Do I Really Need a Phoenix, AZ Personal Injury Attorney?
The idea of hiring a personal injury attorney may be causing you a great deal of stress. You may have heard all sorts of horror stories. What if they don’t really help you? What if they just make things worse, and take all your money? What if you can’t afford an attorney at all?
Fortunately, personal injury attorneys run their business in ways that are set up to make the process as helpful to you and as easy for you as possible. The raw numbers of working with one do tend to work out in your favor. Best of all, they can prevent you from making mistakes that can prevent you from getting paid at all.
Let’s take a look at the math, and see if hiring a personal injury attorney makes sense for you.
How much does a personal injury attorney charge?
The good news about hiring a personal injury attorney is that they work on contingency. This means you don’t have to try to come up with a retainer or pay any kind of hourly rate.
Indeed, if you don’t win your case, your attorney doesn’t get paid at all. This is why your personal injury attorney will usually try to evaluate the strength of your case on the front end. They’re taking a gamble: they could put in a lot of hard work and get nothing at all.
This also means they have every incentive to work as hard as possible once they do take the case.
Each attorney charges a percentage of your settlement amount. The average is about 36%, but it can be higher or lower. Before hiring an attorney you can get their fee schedule.
You might also consider that figure in light of the award amounts they’ve gotten for clients in the past.
In general, a far more experienced attorney who charges a 45% contingency fee is going to do better for you than a novice attorney who charges a 30% fee. This is especially true if you have a case that’s traditionally very complex or difficult, like a truck accident case or a motorcycle accident case.
What’s the average personal injury settlement?
Lawyers.com did a survey of average settlements. The numbers varied greatly depending on whether the respondents had attorneys or not.
With an attorney, the average settlement was $77,600. Without an attorney the average settlement was $17,600. Here’s where the basic math comes in. Let’s say your attorney charges the average of 36%. You’re still going to get $49,664. That’s way more than the $17,600 you would have gotten on your own. Nearly three times more, in fact.
Even if your attorney has to pay for expert witnesses or other services to get you that money, you come out quite a bit ahead if you let an attorney help you.
What are your chances of getting paid?
Some people who launch personal injury cases will not get paid anything. They end up making too many mistakes, fall victim to insurance industry tricks or run afoul of Arizona’s comparative negligence statute.
With an attorney’s help, your odds of getting paid stand at 91%. Without an attorney’s help, your odds drop to 51%. So when you’re doing the math you should consider that you’re not saving anything on contingency fees if you ultimately bring home $0.00.
When should you hire a personal injury attorney?
To give your case its best chance of success you’ll want to involve an attorney almost as soon as you’re medically capable of calling one. Try to talk to an attorney before you interact with insurance companies in any way.
In fact, we can even file your claims for you. This means that you might not have to deal with the insurance company at all. A good thing, as they’re your adversaries in this process.
While the statute of limitations on a personal injury case is up to two years, waiting doesn’t help and may actively hurt your ability to recover funds. The sooner you hire an attorney, the sooner you’ll have the support you need to navigate your case successfully.