Why Can’t I Just Handle my Injury Claim Myself?
When you attempt to speak with an insurance company about paying for your car and your medical bills after an accident, it’s YOU vs. A HUGE CORPORATION AND THEIR WHOLE TEAM OF ATTORNEYS. Does that sound like a fair fight? We don’t think so. At least when you hire a personal injury attorney to represent you, you have access to the applicable law on the subject and you have a partner who deals with these types of negotiations all the time. Your attorney likely could not come to your job and do it better than you can.
It is unlikely that you can do the attorney’s job better than he or she can, especially considering that attorneys have spent seven years of their lives in formal education after high school to prepare them for this situation. They have spent years of their lives cramming laws into their brains so that your state would certify them as ready to represent others and to help others resolve their disputes. Injured victims with counsel are compensated at a rate of 54% more than unrepresented victims.
But How Can I Afford an Attorney?
Professional services like lawyers and doctors can be very expensive. If people were required to pay thousands of dollars upfront to get an attorney to work for them, most people would be precluded from ever being able to take advantage of our great legal system. Even if you had the money, because you don’t fully understand the law, it would be unfair to put the risk on you anyway. Think about it, after you have been hit in a car accident by Bob on his way to get a burger, your bills are stacking up, and you’re not working because you’re hurt. If you had to take the risk of paying thousands of dollars to your attorney, plus pay thousands more in legal fees to take your case through trial, a loss at trial would crush you. If you lose, you get nothing. There is no way that injury victims could calculate that risk and decide whether they wanted to go into debt thousands of dollars more when they don’t know whether or not they will win.
That is why good personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. A contingency fee is just a fancy term lawyer’s use that means that the attorney only gets paid IF he or she wins the case and the client gets paid. This system allows us all to have access to our great legal system because we can now take our case to an experienced attorney, and pass all the risk to the party who has the specialized knowledge to decide if the case is worth something.
The attorney assumes all the risk for the loss. He or she will have to invest loads of time and money into fighting for you. In the end, if the attorney loses, he gets absolutely nothing, and he is in the negative because he cannot recover any of his costs. You, as the injured party, would get nothing as well, but it didn’t cost you a red cent. This system gives you and your attorney mutually aligned interests. You can rest easy knowing with 100% certainty that your attorney is doing his or her absolute best to get you every cent you deserve to compensate you for your injury because they get paid on a percentage. The more you get, the more they get. It’s a win-win situation.