What Are My Options If I Have Been Injured, But I Can't Afford An Attorney?

What are my options if I have been injured, but I can't afford an attorney? There are two different kinds of contracts to hire an attorney. The retainer is when an attorney gets paid up front by the hour. A contingency is when an attorney does not get paid until you do.

There are two different kinds of contracts to hire an attorney. One is a retainer. A retainer is when you pay an initial fee of usually five or ten thousand dollars, and the attorney gets paid by the hour against your retainer. The other contract for an attorney is a contingency contract. A contingency contract is when the attorney gets paid contingent to your recovery. So a contingency contract is a better way to go if you do not have the money for a retainer.


Usually, a contingency attorney evaluates your case at the free consultation. He is looking at your case very closely to see what the chances of recovery are, how clear the liability is, and what the damages are. If he likes it, he will invest his own money into building your case. A contingency attorney has to cover the costs to file court papers and get records, pay for an investigator, and sometimes, pay to use process servers to serve defendants. In medical malpractice cases, it can add up to tens and sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars. The contingency contract is when an attorney says, 'I believe in you and I will invest in your case.' He should be able to go through your case with you, and he should be confident in your case. Remember, if you don't collect anything, then the attorney does not get paid.




The typical contingency contract has two parts regarding payment. The first part relates to your claim with the insurance company, where your attorney will represent you as your agent. At Robson Law Firm, if your claim settles as a claim, the attorney gets one third or 33.3% of the total settlement, exclusive of costs and fees. If however, you are forced to file a lawsuit; your claim becomes a case and goes through the litigation process. If you must file a lawsuit, the percentage increases to 40%, exclusive of costs and fees. While one third and forty percent used to be the industry standard in contingency contracts, some firms have increased their percentages. Be sure to ask what the firm's percentages are before signing a contract.

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