Aug 16, 2023 | Personal Injury
If you or a family member recently suffered injuries because of another party’s actions, this can form the foundation for a personal injury claim. This is a type of civil suit in which an injured party claims compensation from the party responsible for harming them. Depending on the nature and severity of the personal injury you suffered, you could be entitled to claim a sizeable amount of compensation from the defendant who harmed you.
Unfortunately, many people who experience personal injuries believe that legal counsel is prohibitively expensive, and this discourages some from seeking the help they need when they need it most. While it’s true that many attorneys charge expensive hourly rates, meaning the more time they spend working on a case, the more it costs their client, the majority of personal injury attorneys operate on a contingency fee basis.
A contingency fee is a type of billing arrangement in which the attorney’s fee is contingent upon their ability to recover compensation for their client. The attorney does not charge upfront or ongoing fees and instead takes a percentage of their client’s final case award. For example, if an attorney charges a 25% contingency fee and they win $100,000 in compensation for a client, the attorney will take $25,000 as their fee, and the client would keep the remaining $75,000.
This may seem steep to some prospective personal injury plaintiffs, but remember that the attorney only takes their contingency fee if they win the client’s case. If they are unsuccessful with the claim and cannot obtain a recovery for their client, they receive nothing. A contingency fee agreement ensures that an injured client has access to the legal counsel they need at no financial risk while simultaneously compelling the attorney to do their utmost for their client. Ultimately, the larger the client’s case award, the larger the attorney’s contingency fee will be.
If you have concerns about parting with a percentage of your case award by accepting legal counsel under a contingency fee agreement, it is important to remember the benefits of hiring an attorney with this billing policy. First and foremost, an attorney who operates on contingency will be unlikely to accept a losing case, so if an attorney agrees to represent you on contingency, this is a solid indication that they believe you can win. Additionally, even after you account for your contingency fee, a good attorney is likely to recover much more compensation than you could manage on your own.
Most attorneys accept personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, but this does not mean that all of them do. Some attorneys charge flat rates for specific legal services, while others charge hourly fees for representations. Some attorneys operate on contingency but charge different percentages based on the complexity of a case and the client’s potential compensation. Always verify a prospective attorney’s billing policy before you sign a contract for their representation.
A: Most personal injury claims filed end in private settlement, and the time this process takes to conclude largely depends on the overall severity of the victim’s damages as well as the defendant’s willingness to negotiate a resolution. Settlement may only take a few weeks if the defendant’s liability is clear, and the plaintiff has a seasoned attorney on their side.
A: North Carolina’s personal injury law does not place a limit on pain and suffering compensation for most personal injury claims, so this could potentially form the bulk of your total case award if you suffered a serious personal injury. Your attorney can help calculate an appropriate amount to claim from the defendant based on the severity of your injury and any long-term complications you will face because of it.
A: The statute of limitations is the time limit you must meet if you intend to file a personal injury claim. The statute of limitations for personal injury cases in the state is typically three years from the date an injury occurs, but it may extend if the cause of the injury can’t be immediately determined. In these situations, the statute of limitations begins on the date the plaintiff discovers the cause of the harm done to them.
A: State law may not strictly require that you hire an attorney for your impending personal injury case, but doing so will dramatically increase your chances of winning the case and maximizing your total compensation. It’s important to connect with an attorney you can trust as soon as possible after your injury so you can be sure to meet all procedural deadlines and so that your attorney has as much time as possible to work on your case.
A: You could be entitled to claim more than you may initially expect, and the right attorney is the ideal asset to have on your side if you want to maximize your final case award after any personal injury. Your attorney can help accurately calculate the economic damages you can seek in the claim, such as the cost of your medical expenses, your lost income, and your lost future earning power if you cannot return to work after your injury. You can also seek pain and suffering compensation, and your attorney can help maximize this aspect of your case award.
The team at Helton, Cody & Associates regularly represents clients in Burke, Catawba, and Caldwell counties in all types of personal injury cases. We know North Carolina’s personal injury statutes in extreme detail and excel at resolving complex cases. If you are ready to explore your options for legal recourse after suffering a personal injury, we can help. Contact Helton, Cody & Associates today to schedule a consultation with our team and start working toward your recovery with peace of mind.