How Do Attorneys Typically Get Paid When It Comes To Auto Accident Claims?
Most attorneys handle these cases on a contingency fee. So depending upon the complexity of the case, the attorney would sign a case up on percentage fee. Contingency fees typically range from 33 percent upwards depending upon the complexity of the case. The attorney would front any and all expenses associated with preparing the case and requesting medicals records. The attorney would pay for any necessary experts. At the end of the case, if a settlement was reached, they would subtract any and all expenses that were paid by the law firm and then take their percentage contingency fee out of the total settlement after the expenses were subtracted.
It’s really a zero obligation to the client meaning that if we don’t recover any money, the client doesn’t owe us any money, so there’s really no risk at all associated with the client. They don’t have to spend any of their money out of pocket. These people have suffered enough and they’re trying to get back to work and often times, they can’t afford to pay an attorney an hourly rate or retainer. So the attorney will front all those expenses and at the end of the case, if there is a recovery, everybody will get paid out of the settlement.
What are the Difficult Aspects of an Auto Accident that an Attorney has to Deal With?
If fault is an issue, disproving the contributory part in Alabama because it’s so minute that often times cases may be tried based on fault alone and based on the contributory part alone.
What is the Most Common Scenario that You See in Auto Accidents?
I don’t know if there’s any common time or vehicle but we have a lot of rear-end accidents. Obviously with the rear-end accidents, you’re going to have a lot of neck, back and shoulder type injuries associated with being violently thrashed about the car. We no longer refer to this as whiplash.
Is the Injury Not Referred to as Whiplash Anymore?
The reason I said we don’t like to call it as whiplash is because if insurance adjusters see whiplash in medical records, that’s just a signal for them to downplay your injury. So we don’t refer to it as whiplash because in an adjuster’s mind whiplash is not a significant injury. So, we want to specifically list the injury whether it’s a strained shoulder or whether it’s a strained neck, whether it’s a slipped disk or whatever it is. We want to specifically state the injury and not the potential cause of being whiplashed.
Have You Ever Seen People Have Serious Long-Term Injuries like Brain Injuries Due to an Auto Accident?
Yes, we have. There are long-term injuries, then you get into the economic impact of that accident and that will come into play if you’re no longer able to work. You’re only 35-years old and how much longer could you work and all that stuff will come into play when your case is trying to be settled.
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