Personal Injury Lawyers – Zero Financial Risk
Why Should You Hire an Injury Attorney?
I often hear, “I’m hurt, but why should I hire an attorney? Attorneys are expensive. I can’t afford this! Can’t I just handle my case myself?” My answer, “quite frankly, yes, attorneys can be expensive, and theoretically, you could handle your case on your own. But you don’t want to.” We then continue to discuss the reasons and after going through those realities, they almost always decide that they need, and want, a lawyer. Here are just two reasons.
1. The lawyer knows the law and has the time to work your case, the right way.
Injury law in Florida is constantly changing and evolving, and on top of your already busy life of work, family, and commitments, you now also have the reality of managing your injury after an accident. You’re calling doctor’s offices and trying to squeeze physical therapy and MRI appointments in between your work schedule, Johnny’s soccer practice, and the kids’ dinner and bed routines. You’re sleeping less because you toss and turn in the middle of the night. You’re getting lots of letters and bills in the mail, that you don’t know what to do with. On top of all that, do you also have the time and resources to collect evidence for your case, track down the correct insurance companies or defendants, read their policy languages, and learn the nuances of Florida Law to know what you’re even entitled to? And if the responsible people don’t give you what you’re owed for your injury, do you know what can you do about it? For almost everyone I’ve ever talked to, the answer to these questions was no. However, the lawyer does.
2. You have a LOT to lose by trying to handle your accident case on your own. But listen up because there is ZERO financial risk in hiring an injury attorney. That’s right. ZERO.
Unlike some matters, attorneys handle where a client pays an hourly rate regardless of how things work out, in cases where you have an injury if you don’t get paid, neither does your attorney. Once you sign the contract, the attorney goes to work for you. You pay nothing unless your lawyer gets you a settlement. This type of arrangement is called a “contingency fee,” and it was created to give power back to the people, by giving them the ability to hire a lawyer, whether rich or poor, without risking financial ruin if it didn’t pan out.
In Florida, personal injury cases are handled in this contingency fee structure. The Florida Bar lays out the specifics, but generally speaking, the attorney’s fee is thirty-three and one-third percent (33 1/3%) of the total settlement, if handled prior to litigation. While this sounds high, if the case does not settle, the injured person owes the lawyer nothing. That means all those hours the lawyer worked on your case, you owe them nothing. All those medical records and the police report they ordered? You don’t pay them back for those either.
Further, if the case is not able to be settled pre-suit, and requires litigation, the lawyer files suit on behalf of the injured person and still doesn’t ask for any deposit or upfront cost of any kind. The attorney’s fee increases to forty percent (40%) if handled after the filing and answer of a lawsuit. The reason for the increase is simple, the risk of loss to the lawyer increases as a case is prepared for trial, experts and doctors are called for testimony at trial, depositions and mediations are conducted, etc. The lawyer pays all these expenses on behalf of the injured person, upfront, and if the case is lost, the injured person still owes the attorney nothing. Even though the lawyer has undoubtedly expended tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, and maybe even years of his or her time, to try the case.
In addition to the risk to the lawyer, there are plenty of statistics to show that cases settled with the aid of a personal injury lawyer, settle for more money than those settled without a lawyer. The value to the client, in the end, is far greater than that attorney’s fee. (I’ll link to a source stating this.)
At Farah & Farah, we work hard to ensure our clients get maximum compensation. This is, simply, the most we can get our clients. Whether that be the limits of available insurance coverage or an amount which is the highest attainable given the type of injury, and other facts of their specific case. While the client is saved from the risk of lost money, in a contingent fee situation, they also benefit, as the lawyer is also inherently incentivized to get the most amount of money for the client, as that increases the attorney’s fee.
Long story short, when deciding whether to hire an attorney to handle your personal injury case, remember “you have nothing to lose, and everything to gain,” and when deciding who to hire, “Hire Farah & Farah.”
– STEPHANIE LISIECKI, ESQ.
Farah & Farah Attorney since 2018.