How Are Personal Injury Lawyers Paid in Colorado?
Getting full and fair compensation after an accident is never guaranteed. Insurance companies are notorious for using unfair tactics to deny, minimize, or delay payouts to even the most deserving claimants. If you’ve been hurt, hiring a personal injury lawyer is likely your best bet for getting what you’re owed.
Many people worry that they can’t afford the services of a top personal injury attorney. That’s a myth. Most personal injury law firms, including Earl & Earl, PLLC, use a fee arrangement that charges no upfront fees to clients. In addition, the attorney only gets paid if the case wins.
Sound too good to be true? It’s not. Continue reading to learn more about how personal injury attorneys are paid. For customized advice about your case, call or contact Earl & Earl, PLLC today for a free consultation with a proven Colorado personal injury lawyer.
Why Should I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Although you might consider trying to handle your personal injury claim on your own, hiring a personal injury lawyer to represent you provides significant benefits, including:
- In-depth knowledge of personal injury law and court procedures: An attorney will be able to identify all sources of compensation available to you under Colorado law.
- Ability to manage all aspects of your claim: The moment you retain a lawyer, they can take over all aspects of your legal claim. They’ll do all the talking to the insurance company. They’ll investigate your accident, collect the evidence needed to build a persuasive claim, and negotiate aggressively for maximum compensation for you. If you’ve been seriously hurt, you may not have the time and energy to devote to pursuing your case and clearing up disputes. Many individuals end up settling for less out of pure frustration with the claims process.
- Protection from manipulative insurance tactics: You can avoid being taken advantage of by the insurance companies with a lawyer’s help. Insurers have a wide variety of strategies they try in an effort to pay you far less than what you deserve. An attorney will know what’s fair and fight for the best results possible.
How Are Personal Injury Lawyers Paid?
Many types of lawyers charge hourly fees for their services and require a large retainer payment upfront. However, most personal injury attorneys are paid through a contingency fee arrangement. Contingency fees allow personal injury clients to get the legal representation they need without shelling out extra money when they’re strapped for cash.
By charging no upfront fees, personal injury lawyers can provide legal services without overburdening clients who may be facing significant hardships due to their injuries, including mounting medical bills and lost income from time off work. Put simply, the contingency fee allows attorneys to help people pursue justice regardless of their ability to pay.
What Is a Contingency Fee?
Under a contingency fee arrangement, you do not have to pay any money to get the attorney started on your case. Your lawyer will only get paid if they win compensation through a negotiated settlement or by trial verdict.
But how much will your attorney get? The lawyer is paid a percentage of the total recovery they secure for you. You’ll agree on that percentage before the representation begins.
The exact percentage charged may depend on the geographic area where the attorney works and on the perceived difficulty of your case. In some contingency fee arrangements, the percentage may increase if your claim ends up going to trial since litigation means that your attorney will have to put additional work into your case.
In most contingency fee arrangements, the lawyer or law firm also covers all the costs of the case, including court costs and expert witness fees. When the lawyer successfully recovers compensation for the client, the lawyer may be reimbursed for these expenses, or these costs may be covered under the attorney’s legal fee.
In some cases, the client may be expected to reimburse the costs of the case even if no compensation is obtained, or the client may be required to pay upfront for specific expenses incurred during the case. Your obligations should be spelled out clearly in your fee agreement. If you have any questions about your arrangement, don’t hesitate to ask your lawyer.
How Does a Contingency Fee Affect My Settlement?
It helps to keep your contingency fee agreement with your attorney in mind as you consider settlement offers from the insurance company. Remember, you will need to pay a percentage of any settlement offer you accept to your attorney at the end of the case. You’ll want to make sure that a settlement offer will cover your expenses and losses once that fee has been deducted from your ultimate award.
No lawyer can promise a successful outcome for your case or that you will win a certain amount of money. However, individuals who hire lawyers generally walk away with significantly more money than those who represent themselves. In most cases, the additional compensation that your attorney can secure for you in a settlement usually makes paying a percentage of your settlement to your lawyer worth it.
Is It Worth Hiring an Injury Attorney Over Taking an Insurance Settlement?
In most cases, it’s worthwhile to hire a personal injury attorney rather than trying to negotiate an insurance settlement on your own. Having a lawyer tells the insurance company that you mean business. While adjusters will still push to reduce your claim’s value, they know they won’t be able to get away with the same tactics that might try if you were unrepresented.
One of the common strategies that insurers attempt is to offer you a settlement soon after the accident. The insurance company is banking on the fact that you may not yet know the full extent of your injuries and losses or that you might already be feeling financial pressures from medical bills and missed time from work. But this quick settlement will rarely compensate you fairly for your expenses and losses. You shouldn’t accept any settlement offer from the insurance company until you’ve had a chance to speak to a personal injury lawyer about your case.
By having an attorney on your side, an insurance company will know that you are prepared to pursue your case as long as necessary, including taking your claim to trial if needed. An experienced attorney won’t be swayed by the tricks that insurers use to under-compensate injured victims.
How Can a Personal Injury Law Firm Help Me?
If you’ve been injured through no fault of your own, a law firm can help you seek financial compensation to help with your recovery by:
- Investigating the accident to determine who should be held liable
- Securing evidence that can be used to prove your claim for compensation
- Identifying all potential sources of compensation
- Ensuring that you receive the medical treatment you need to recover from your injuries
- Helping you explore options when you are facing financial hardships
- Filing your claims with the insurance companies
- Negotiating effectively for maximum compensation on your behalf
- Taking your case to court (if necessary)
- Advocating fiercely for a verdict and judgment in your favor
If you’ve suffered injuries due to someone else’s negligence, contact Earl & Earl, PLLC today for a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer. With offices conveniently located in Colorado Springs, Castle Rock, Grand Junction, Parker, Denver, and Pueblo, we can help wherever and whenever you need us. Call us today.