How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Massachusetts Personal Injury Lawyer?
Hiring a lawyer can be expensive in many cases, but injury victims often pay for legal help in a different way that makes the cost approachable. If you were injured in an accident and want to get a lawyer but are unsure about the cost, the following information might be helpful.
The cost of hiring a lawyer can vary greatly depending on their experience, the size of the law firm, and the type of case you have. Fortunately, Massachusetts injury attorneys are often quite affordable because they often work on “contingency fees.” This allows you to pay your lawyer out of the winnings in your case, and means that your lawyer will charge you nothing until you win your claim.
For help with an injury case in Massachusetts, call the Law Office of John J. Sheehan today. Contact us at (617) 925-6407 for a free case evaluation and more information about our fees.
What is a Contingency Fee Agreement for a Personal Injury Lawyer in Massachusetts?
A “contingency fee agreement” is an agreement between the lawyer and their client to pay legal fees out of the money the victim wins from their injury case. This kind of fee structure means that the client will pay the lawyer nothing until they win their case, and if they lose the case, the lawyer gets nothing. Massachusetts personal injury lawyers often use this fee structure for a few reasons.
First, many injury victims do not have cash on hand to pay a lawyer to get them help after an accident. If everyone had to pay out of pocket for a lawyer, they would likely be unable to afford the legal help they need, and they would be left in much worse situations. By arranging to pay out of the winnings, this means that they pay nothing up front and still get the legal services they need.
Second, this gives the lawyer a personal stake in the outcome of the case. Lawyers already have legal and ethical obligations to do their best to help their clients and to put their needs first, but a contingency fee agreement helps guarantee this. If you lose your case, your lawyer will not get paid, so your lawyer is going to want to win your case just as much as you do. When you and your lawyer have the same priorities, it can help ensure that your lawyer is doing everything they can to help you get the compensation you deserve.
When Can You Use Contingency Fees in Massachusetts Injury Cases?
There are special legal ethics rules concerning how and when contingency fee agreements can be used. There are also special restrictions under Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 231, § 601. Always check with your Boston personal injury lawyer about their fee structures. Also, keep in mind that a contingency fee agreement is not automatic; you have to sign an agreement with your lawyer before a fee structure like this is set in place.
How Much is a Contingency Fee for a Massachusetts Injury Lawyer?
Contingency fees are usually around 33%, but different cases might warrant different fees. Talk to your attorney for more details. There is truly no “standard” contingency fee from lawyer to lawyer or firm to firm.
Can You Get Attorney’s Fees in an Injury Lawsuit in Massachusetts?
For certain types of lawsuits, the plaintiff (the party who files the claim) might be able to include a claim for reasonable attorney’s fees as part of their damages. In most cases, your damages will include a claim for all sorts of damages related to your injury case: the cost of medical bills, lost wages, damages for pain and suffering, etc. The ultimate goal of an injury lawsuit or insurance claim is to put the plaintiff back to the same state they were in before the accident occurred. Before an accident, the plaintiff would not have spent a large sum of money on a lawyer, so that expense only happens because of the injury in the first place.
Some statutes specifically authorize attorney’s fees as part of the damages you can claim. Talk to your Quincy perosnal injury attorney about whether attorney’s fees can be claimed as part of your damages or not in your case.
In some cases, defendants are actually entitled to attorney’s fees if the plaintiff files a frivolous lawsuit. However, it is also usually unethical to file a frivolous lawsuit in the first place, and our attorneys will work to make sure that you have a legitimate, strong claim for your injuries before filing your case with the courts.
Can You Save Money by Filing an Injury Case Without a Lawyer in Massachusetts?
There is no requirement that you have a lawyer when filing most injury cases. However, the expense of working with a lawyer is often worth it, and filing an injury case without a lawyer will often mean missing out on damages you could have claimed in your case.
First, it is important to recognize that Massachusetts personal injury lawyers who have passed the bar and practice law in Massachusetts have experience and knowledge about the law in Massachusetts that most non-lawyers do not possess. When you hire our firm as your injury attorneys, we put all of that experience to work for you.
Additionally, without an attorney, you are essentially treated as your own lawyer. Most judges will make some allowances for people representing themselves pro se, but you are still responsible for all procedural rules, deadlines, rules of evidence, and other requirements.
Lastly, it is hard to know what your case is worth without having an experienced personal injury lawyer assess your case. You might try to rely on the damages the defendant’s insurance company is willing to pay you as the accurate value of your case, but they often reduce damages and exclude broad areas of damages to drive down settlement costs.
All in all, hiring an experienced Beverly personal injury lawyer is usually a good investment in your case.
Call Our Massachusetts Injury Attorneys Today
For help with your injury case, call our Gloucester personal injury lawyers for a free case evaluation. Call the Law Office of John J. Sheehan today at (617) 925-6407.