Many people are reluctant to hire an attorney due to the association of legal work with exorbitant costs. When asked to estimate the cost of professional legal services, some may even guess that it’s in the same range as an older vehicle or a men’s preowned Rolex.
It can be challenging to pinpoint how much your particular legal matter is going to cost you because of the complex nature of legal issues. Disputes are often governed by federal law, state law, and local law, so it can be challenging to come up with a ballpark estimate without going into the details of the matter. Nonetheless, there are a few ways to get a general idea of your total cost of service.
Determine the potential costs of representation with a consultation.
Fortunately, many law firms offer affordable options to people struggling to manage legal issues. In fact, depending on your specific legal matter, you may be able to obtain a free consultation. For example, a car accident lawyer is likely to offer free consultations to injury victims due to the sensitive nature of their case. People who have been involved in a car accident have a lot of financial stressors to accommodate.
Taking time off of work, medical expenses, and prescriptions may eat away at a person’s savings and leave them distressed about their financial situation. For this reason, many law firms choose to offer free consultations for these types of cases because they can help give a person general direction and put their mind at ease. A consultation is a short meeting with an attorney wherein you describe the aspects of your case. They will offer basic legal advice, and if necessary, outline the next steps for you to take and how much their assistance will cost.
Seek a law firm that operates on a contingency basis.
Some law firms bill their clients on a contingency. Attorneys who operate on a contingency basis do not take money for their services upfront. This can be a massive relief for people who are entangled in a legal matter that has negatively impacted their finances. A contingency fee arrangement involves a fixed percentage. This percentage can range from just a third to up to 40 percent of your final compensation.
What is my compensation?
Your compensation refers to the amount of money you will be awarded, should your case settle or be won in court. Although a third to 40 percent sounds like a big chunk of money, your lawyer is supposed to work towards earning you enough compensation to make up for all damages you have suffered.
For example, suppose you have been involved in a personal injury case. In that case, your settlement should cover all insurance costs, make up for the time you spent out of work, and pay all your medical expenses in full. To ensure you receive adequate compensation, it is recommended to keep track of all out-of-pocket expenses you incur due to your legal matter.
The legal industry is vast, and it can be challenging to know where to start. First, examine your circumstances and look into specializations. For instance, if you have been involved in a dispute with your landlord, research landlord-tenant disputes and the type of law that governs them.
Rules and regulations vary from state to state, so keep in mind that any information you find must be taken with a grain of salt until you compare it with your local statutes. Courthouse websites can be an excellent resource for people looking to gain insight into their legal matters. Additionally, websites like the American Bar Association’s or Nolo may be able to offer expert-backed legal information to guide you.