When you have been injured by the actions of a careless doctor or medical professional, you should know that you have the right to seek financial compensation for your losses. Many people, however, are afraid to seek this compensation because they believe they cannot afford a medical malpractice lawyer. Thankfully, many attorneys work on a contingency basis with little or no up-front costs.
Contingency-Based Legal Fees
Contingency payments mean that you only pay for legal services when your case has been won. Attorneys basically work for free until a settlement is reached. Once the case has been settled, legal fees are paid from your settlement. This ensures that everyone has the opportunity for legal representation when they are injured.
On average, the cost for legal representation is 33% of a settlement. Some state bars allow the attorney fee to go as high as 40% in very complicated cases. Additionally, all related legal and medical fees associated with the case may be taken from the settlement amount. This will include copies of medical records, court fees, and legal paperwork.
Reducing the Overall Cost
In most cases, law firms will not negotiate their fees. These firms take a risk every time they accept a case without up-front fees. If your case is accepted and it does not win, your attorney is stuck with all of the costs associated with the case. Because of this risk, most lawyers feel that their fees are very fair.
There are, however, some ways you may be able to work with a law firm to reduce the costs of your case. For instance, if you obtain all the relevant medical records and give them to the firm, you can reduce a lot of fees. When a law firm requests copies of medical records, it can cost four to five times the amount you'd pay to print the same documents.
You can also reduce costs by limiting the amount of time you meet with or talk on the phone to your attorney. Clients are often charged for each meeting and phone call. Save all of your questions or concerns and have them all answered in one meeting. You can always ask your attorney if there are other things you can do that will help your case and reduce the fees associated with the process.