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Hiring a Lawyer: Avoid the pitfalls.
- Is it better for me to hire a lawyer on an hourly basis or on a percentage basis?
- There are two methods of paying legal fees in injury cases. Under one method, your fees are based on the amount of time the lawyer spends on your case. Under the other, your fees are a percentage of your final settlement or court award. Under both methods, fees are not payable until you resolve your claim. Fees rates vary.
Most injured people don't like the idea of paying a lawyer on an hourly basis because they feel it is too uncertain. They do not know how much their claim will be worth or how many hours the lawyer may end up spending on their claim. In some cases, however, an injured person may end up paying a lawyer much less under an hourly fee agreement than under a contingency fee agreement.
It could be in the injured person's best interest to hire a lawyer on an hourly basis under the following circumstances:
- a person is catastrophically injured,
- the injured person is certainly not at all to blame for the accident,
- a court would very likely award damages of at least $1. 5 million dollars,
- the other driver has only $1 million dollars in third party liability coverage,
- the other driver has no substantial assets such as a house in his name,
- the other driver does not have a high income from which the injured person could recover damages over and above the other driver's insurance coverage,
- the injured person has only $1 million in underinsured motorist protection.