When a case goes to trial, most contingency fee agreements increase the percentage the attorney receives. This is generally because litigating a case is much more expensive than negotiating a settlement with the insurance company.
However, personal injury lawyers in Atlanta can frequently present strong cases in court and convince the judge and jurors that their clients deserve significantly more money than the insurance carrier would have ever offered in negotiations.
Your Compensation Depends on How the Trial Goes
There is no way to predict how much compensation you might receive if your case goes to trial. However, it is often true that accepting a settlement offer from the insurance company or liable party would result in you taking home less money than you would if your attorney took the case to court. This could be true even though your lawyer charges an increased fee for litigation.
Of course, it is important to remember that higher compensation—or any compensation—is not guaranteed when you take the case to trial. Still, car accident lawyer fees depend on winning cases. You do not often find an attorney who wants to go to court without solid evidence to support their client. They only get paid if they recover money.
You should discuss this with your personal injury lawyer if they believe litigation may be necessary. They can likely explain why they believe you have a compelling case and why they think this is a necessary step.
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Trial Outcomes Are Uncertain; Settlements Give Both Parties a Say
It is certainly true that injury victims have less say in the outcome of their case when they decide to litigate. When settlement negotiations are ongoing, both parties have a say in the outcome. Both must agree on a settlement figure. This carries over to mediation, too.
When a case goes to trial, you hand the outcome to the judge and jury. You no longer have a say. Occasionally, a judge or jury will see the facts of a case in a completely different way, interpret evidence differently, or come to a different conclusion than the parties involved. This could dramatically affect the outcome of your case, for better or worse.
It is important to realize that negotiations could continue during litigation, and settlements often occur just before or potentially during the trial. Your attorney will only accept a settlement with your approval.
How do Most Attorney’s Fees Work in Personal Injury Cases?
In general, contingency fees are how personal injury lawyers get paid. This means they do not charge clients anything up front. They do not ask for a retainer or track their hourly work. Instead, they receive a percentage of the payout they recover in the case. If the client does not receive compensation, they do not get paid.
The percentage paid as a contingency fee can vary from about 25 percent up to 50 percent. Some states have laws regulating this percentage in certain types of cases. Straightforward cases with negotiated settlements generally cost less than complex cases that require litigation. Most firms increase their percentage when a case goes to trial.
Some law firms track the resources they spend on the case, while others charge a higher percentage but generally include everything in their price. Your attorney should review these fees and explain how they work before hiring them. Most will answer your questions and ensure you understand the fees before continuing.
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How Will an Attorney Help Me If My Case Goes to Trial?
Our attorneys believe in accountability. We want to hold the liable party responsible for the pain and suffering they caused the victim, recovering money for the expenses and losses they endured. When you hire an attorney to manage your insurance claim or lawsuit, you will have to pay them a portion of your financial recovery. However, they will build your case, represent your best interests, and possibly secure a much larger settlement or award than you could have on your own.
O.C.G.A § 9-3-33 generally gives victims and their families up to two years to sue and begin litigation following an injury accident. In the months before this deadline arrives, negotiated settlements are common. The lawyer maintains contact with the liable party’s liability insurance provider and continues to discuss a fair payout. If there is no settlement and time is running out—or there are other reasons why it is necessary—the attorney files a personal injury lawsuit.
Preparing for and litigating an injury case is costly for the law firm but often benefits both the lawyer and the plaintiff in the long run. Court awards often surpass anything the plaintiff requested during negotiations, which means more money for the victim and higher fees for the attorney.
If you lost a loved one to an injury accident, a wrongful death attorney will work for contingency, too. In Georgia, certain immediate family members can pursue wrongful death compensation under O.C.G.A § 51-4-2.
Discuss Your Personal Injury Case With Our Team for Free
Bader Scott Injury Lawyers provides free consultations for those injured in a wide range of personal injury incidents in and around the Atlanta metropolitan area. Our attorneys work based on contingency fees and will ensure you understand how these fees work before you hire us. If we need to litigate your case, we will not hesitate to fight for the maximum compensation possible based on the case facts. We want to ensure you have the money to cover your costs and pay for future care needs.
Contact us online or via telephone today to start your free case consultation. We have someone available to talk to you now.