How Much Is My Accident Attorney Worth?

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After sustaining a personal injury, most people first think, “I need to get a solicitor.” It could also come from a well-meaning loved one or friend who wants to ensure you get the money you deserve for your injury.

There is a high level of tension in the room, and everyone wants ‘justice’ to be served. This is especially true if you’ve been in a car accident and your prized possession was utterly destroyed. Your whole body probably felt the hit, and you probably have some ugly bruises and scrapes on your face, as well as some burns and wounds from the exploding airbag.

The other driver in the accident will pay a high price, as everyone is out to get him for causing the collision. But suppose the incident wasn’t a car crash but an accident on the job instead. Imagine you were at work and, on your way back from getting coffee, you stumbled on some dangling carpet or wires and fell, hitting your face on a table. Besides the burns from the coffee, you suffered additional injuries as well.

If you’ve been happy with your job for four years, how do you feel about filing a grievance against your current employer? You have a good salary and benefits and excellent opportunities for advancement. You also have a strong group of friends among your coworkers and spend a lot of time together outside of the office.

In the first case, you have no qualms about going after the allegedly careless driver for compensation. You want to file a claim against your company but have conflicting feelings about doing so. However, you must decide quickly since the ‘limitation’ clock starts ticking immediately, and you only have three years to file a personal injury claim. It will be invalid if you don’t file your lawsuit within the time limit set by the Law Reform Limitation Act of 1980.

You are not legally required to hire a lawyer to file a personal injury claim on your behalf. You’re making that choice voluntarily, but most people in your position don’t know what to do next with their personal injury claim. As a result, they make a beeline for the nearest solicitor’s office despite receiving poor recommendations for local attorneys from their social circles.

They have no notion that lawyers can focus on one area of law, such as personal injury, family law, criminal law, or employment law. Although your neighborhood law office may focus on individual injury cases, its size likely means that its lawyers also have to handle matters outside their specialty, such as billing and bookkeeping. When you visit your neighborhood lawyer to discuss a possible personal injury claim, he will “change hats,” so to speak. He may have been a lawyer for a long time but only has experience with a few cases. This is especially true if they include personal injury.

Junior employees look up to him as a senior solicitor and pay him senior solicitor rates for the time it takes him to complete tasks. In London, a senior lawyer will charge you between £150 and £200 per hour. If you’re interested, you can look at the published rates from the Law Society.

However, the Green Form Scheme provides free initial consultation of up to half an hour. Since the ‘no-win-no-fee’ system has taken the role of legal aid, no money is available for it.

Their prices are broken down to clearly distinguish between working time and money spent. Medical charges, the cost of an expert witness, legal representation, etc., are all examples of disbursements. In the preceding example, if their usual rate is doubled, the effective charge rate in London would be £300–£400 per hour. These are slightly cheaper than London prices, but only just. For up-to-date fees, please consult your area’s County Court Cost guide.

Some law companies use entry-level workers, some of whom may be ILEX (Institute of Legal Executives) exam candidates. As a result, you might be communicating with an unlicensed paralegal instead of a lawyer. Despite their lack of experience, these rookie employees can charge up to £110 per hour.

The senior solicitor does little more than cast an eye over the claim, handled primarily by younger personnel, to ensure everything is in order. However, the firm’s costs may be broken down by the hours worked by a junior, an associate, and a senior solicitor.

They also frequently seek guidance from counsel on insignificant matters. They will seek legal advice on culpability and damages even in a straightforward issue. This has a multiplicative effect on the price tag. Legal representation could increase costs by £500 in a specific case and by £1500 in a moderately tricky claim.

A junior solicitor in London may expect to make around £45,000 per year. The average salary for an Associate is £75,000, with potential bonuses. Your senior attorney earns the most with a wage of £200,000 per year, not counting bonus payments.

On the other hand, the typical Londoner who makes a claim there earns between £13,500 and $20,000. Don’t be too bummed if your local lawyer cannot meet with you because he got stuck in a traffic jam on the way to the golf course. His assistant will explain that he is now meeting with another customer but that she will take your message and have him get back to you as soon as possible.

Check out “The Personal Injury Claims Guide for DIY Claimants” if you’re in the middle of a personal injury claim. This 50-page, information-packed, easy-to-understand, and user-friendly guide will teach you all you need to know to file a successful claim. Without this crucial information, you will be disadvantaged when negotiating with the insurance company and may not receive adequate reimbursement for your injuries.

As the “watershed” level below which they are unlikely to recoup their total costs, most lawyers will work to increase the settlement amount to more than £1000. If you’ve been injured and filed a claim, you might receive £1000, while your lawyer could receive up to £5,000 to cover his fees.

Who exactly does this benefit, if anyone? The position of a middle-man is redundant when you factor in the typical cost of a claim settlement and realize that your lawyer is already doing the work for you. And not all of them have the level of expertise that you may ‘think’ they do. I’ve gotten calls from claimants in a state of panic because they could not get answers from their lawyers and preferred to handle the negotiations themselves.

If they change their minds after hiring a lawyer, they will be responsible for his fees even if he is fired. Unfortunately, we have to refuse to meet with them until they have worked out the details of their claim with their attorneys.

By making a modest investment in your knowledge and purchasing a copy of “The Personal Injury Claims Guide for DIY Claimants,” you can avoid many of these headaches.

After all, it’s awful enough going through the pain and the recovery process, which could take months, without being short-changed by the insurance company when you submit your claim.

Remember that hiring a lawyer is not mandatory for most types of personal injury cases. In cases where attorneys charge £3,500 to $5,000 or more, I have settled disputes for slightly over £1,000.

Would it not be fairer if the insurance company paid you more for your injuries and spent less on lawyers so that they could afford to pay for future claims? Most people, including yourself, would probably agree that this is the best option.

Matrix Jones, available at [http://www.personalinjuryclaimsguide.com], is an expert in car accidents and workplace injuries. He has been assessing and resolving claims for damages for over 25 years.

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