How Does a Personal Injury Law Firm Work?
A common scenario plays out every day across the country. There’s an accident, someone gets hurt and someone else is at fault. For those injured, a whirlwind of questions follows the accident. A common one is, “How am I going to pay for all of this?”
The easy answer is that the insurance of the at-fault party will pay for it, but anyone who has ever filed a claim for personal injuries knows it’s rarely an easy process. That’s why personal injury attorneys exist. The goal of any good personal injury attorney is to maximize the amount of fair compensation the injured party receives.
There is the unfortunate stereotype that attorneys aren’t trustworthy or straightforward when it comes to how they operate and how they’re paid. At Craig Swapp & Associates, our Boise personal injury lawyers believe in being straightforward. Below we’ve answered some common questions with the hope of clarifying how personal injury law firms work.
How do personal injury attorneys get paid?
It’s important to establish the basic fact that personal injury attorneys make money by winning personal injury cases in court or by settling personal injury cases out of court. There are a small number of personal injury attorneys that charge an hourly rate however the vast majority (including Craig Swapp & Associates) use what’s known as a contingency fee arrangement.
Contingency fee arrangement – If the lawyer wins the case her or she will take a percentage of the final settlement in a case or from the final verdict at trial.
This means that if the case, for example, is settled for $10,000.00 and the personal injury law firms contingency fee is 33%, the firm takes $3,333.33 of that settlement money. The majority of law firms set their contingency fees between 33%-40%. It’s important to ask and then to understand how an attorney is getting paid before signing up with them.
How do personal injury law firms help clients? Can’t I just get a settlement on my own?
Yes, you can try to get a fair settlement on your own. It’s just difficult. Studies show that those who employ a personal injury attorney average more than 3x as much settlement money than those who go it alone.
Experienced personal injury attorneys:
- Know how to avoid “pitfalls” the insurance companies place to minimize compensation
- Apply the appropriate amount of pressure in order to maximize compensation
- Clearly define what damages and suffering are compensable like medical bills, decrease in quality of life, lost wages, etc.
The reality is that most people everyday people don’t have the knowledge on how to fight for a fair settlement after a personal injury. Rest assured, the insurance companies of the at-fault parties fight hard to minimize the amount of compensation a victim receives. At Craig Swapp & Associates our experienced personal injury attorneys combat those insurance tactics in order to get a fair and full settlement for our clients.
What’s the process from the moment the law firm receives the case to the settlement?
Step 1 – The reunification of evidence by the attorney and the medical treatment of the client
Step 2 – Negotiation
Step 3 – Settlement or further legal action (mediation, arbitration, jury trial)
Step 4 – Payment of medical providers and the law firm
Step 5 – Payment of the remaining settlement to the client
This a very general outline of how personal injury cases go, because of the unique specifics of each situation. Our experienced attorneys are with their clients every step of the way providing clear communication. At Craig Swapp & Associations we don’t begin negotiation with the at-fault parties insurance companies until we know how much medical treatment the client is going to need. We don’t want to leave any compensation on the table, because once a settlement is accepted there is no going back for more.
If you’ve recently been injured in an accident, you have nothing to lose by making a call to Craig Swapp & Associates at 1-800-404-9000 to set up a free consultation or fill out the online form at the bottom of this page. We’re happy to answer any additional questions you might have.