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Can You Afford To Hire A San Antonio Personal Injury Attorney?

You may have heard stories of lawyers charging $200, $400 or even $500 an hour. These stories would certainly make you wonder if you can afford to hire a San Antonio personal injury lawyer if you suffer an injury.

Fortunately, the answer to the question “can you afford to hire a San Antonio personal injury attorney” is a very simple “yes.”

How you can afford a good San Antonio personal injury attorney

If attorneys are charging $200 or more an hour, it’s because they are working on an hourly fee basis. When an individual or company hires one of these attorneys to represent him or her in, say, a criminal case or some kind of white-collar case, the attorney will bill by the hour and, as you can imagine, the total costs can become astronomical. For example, if you were to hire an attorney because you are accused of embezzling from your employer, it might cost you $2000 or $3000 a week.

In comparison, a personal injury attorney almost always works on a contingency fee basis. He will consult with you initially free to assess your case. If he agrees that you have a case worth pursuing, your personal injury attorney will take a percentage of the settlement–that is, how much money he can win for you. In the State of Texas, contingency fees can range from 25% to 40%. If all your attorney has to do is negotiate a settlement with an insurance company, he may take only the 25%. However, if the case ends up going to trial, your fee could be as high as that 40%.San Antonio personal injury attorney can help with medical bills

 Why so much?

Personal injury attorneys feel, and most people agree, that if they need to try a case, there will most likely be much higher out-of-pocket expenses. For example, your attorney may have to pay expert witnesses to help prove that the other party was at fault or to verify your medical expenses. A personal injury attorney will pay these, and then count on being reimbursed when the case is settled. As you might imagine, this represents a gamble on your lawyer’s part. If he was to spend $10,000 or $12,000 on expert witnesses and then lose their case in court, they would be out that money but here’s the good news … you would not.

Personal injury cases can be very complicated

Personal injury cases can be so complicated that you really can’t afford to not hire a San Antonio personal injury attorney.

Take an automobile accident as an example. You could be driving along, minding your own business, when another driver broadsides you. On the face of it, it might seem that the other driver was 100% at fault. However, that driver’s insurance company will do its best to prove that you contributed to the accident, which is called contributory negligence. If the insurance company can prove that you were 20%, 30%, or 40% negligent, this would dramatically affect your settlement. In fact, if the insurance company could prove that you were 40% at fault, you would might collect only 60% of the total settlement.

However, an experienced and skilled San Antonio personal injury attorney could help build a case that would show the other party was 100% at fault to get you the settlement you deserve.

So the question is not how can you afford to hire a personal injury attorney, it’s how can you afford not to?

Benefits Of Hiring A San Antonio Injury Lawyer

You probably know that if you were to slip on a puddle of cola in a supermarket and sustain injuries, you could sue that store for a slip and fall injury.

But what if you were about to open a bottle of cola and it exploded in your face causing an injury? Would you sue the store, the company that made the cola, the company that manufactured the bottle or all three?

Whether your injury seems simple or even more complicated, there are good reasons to hire a San Antonio injury lawyer.

Six benefits of hiring a San Antonio injury lawyer

  • A San Antonio injury lawyer is experienced in injury law. He or she will have years of experience with injury law and can help determine who or what caused your injury (who was at fault) and who should be sued.
  • A San Antonio personal injury lawyer is skilled at negotiating with insurance companies.  The number one objective of an insurance company in an injury case is to settle your claim as quickly and as inexpensively as possible. Your personal injury lawyer has experience working with insurance companies and can get you a much better settlement than you would be able to get on your own.
  • A San Antonio injury attorney can help you build your case. You can seek compensation for a number of expenses that might not ever occur to you. For example, if you require in-home therapy, crutches or a wheel chair, yo
    The Bexar County, Texas Courthouse located at ...

    San Antonio Injury Lawyer works in Bexar county courthouse

    u can be compensated for these expenses, along with doctor’s visits, oxygen therapy and many other legitimate expenses.

  • A San Antonio accident lawyer can get you compensated for pain and suffering and mental distress.  When you’re injured, you not only have out-of-pocket expenses, you will have suffered pain and probably mental distress. You may not have thought you could be compensated for your pain, but a accident lawyer will make sure you do. He or she will have had experience in gauging intangibles such as pain and distress and will know how to put a price tag on them to get you the best possible settlement.
  • A San Antonio personal injury law firm can represent you in court. There are times when your lawyer and the insurance company are just not able to agree to a settlement that would be fair to you. In these cases, your personal injury law firm can file suit and try your case in a court of law. In fact, in some instances just filing suit can force the insurance company to come up with a better settlement offer.
  • A San Antonio injury lawyer doesn’t cost you anything out-of-pocket. Injury lawyers will usually consult with you initially for free. If he or she agrees that you have a claim worth pursuing, you can almost count on being charged what’s called a contingency fee. This means your lawyer will be compensated by taking a percentage of whatever settlement she or he wins for you. This percentage usually varies from 25% to 40%, depending on how much work the lawyer has to do.

