important to ask your lawyer if who will be the one to pay for the costs and expenses.
Remember that the lawyer’s fee is different from costs and expenses. If you and your lawyer had arranged a contingency fee agreement, then you do not need to pay for any lawyer’s fee.
However, costs and expenses is another aspect. Thus, you should make an arrangement with your lawyer should your case lose.
You should account for every cost and expense
With the different costs and expenses, you may have a difficult time managing these.
Thus, you need to account for every cost and expense that will be incurred by your case. One way of doing this is by making a table or a list of the different costs and expenses.
By doing this, it will help you remember the price and the purpose for every cost and expense.
If your case wins, then it will be much easier for you to check on the different costs and expenses that your lawyer will deduct from your compensation.
Your lawyer should update you on the different costs and expenses
As stated earlier, the costs and expenses of a personal injury case are expensive.
This is why clients and their lawyers will often argue on these. Having good communication is a factor in avoiding disagreements on costs and expenses.
Thus, your lawyer should update you of any incurred cost or expense. You can ask your lawyer to make an outline of each cost and expense.
Also, you can ask him or her to make an estimated price for each. However, your lawyer should explain to you that the estimated price may be subjected to change.
There are costs and expenses that are necessary
As stated before, regular communication is one key factor in fostering a good lawyer-client relationship.
It is important for you to understand that there are costs and expenses that are necessary for the progression of your case.
As stated earlier, some of these costs might be expensive, but these may be required by law to proceed with your litigation.
Thus, it is important that you and your lawyer should be able to manage these well.
Have a written agreement as opposed to having a verbal agreement
A written agreement is better than a verbal agreement.
Thus, it is important to make a contract. A contract will help avoid disagreements in fees, costs, and expenses. To make sure it has transparency, you should discuss it with your lawyer. Once your lawyer finishes the contract, it is important to read it carefully and thoroughly.
If there is a statement that you do not understand or question, do not hesitate to ask your lawyer.
Remember that it is you who may shoulder most or even all of the legal expenses, thus, do not feel pressured to sign anything that may seem questionable to you. Before you sign the contract, you have to understand how the lawyer will charge you for the costs and expenses.
You also have to ask if how your lawyer will deduct his or her lawyer’s fee from the compensation. Will he deduct it before or after the costs and expenses are deducted from the gross compensation?
If computed correctly, there will be different amounts depending on how the lawyer will deduct his or her fee. You can negotiate with your lawyer on which approach will benefit you the most.
Did I cover all you wanted to know about the costs involved with hiring a personal injury lawyer?
Good lawyers will act in the client’s best interest always.
Like any other case, personal injury cases will be physically and mentally tiring for anyone who is involved. From hospital bills to the case itself, it is important to hire a lawyer who will alleviate some of those stress.
The lawyer should be able to update you regularly on the costs and expenses of your case. The lawyer should make sure that the outcome of your case will be cost-effective.
They have good experience in handling personal injury cases, and their experience will merit a good compensation for you.
They will guide you in every legal step that is required, and they will fight for what you truly deserve. But, you can discuss fees, cost, and expenses with them and they will assure you of transparency.