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Contingency Fee Agreements vs. Flat Rate vs. Hourly Rates

When you are the victim of an accident, whether it is an automobile accident, you have fallen in a public place, or you are injured by another person accidentally, it is important that you seek a personal injury attorney.  An experienced New Orleans personal injury attorney can help you seek compensation for what is rightly owed to you. There are many different ways that you could get hurt, and although there are times it is your fault, there is a possibility that your injury is the result another person or negligence of a business. It is in your best interest to hire a personal injury lawyer who can help you in Louisiana.

Personal Injury Cases: What Are the Different Ways I Can Pay My Attorney?

Everyone has a different budget and hiring a New Orleans personal injury lawyer may seem expensive.  Because every case, and every circumstance is different, many attorneys, including myself, will discuss the following types of payment options with the client: contingency fee agreements, flat rates and hourly rates.

Signing a Contingency Fee Agreement with Your Personal Injury Lawyer

What is a personal injury contingency fee agreement? A contingent fee agreement is an agreement between a client and their attorney that offers the client the chance to hire the attorney without putting any initial payment down, offers no monthly legal bills as the case is ongoing and offers the attorney the opportunity to be paid a percentage of the win once the personal injury trial is complete. This is a great plan for someone who may not have the necessary finances upfront, but has a strong argument to receive compensation from the defendant for their injury.  Lawyers often advertise contingency fee agreements using the slogan, “I don’t get paid unless you do.” A personal injury contingency agreement must be in writing prior to the client hiring the personal injury lawyer and must clearly state how the fee will be determined, including what percentage the attorney will receive in the end and whether expenses are included before or after the percentage is calculated.

What Paying Flat Rate Fees to Your Personal Injury Attorney Means

A flat rate fee is precisely what it says: the client pays a flat rate to the personal injury attorney. This fee can be paid 100% upfront, or, if the attorney puts it into writing, can offer the client a chance to pay incrementally regardless of the outcome of the personal injury case. Typically, the attorney in Louisiana will calculate what the costs will be based on experience and any facts presented by you and present the fee to you prior to working on the case. If a flat rate fee is agreed upon between you and the New Orleans personal injury lawyer, then, unless stated in the agreement, this is the amount paid regardless of the amount of time is spent on the case. Therefore, this can be a gamble on both the client and the attorney’s part, especially if the personal injury case has a lot of unknown information or hearsay.

Is Paying an Hourly Rate to Your Lawyer Worth it in the End?

An hourly rate is very straight forward and is a determined price prior to working on the case. Most attorneys have an hourly fee they charge each client and the client must choose whether this is acceptable and affordable. It is up to the client and the personal injury attorney to determine whether this is as a lump sum or incrementally. When an attorney works on an hourly rate, they may refer to the hours as billable hours or billable time. It is in the best interest of the client to request an estimated time of work prior to signing an agreement with the lawyer. This is not an ideal way to pay your attorney if you cannot afford an attorney because billable hours may exceed the costs of a traditional contingency fee agreement. If you are concerned about the cost of a billable hours, you may want to re-consider a contingency fee agreement. So, how do you decide how to pay your personal injury lawyer if you are in an accident? There are many circumstances, and many types of cases. The first suggestion I have is you call a personal injury lawyer in New Orleans, such as myself, for a free consultation. I will be happy to speak with you so please feel free to call me or Contact Me. I look forward to hearing from you.

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