Your Lawyer Doesn’t Get Paid Unless You Do
People are understandably nervous about hiring a lawyer. Fear that it will cost too many stops some from consulting a Toledo, Ohio motorcycle accident attorney, especially when expenses may be adding up as a result of a recent accident. Accident victims, however, don’t pay their lawyer anything unless a settlement is reached or they win in a trial.
Most attorneys who represent Ohio motorcycle accident victims take what’s called a contingent fee, which means that the lawyer’s fee depends on his success in resolving the case. If you win your case or get a settlement, the lawyer takes a fee. If you lose at trial or the insurance company won’t settle, you don’t get anything, but you typically won’t owe the lawyer a fee. Usually, the lawyer takes one-third of the gross award or settlement. The arrangement works for both parties. The lawyer takes a risk that he’ll never get paid if the case bombs. The client gets to pursue his claim without having to come up with thousands of dollars in advance to cover a lawyer’s hourly billing. Without this arrangement, some people never would be able to bring a claim because they couldn’t afford it.
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 Toledo, Ohio accident attorney, 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.
We represent Ohio personal injury clients from Toledo, Maumee, Delta, Port Clinton, Bowling Green, McClure, Napoleon, Helena, Fremont, Fostoria, Tiffin, Cygnet, North Baltimore, Ottawa, Findlay, Carey, Bryan, Sandusky, Swanton, Perrysburg, Grand Rapids, Waterville, Liberty Center, Portage, West Millgrove, Woodville, Genoa, Gibsonburg, Findlay, Risingsun, Deshler, Hamler, Oregon, Sylvania, Delta, Weston, Oak Harbor, Port Clinton, Clyde, Lorain, Ottawa Hills, Rossford, Millbury, Walbridge, Holland, Northwood, and Whitehouse. We also serve those who live in Lucas, Wood, Seneca, Lorain, Fulton, Erie, Hancock, and Sandusky Counties.