Before calling a Toledo, Ohio motorcycle accident lawyer, it is important to ask yourself: Do I need one?
Trying cases can be expensive because court reporters have to be hired to take depositions, those depositions have to be transcribed, medical records have to be ordered, expert witnesses such as doctors have to be consulted, exhibits have to be compiled, and court costs have to be paid. The attorney usually will cover those expenses because most people couldn’t come up with that much money. If the case settles or the client wins at trial, the lawyer is reimbursed for the expenses he incurred in handling the case. Again, this arrangement benefits the client. Our firm handled one case where the expenses alone were in the neighborhood of $100,000. If we hadn’t paid for those expenses, our client never would have been able to pursue his claim even though he had an excellent case.
When you meet with a lawyer, you will have to sign an agreement that spells out how the attorney will be compensated and how the expenses will be paid. Make sure that the contingency fee arrangement – typically 33 1/3 percent of the gross settlement or award – is clearly spelled out in the contract. Sometimes the fee is higher in particularly complicated litigation that has to go to trial. If you don’t feel comfortable with the contract, don’t sign it. You’re in control of the situation. If you have questions, make sure the lawyer answers them before you sign the document. You can walk away after the case starts, but the lawyer will be entitled to get paid for the time and expenses he’s incurred out of whatever settlement another lawyer obtains for you.
When the case is resolved, you will get a check that represents the award or settlement, minus the attorney’s fees and expenses. In some situations, the attorney could be entitled under the contract to more money than the client ultimately receives after expenses and medical bills are paid off, but that shouldn’t happen. The attorneys in our office cut their fees so the client always ends up with more money.