If you’ve been injured in an accident, you may find yourself unable to work or take care of your family. Medical bills are coming due, you’ve lost income, and it appears that you’re going to have to pursue a claim against the person or entity that caused your accident. The claim process is totally overwhelming, but how can you possibly afford a lawyer to help you get the compensation you need?
Knoxville injury attorney John Barnes knows how overwhelming this situation can be. The good news is that he can give you aggressive, dedicated legal representation with no out-of-pocket costs and no fees if he doesn’t win your case. If you’ve been injured and don’t know where to turn, Knoxville lawyer John Barnes can help you put your life back together. Call us at 865-805-5703 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation to discuss how we can help you.
Different Billing Models
It may be helpful first to understand some of the more common billing models used by lawyers. Many lawyers bill on an hourly basis. This means that you will pay for their services based on how long they spend on your case. The time they spend is usually billed in increments of six minutes or tenths of an hour. As a result, you will pay for tasks that only take a few minutes, as well as those that take several hours. The result is that legal fees can be prohibitively expensive for most people, especially if your case is in litigation.
Less common than the hourly model, some lawyers work on a flat fee basis. This means that you pay per service rather than by the amount of time that the service takes. For example, a lawyer may charge a flat fee of $300 for a single court appearance, regardless of whether the court appearance takes 15 minutes or three hours. That said, flat fees are often structured so that they are both profitable for the attorney and a good value for the client. Flat fee models offer predictability and make it easier to budget for legal fees.
Due to economic demands, some lawyers now offer services that combine both hourly rates and flat fees. These arrangements can vary widely from lawyer to lawyer, so you need to carefully understand which services will be billed as a flat fee versus which services will be billed on an hourly basis.
While not a billing model, it’s worth mentioning that some attorneys require that you pay a retainer fee. Retainers are kind of like deposits to ensure that the attorney is at least partially compensated for their time. However, depending on the case, these retainer fees can sometimes be several thousand dollars.
The Contingency Fee Model
The overwhelming majority of personal injury attorneys bill for their services on a contingency fee basis. This means that you do not pay any legal fees up-front. Instead, you only pay attorney’s fees if your attorney recovers compensation for you. You typically do not pay a retainer fee, either. Any legal fees you incur will be a flat percentage of the amount recovered, typically as one-third of the total. Your attorney takes his fee from the total amount recovered and gives the rest to you.
The benefits of the contingency fee model are obvious when compared to the models discussed above. For example:
- You do not have to pay any legal fees up-front. This helps you get legal help when you need it without worrying about the financial commitment.
- You know exactly how much your attorney will be compensated for their services.
- You do not have to worry about monthly bills or having to pay a large bill at the end of the representation.
- You don’t pay anything if you don’t win your case.
In addition to these benefits, a contingency fee model also incentivizes the attorney to take only those cases that they are relatively certain they can win. As a result, you are likely to receive a candid assessment of your case from the very beginning. That way, you don’t wind up paying a lot of legal fees for an unfavorable outcome.
Other Costs that You May Be Responsible For
There may be other costs involved in your case. Some of these are minimal, such as court filing fees and the like. However, there are other costs that could be significant, so you want to understand which costs you will be responsible for from the outset. For example, your case may require the following costs:
- An expert witness to explain the extent of your injuries or the cause of your accident
- Court reporters to transcribe depositions and court proceedings
- Copying costs
- Technology fees
When interviewing lawyers, ask about what costs they anticipate you will need to pay. Expert witnesses, for example, can be expensive. You also want to understand whether you will need to pay those costs as they come due. Some personal injury attorneys will cover the up-front costs and then recoup them at the end of your case when they recover compensation for you.
Contact Us Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with a Knoxville Personal Injury Attorney
While some lawyers can be prohibitively expensive, all injury victims have access to quality legal representation. With no up-front fees or out-of-pocket expenses, Knoxville injury lawyer John Barnes can help you get the legal help you need. He knows how to hold negligent parties accountable for their actions so that you can get the compensation you deserve. If you’ve been injured by someone else’s negligence and don’t know where to turn, contact Barnes Law at 865-805-5703. You can schedule a free consultation to discuss your case and how we can help you.