Hiring a lawyer can be expensive if you’re dealing with a criminal case or a family court situation. Most lawyers who deal with criminal cases, family law or business law want a retainer up front. That means that you give them money before they work. These types of lawyers may also charge by the hour. As they work, they take their fee out of the retainer you paid. Personal injury lawyers work a little differently. A personal injury lawyer works on a contingent fee, as a personal injury lawyer, can explain. Here are some things to know about hiring a personal injury attorney.

What Is a Contingent Fee? 

In a contingency fee case, the lawyer agrees to take his or her fee out of the money awarded to you. You don’t pay anything to the lawyer if your case never settles. If you do get a settlement, the lawyer takes a percentage, usually around 33%, out of that money. You can try to negotiate the percentage, but if the case goes to court, the lawyer may want a larger percentage.

What About Other Expenses? 

You should ask how the lawyer will handle other expenses for your case. There may be court costs, copying fees or witness expenses. You may be responsible for these costs. Your lawyer should be up front about the costs of your case so that you aren’t surprised at the end of your case. Don’t forget to ask your lawyer about how the medical bills will be paid out of your claim.

Does a Lawyer Have to Take Your Case? 

When you meet with a lawyer to discuss your personal injury claim, it’s as much an interview for you as it is for the lawyer. You are interviewing to hire a lawyer to take your case. The lawyer is interviewing you to determine if you have a case and whether he or she thinks they can win your case. A lawyer may turn down a case for many reasons. The attorney may not have the experience in the law that is needed for your type of case. The lawyer may not think you have a case that is large enough to settle. The attorney may even have a conflict with another client in handling your case. Just because one lawyer doesn’t take your case, doesn’t mean you should give up. Talk to another lawyer to get a second opinion. Make an appointment with a personal injury lawyer who can help you take the right steps to maximize your settlement and to protect your rights.