Injured Client Question
Whether an individual is suffering from a devastating personal injury, or a minor traffic crash, one questions remains the same: “Can I afford a personal injury lawyer”. The answer is yes.
Personal injury lawyers in Missouri generally operate under what is called a “contingency fee contract”. This is a payment method where attorneys represent injured parties with the expectation that the attorney will receive payment only when money is received for their client. There are no fees or costs owed from the injured client throughout the case for the numerous expenses required. Under a general contingency fee agreement, injured parties are able to hire an attorney with nothing owed, and are only responsible for payment when the attorney receives money for their client. When the case settles, or a community jury awards compensation for injuries, the attorney generally receives a percentage of the settlement. Additionally, if for any reason your case fails to produce a favorable result, the attorney will shoulder the burden of any costs or fees expended, and the injured party owes nothing for the attorney’s services.
This type of contingent fee representation in a personal injury case is highly beneficial to an injured party. First, it provides an injured party a means to afford an attorney at a time in their life that is riddled with expenses. Insurance companies and negligent parties generally do not make partial payments throughout the recovery process. Instead they delay payment until the very end, leaving the injured person with mounting medical bills, lost wages, high stress, and a variety of other unforeseen expenses until the very end.
This structure of client representation also aligns the financial interests of the party suffering and the attorney handling the case. The injured party is in need of money to provide for their harms and loses, and the personal injury attorney, receiving a percentage of the result, is motivated to diligently work to ensure his client receives full compensation for their injuries. The contingent free structure also helps to weed out frivolous lawsuits by placing the financial risk of the case on the shoulders of the attorney, and the ultimate judgment of right and wrong by a community jury of our peers. For this reason, St. Louis personal injury lawyers must exercise high ethical standards and case selection based on an intricate understanding of Missouri law.