Often, people who could benefit from the services of a lawyer assume that they cannot afford to hire one. Other times, people fear that they will spend their hard earned money on an attorney, only to have that money lost if the case is not returned in their favor. With large, corporate lawyers, this may be the case. But the exception to this trend in Illinois is found in a Chicago personal injury lawyer.
Personal injury lawyers differ from corporate and business lawyers. The role of a personal injury attorney is not to bicker over property or assets for the sake of greed. It is to give voice to the needs of people who have been wronged by others. Personal injury lawyers fight to recover what people rightfully deserve. So rather than charge an ‘arm and a leg’ for their services from the start, a high quality personal injury lawyer works on the basis of what is known as a contingency fee.
A contingency fee means that any and all payment to the attorney is contingent, or dependent, upon that attorney securing an award for the victim. If no award is recovered, there are no fees. But when an award is recovered, the attorney’s fees are paid out of the money won, generally as a percentage of the settlement.
Therefore, if a personal injury lawyer accepts your case, you know that means he or she is confident in their ability to recover damages for you. If they were not, they would not take the case for fear of not getting paid. Contingency fees are incentive for the attorney to make sure the case is as strong as possible, and assurance to the victim that the attorney is sincere in their representation of the victim. Ultimately, the more successful the case, the greater the benefit to both parties involved.
For example, imagine a woman named Linda is riding her bicycle in in the appropriate bicycle lane, downtown Chicago, when she is struck by an SUV. Linda sustains minimal head injury (she was wearing a helmet) but does suffer three broken ribs, a broken leg, and a sprained wrist. She contacts a Chicago personal injury lawyer, who comes to meet her at the hospital for free to discuss her accident.
When the personal injury lawyer learns that Linda teaches bicycle safety classes and that the driver of the SUV was on a cell phone, this is a good indication that Linda’s case is strong. The lawyer agrees to take the case, even though Linda has no money with which to pay him. With the incentive of working hard for Linda’s rights, and for recovering a part of the settlement, the Chicago injury lawyer gets to work researching and assembling Linda’s case.
Ultimately, a $50,000 settlement is won in Linda’s favor. This is enough to cover Linda’s medical expenses, lost wages during the hospital stay, physical therapy for the broken leg, and a new bicycle; it also accounts for pain and suffering. An additional portion is awarded strictly to punish the driver, who has now caused two accidents while talking on the phone.
Through this settlement, Linda’s expenses are more than covered. Without Linda ever having to pay out of pocket, the Chicago injury lawyer receives a portion of the settlement, which covers the expenses of the court case and rewards he and his team for their hard work in successfully securing the case to cover Linda’s injuries.