If you’ve been in an accident in Georgia, hiring a good personal injury lawyer is the best decision you can make. An experienced attorney will help you maximize your chances at financial recovery and present the most compelling evidence of your damages.
If you’re looking at hiring a Georgia personal injury lawyer, how much your fees and expenses will be is most likely on your mind. Here’s what you need to know to understand how personal injury lawyers work and the costs of hiring one.
Why Should I Hire a Lawyer?
Insurance companies want you to believe that hiring a lawyer is a costly thing to do. But, remember, insurance companies are businesses, and the last thing they want is to get the legal assistance you need to demand fair compensation.
Hiring a lawyer does cost money, but it’s not unaffordable and will usually cost next to nothing upfront. Retaining solid legal representation is an investment you make to ensure that you don’t get cheated out of the settlement you rightfully deserve. Don’t underestimate how critical having a lawyer by your side is when negotiating for compensation.
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What Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Do?
To understand the fees and costs associated with hiring a personal injury lawyer, it’s essential to know the extent to how they can help you. Georgia is an at-fault state, which means the person who caused the accident is responsible for all costs in a personal injury case.
If you were the victim of a car accident or other accident, the at-fault person and their insurance company should pay for your damages. Unfortunately, insurance companies can make this very difficult. Sometimes they or the at-fault party will try to downplay your damages or claim you were to blame for the accident.
A personal injury lawyer can help you fight back, present the evidence, and work to negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company. If necessary, they can help you pursue a lawsuit. With the right attorney, this type of service is invaluable.
How Do Georgia Personal Injury Lawyers Get Paid?
Most personal injury lawyers in Georgia do not charge by the hour. Instead, they get paid on what is known as contingency fees. This means that if they can win you an award or settlement, they get a certain percentage of that amount. If you don’t win your case, they don’t “win” anything either. In other words, there’s no fee if no recovery of compensation.
You will usually not have to pay anything upfront when hiring a personal injury lawyer. This structure is beneficial for both injured victims and their attorneys. Victims can hire a personal injury lawyer without worrying about upfront attorney fees, and attorneys are encouraged only to pursue cases that have merit.
Plus, most attorneys will offer you the initial consultation completely free of charge. This is a fair way to let you get to know each other and talk about the details of your case before committing to each other.
Benefits of Contingency Fees
Besides not paying for your legal expenses upfront, contingency fees also incentivize lawyers to fight hard for your case. A lawyer won’t want to work for a case only to receive nothing in the end.
By fighting for the maximum amount of compensation, not only will you get the best settlement possible, but your lawyer has every reason to dedicate themselves entirely to your claim. That is the main reason why you want to search for a personal injury lawyer that takes payment through this model.
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How Much Does a Georgia Personal Injury Lawyer Get Paid?
Once the case settles, most personal injury lawyers receive a contingency fee or a portion of the settlement amount. The contingency fee typically depends on when your case gets settled, as well as the lawyer’s quality of services. The fee can range between 33.3% and 40% of the settlement.
This amount can vary depending on the attorney and may take into account several factors, such as the attorney’s experience or the amount of work necessary for the case. Personal injury cases can be highly involved and may require a lot of investigation, research, and negotiation from your lawyer.
Are There Any Other Costs Associated with Hiring a Georgia Personal Injury Attorney?
Besides the attorney fee mentioned above, legal costs result from the case process whether you win or not. These can include fees for:
- Police reports
- Witness or expert testimony
- Other research-related costs
- Filing appeals
- Trial exhibits
- Court reporters
- Photocopying or postage charges
How these expenses are charged depends on the lawyer. Some attorneys will wait until your case gets settled, then deduct costs from your settlement amount. Others may bill you monthly for the costs.
It’s impossible to give a set amount for these legal costs, as it varies greatly between cases. In general, the longer the case takes, the higher costs can be. Ask your lawyer about these costs and how they get handled when you meet for the consultation.
They can explain where each cost comes from, how they plan to collect them, and how they get handled if you win the case or not. Your lawyer may also help you look for ways to reduce some costs, although many are necessary for a successful case.
Talk to a Personal Injury Attorney in Georgia Today
At John Foy & Associates, we have worked exclusively on personal injury cases for more than 20 years. So we know how to fight against the insurance company and what it takes to win. To schedule your free consultation today, contact us to get started. Call us now, or fill out the form to the right.