According to the Offices of the United States Attorneys’ 2015-2020 Attorney’s Fees Matrix published by the Department of Justice, hiring a lawyer to file a lawsuit for you can cost you anywhere from $300 to over $600 an hour, based on the attorney’s years of experience.
While the cost to hire a lawyer varies, most attorneys will work for a client on a contingency fee basis. This means that the payment for their services is “contingent” upon winning the case, and the client receiving either a settlement offer from an insurance company or winning a court case at trial. The amount of compensation each attorney charges as a contingency fee varies greatly.
Contingency Fees Help Victims Hire Lawyers
Contingency fees help victims hire an attorney that they could not otherwise afford. Victims who cannot afford the cost to hire an attorney out-of-pocket prior to a settlement pay part of their compensation, which is awarded by a judge or jury to their lawyer if the case is settled in their favor.
A contingency fee allows those victims the opportunity to afford the legal services of an attorney and receive representation in their case. Additionally, an attorney working on a contingency fee basis remains consistently incentivized to work diligently for a client, as they will not receive any compensation unless they win the case on behalf of the victim.
You should have a clear understanding of what it costs to hire a lawyer to file a lawsuit for you. Even if your attorney works on a contingency fee, you should clearly understand the percentage the lawyer will receive following the success of your lawsuit, where you will receive a settlement or an award from a judge or jury.
Additionally, you should be made aware of any possible additional charges that may occur at the end of your lawsuit. Read the contract that you sign when you hire a lawyer carefully, and always feel free to ask questions regarding any confusion you may have on any issue. In the end, you should have a solid understanding of how much your lawyer will take from your settlement offer or damages awarded by a judge or jury.
What Happens When You Hire a Lawyer
The Federal Trade Commission offers consumer insights to advise people when hiring a lawyer. When you decide to use a lawyer to file a lawsuit on your behalf, you will now have a person on your side to help you navigate the complex and challenging legal system. Some things that seem simple, such as filing a lawsuit, may require additional documentation, a specific way to present the filing, and in some cases, a court may require a specific font for documents. Hiring an attorney will ensure that the lawsuit filed on your behalf is always completed correctly and in a timely manner.
Additionally, a lawyer filing a lawsuit on your behalf should take the time to explain all of the requirements necessary of you, explain all of the complicated legal forms, legal terms, and how the entire case typically proceeds. You should have all of your legal rights explained to you, and all of your questions answered.
What Happens When You Choose to not Hire a Lawyer
You have the legal right to represent yourself in any matter in a lawsuit in the United States. While this may save you money, without legal representation, there is a chance that you may miss the deadline (statute of limitations) for filing your case or submit documentation to a court incorrectly. If you fail to submit the correct documentation to the court, you may lose precious time to file your claim.
Additionally, in many cases, you will need to request evidence from the other side (discovery) through written questions, or an in-person questioning. These legal processes are oftentimes essential to understanding the case the other side builds. However, without a proper understanding of these legal processes, a victim representing themselves may not receive the compensation they deserve.
Many people who attempt to file a lawsuit themselves may not know what they need to do to file the suit, present a strong legal case, and even how to close out the case to receive compensation if they win their claim.
Consider Consulting an Attorney
If you believe you have the right to compensation as a victim, you may wonder how much it costs to hire a lawyer to file a lawsuit on your behalf. Consider calling a member of our Pintas & Mullins Law Firm team today at (800) 794-0444 to learn how one of our attorneys might be able to file a lawsuit on your behalf and help you understand your legal rights.