please see below for the transcript of the video
Hello, everybody. I’m Richard Waring, and I’m a personal injury attorney in Charleston, SC. If you’ve been in a car wreck or other kind of automobile accident, slip and fall or other kind of premises liability incident, a motorcycle accident, or other kind of personal injury case, you’ve probably asked yourself, “if I hire a personal injury attorney, what will I have to pay him or her?”
Well, generally speaking, the most common form of payment for attorneys on personal injury cases is on a contingency fee basis. In other words, the attorney’s ability to get paid is contingent on you getting a settlement of some kind pre-lawsuit or once a lawsuit is filed, or contingent on your obtaining a guilty verdict at trial and getting awarded monetary damages. So, you usually don’t have to pay anything up front.
And a common breakdown of what the attorney gets paid is around 33% of the settlement money if a lawsuit doesn’t get filed. If a lawsuit is filed, it’s possible the fee could go up to 40%. In addition to that percentage that the attorney gets, your personal injury attorney is usually also entitled to be reimbursed for expenses. Expenses are separate from the attorney’s fee and include payment, for example, for investigator fees if you need to hire an investigator to investigate the case. Expenses could also be for hiring medical experts to look at the case and/or testify in court, or for court costs or other office expenses.
So, you’ve just settled your case for $100,000 pre-lawsuit. Under the classic 1/3 split, your personal injury attorney would get $33,333 as well as any expenses he or she had to pay. You, the client, would get the rest of the $100,000 minus whatever medical bills you have left to pay off. Now, let’s take a look at what happens if the scenario is a little bit different and your car wreck case has to go to trial. Your attorney does a great job, really woos the jury, and convinces them there is enough evidence to find the defendant guilty for breaching his duty of care which led to your damages. The jury awards you $200,000 in damages. Under the 40% fee breakdown, for example, your personal injury attorney would get $80,000 plus whatever expenses he or she had to pay for in order to get the case in a position to where they could try it. And then you would get what’s left over minus the outstanding medical bills.
So, if you’re concerned about not having enough money to hire a personal injury attorney on your car wreck or slip and fall case, you should put that thought right out of your mind. There are tons of attorneys that will take your case on a contingency fee basis where you don’t have to pay anything up front. And if you want someone who knows the laws and who is skilled at dealing with the insurance companies, you really do need an attorney. They can aggressively hold the insurance companies accountable while you focus on healing and getting back to your life and work.
And, if you’re in the Charleston, SC area, feel free to call me anytime and we can go over the particulars of your own car accident case, motorcycle accident, or slip and fall case. Because I’ll be committed to doing a great job on your case. Best of luck.
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