How Much Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Cost?
Hundreds of thousands of people are injured every year in Canada, with tens of thousands being injured in Calgary, which has a population well above a million people. A lot of these accidents are not the fault of the victims, and thus the victims are entitled by law to some type of settlement. Though dealing with only the insurance companies and responsible parties, the victims of these accidental injuries may only get crumbs, barely enough to cover medicines, rehab, and other expenses.
This is why victims seek out personal injury attorneys to handle their claims. By finding a good personal injury lawyer, you give yourself the best chance possible to actually be rewarded and receive due compensation for your injury, your expenses, and pain and suffering. Negligence from someone else that led to you suffering an injury is something that isn’t solved with an “I’m sorry” and a tiny cheque cut with your name on it. Make sure you’re seeking what you’re owed.
Though this leaves some people a little cautious, as they’re afraid a lawyer will cost too much, especially because these cases can drag on for years. Can you actually afford an injury attorney to handle your case? Let’s take a look at how much the cost is.
Simplifying the Complex Cost Questions of a Personal Injury Attorney
This stuff seems a little bit on the complex side if you’re reading all the different tidbits of information scattered around. However, we’re going to streamline everything for you right here, in strict layman’s terms, so that it’s clear.
The Gist of Lawyers’ Percentages of Settlements
First up, most professional attorneys dealing with personal injuries are not going to charge you any money upfront. They’re going to first view your case. If you actually have a case, and the accident/injury was the fault of some other individual or entity, then by law you are required to get some sort of monetary settlement. A personal injury lawyer will offer what is called a contingency fee. You sign into an agreement that says the lawyer is doing the actual casework for free, ensuring you get a settlement, to which they are entitled 30-40% of that final settlement. So for every hundred dollars you get in a settlement, the lawyer may be claiming up to $40. This is how most of them operate. Though it’s a great thing, in a way, because in order for the lawyer to have a big payday, they first have to get you a bigger one.
Perhaps a Small Retainer Fee
Some lawyers may require a relatively small fee upfront to view your case and to lock them in, so to speak. But you shouldn’t expect this to cost a lot of money. The fact is, however, that this is actually quite rare and most lawyers who deal in personal injuries aren’t going to charge you anything. They’re worried about getting the largest settlement they can to get that percentage, so they don’t want to scare people with cases away by demanding a lot of money upfront.
Other Options Are Far More Expensive
If you opt for another type of attorney, it will end up costing you more, in more ways than one. First and foremost, they’re not qualified to deal in civil litigation, if they’re not practicing in the specific field of injury law, and so in the event, you do get a settlement, it’s likely going to be much smaller. So you’re already costing yourself money. Plus, if you get, say, a criminal lawyer who wants to crossover and handle this sort of case, there’s likely not going to be any percentage arrangement and you’ll have to pay your fee upfront, which could get rather expensive.
At the end of the day, you should be looking at having your case handled and settled without having to go into your own pocket for any costs. Except maybe the rare costs for printing charges or some other smaller costs, you should be able to find a qualified personal injury attorney who handles your case based on the contingency agreement.
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