When you are injured and unable to earn your regular wages, hiring an attorney can make you feel nervous as you may not be sure how you will afford it. Learn how much a personal injury attorney costs in New York and why you can still get help even if you can’t afford upfront fees.
How Are Expenses Covered in a Personal Injury Case?
Certain expenses are incurred in a personal injury case to make it possible to gather the evidence required and bring your case to court. Those expenses may include medical exams, testing, expert witnesses, court filing fees, private investigator fees, and deposition fees, depending on the complexity of your case.
Each law firm handles these expenses differently. You may be given a fee agreement explaining how these expenses will be covered and when. The attorney initially covers some expenses and subtracts from your award later on, while other expenses (such as medical co-pays) may be your responsibility. Always ask your attorney about how case expenses will be handled for your specific case.
How Does the Percentage of Net Recovery Option Work?
The state’s legislature regulates personal injury attorney fees which are capped at ⅓ of the client’s total recovery amount. That means that once an attorney wins the case for you, they are entitled to up to 33.33% of whatever you receive as an award.
Some attorneys have fee agreements that allow them to subtract their fees from the net amount of the award after case expenses have been deducted. This is known as the percentage of net recovery.
How Does the Percentage of Total Recovery Option Work?
Another possible fee arrangement is the percentage of total recovery. This option enables the attorney to receive ⅓ of your total settlement award before expenses. Sometimes, the client may still be responsible for repaying the attorney for costs.
Many clients prefer this option because it reduces the risk of the client receiving a bill for case expenses if they do not win their case. Ask your attorney whether they plan to deduct their fees from the net or total recovery amount before initiating your case.
What Happens If I Don’t Win My Case?
Personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. That means no money is owed upfront, and the attorney only gets paid if they win your case. If your case is not successful, you will likely not owe any attorney fees. For these reasons, you can be confident in recruiting the help of an attorney even if you are not in a good position financially, and your attorney can help you fight for the compensation you deserve.