Is There a Chance that I Could End up OWING Money at the End of My Personal Injury Case?
A common (and very reasonable) concern people with personal injury cases have is whether or not they will be in a worse position financially if they hire an attorney to handle their injury case. Hiring a personal injury attorney can be a daunting task. (Check out my upcoming video blog series for tips on how to hire the RIGHT personal injury attorney for you and your particular case.) Clients in personal injury cases typically have never had such a case before and have never even had to think about injury lawyers, except maybe to chuckle at a cheesy late-night ad for a “1-800-we’ll-get-you-a-million-dollars” accident attorney.
When I first talk to people making the decision about hiring an attorney for their bicycle, motorcycle, pedestrian or auto accident case, they often tell me something like: “I am afraid that if I hire an attorney I may find myself in a situation where I am out of pocket more money than I already am in this case. For example, if the medical expenses, legal fees and legal costs and of being more than the settlement or judgment, will I end up owing you money in the end?”
Be sure to ask any potential personal injury attorneys you speak with what they would do if there was not enough settlement money to cover all of your damages and the legal fees and costs. Find out if that attorney is willing to work with you for a fair resolution of the case. If you have spoken with a personal injury lawyer who has explained to you that his fee will be taken out of any settlement or judgment FIRST, and then your bills and damages will be paid with what is left over, this is a red flag that this attorney may be more concerned about earning his fee than compensating you for the damages you suffered in the case.
At Sally Morin Professional Corporation we work hard to earn a reasonable fee, pay your medical providers (hopefully we can negotiate a reduced rate on your medical bills), get you money for your documented loss of earnings, reimburse you for out of pocket expenses and leave you with some amount of money to compensate you for your pain and suffering. Further, if it appears that your medical expenses and other damages greatly exceed the amount of insurance coverage carried by the other party, we will determine this as early on in the case as possible. That way, we can limit that legal fees and costs and focus our efforts on negotiating reductions of your medical bills, so that we can do our best to pay all of your medical bills and leave you with some net amount of money after all is said and done. So, in short, we do NOT leave our clients owing any money after their cases are said and done (unless there is some egregious circumstance in the case that was not disclosed at the inception of the attorney-client relationship, but this has never – cross our fingers – happened with one of our wonderful clients.) One of the many reasons we love what we do is because we put people in a better position than they would have been without our involvement in the case.