If you are injured for any reason, you could handle your claim yourself. But the best answer is to hire a San Antonio injury lawyer – to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.

San Antonio Injury Lawyer

Being injured can be one of the worst things that can happen to you. And a personal injury can take many forms. You can be injured at work, by a product, by a doctor or dentist or while shopping. You can suffer a personal injury as the result of an assault, because you slipped on a patch of ice or due to your working conditions. Of course, the most prevalent personal injury is one that happens as the result of a car accident.

A San Antonio Injury Lawyer Can Help

There are many ways that you can be injured. In some cases the fault will be your and you won’t be entitled to any monetary damages. However, in many of these cases another party caused the injury and you may be entitled to compensation. These cases can be complicated, complex and confusing, which is why you need a San Antonio injury lawyer to help you understand whether or not you have a case against some other individual or party and if so, how much you can expect to receive in compensation.

The importance of consulting a San Antonio Injury Lawyer

Auto accidents are not only the most common type of personal injury; they can be the most complicated. Texas law makes these accidents even more complex as it recognizes something called “degree of fault.” So, even though you think the other driver was totally responsible for your accident, it’s possible that you could be found to be 15% or 20% responsible. And this will definitely affect the amount of monetary damages you can expect to receive. And you may not receive any money at all unless you have a San Antonio injury lawyer.

A wrecked car in Durham, North Carolina.

Image via Wikipedia

If you were involved in a road traffic accident, did the other driver actually run a red light? Had he or she been drinking? Was he or she served too many drinks? Did the other car’s brakes fail? Did the other driver have a vision problem? Was he or she speeding or driving on the wrong side of the median?

A San Antonio injury lawyer can help you find answers to these questions and prove the other driver was negligent. Your injury lawyer will be able to hire expert witnesses if necessary to help prove that the other driver was 100% at fault. This can include experts in auto accident re-creations who use high-speed cameras, video cams and computers to re-create the accident and show that the fault was not yours. Your auto accident lawyer can also hire expert medical witnesses to testify about the extent of your injuries and the treatment you required.

 What to expect

When you first consult with a San Antonio injury lawyer, he or she will be fact gathering. He or she will discuss the injury with you from your point of view–what you believe happened, why you feel the other party was responsible and what sort of medical treatment you have received. He or she will answer whatever questions you might have regarding the other person’s (or company’s) negligence, how the case will precede and what you might expect to get in compensation.

Settlement discussions

The attorney may hire someone to do a preliminary investigation and to gather evidence that can be used when he or she discusses the case with the other person’s or company’s insurer. In most cases, the other insurer will attempt to negotiate a settlement with you and your lawyer because this costs the company much less then if they have to try the case in court.

Your lawyer will talk to you about this settlement discussion and will advise you as to whether or not you should settle, depending on what the other insurance company has offered. There may actually be several settlement discussions, depending on the severity of your injuries and the complexity of the accident. At some point, you may agree to a settlement or conversely, you and your lawyer may determine that you just cannot reach a satisfactory settlement.

If this is the case, the next step for your attorney will be to file suit against the other person or company whom an insurance company will actually defend. Sometimes the mere act of filing suit will force the insurance company’s attorney to come to you with a better settlement offer.

Trying your case

If your attorney and the defendant’s attorney are still unable to reach a satisfactory settlement, you will have to go to trial. There will be a judge and jury, your attorney, the insurance company’s attorney and quite possibly a number of expert witnesses. Your attorney may hire these types of experts to testify on your behalf as well as medical experts to testify about the severity of your injuries.

The opposing attorney will also have his or her expert witnesses to counter the testimony of your witnesses. As you can imagine, hiring all these experts can get very expensive. However, your attorney will probably have taken your case on what’s called a contingency fee basis. This means that he or her takes a percentage of the settlement. This is usually done on a sliding scale. The more work the attorney had to do, the higher the percentage. The highest is if he or she has to try the case in court.

Your compensation

How much money you can expect to receive in compensation for your personal injury will depend on a number of factors. This typically includes your out-of-pocket and medical expenses. The out-of-pocket expenses can include such things as crutches, a wheelchair and physical therapy. Medical expenses include the cost of emergency room care, hospital costs, in-patient treatment, office visits, chiropractic care and any other medical care required as a result of your injury. You can also be compensated for lost wages and what is called “conscious pain and suffering.”

Naturally, the more serious your accident was and the more medical attention you required, the bigger your settlement will be. In other words, if you were rear ended and suffered what is called a “whiplash” injury, you can expect to receive a smaller amount of money then if you are suffering from a disease caused by your working conditions such as mesothelioma.

As you can see, personal injuries can be very. It is really impossible for you to successfully take on an insurance company all by yourself and expect to get the settlement you really deserve. You need to find a San Antonio injury lawyer who has experience in handling personal injury cases and who has had experience dealing with insurance companies – to make sure you get a settlement that is fair and just.