If you’ve been injured in an accident and are seeking legal representation, you may be considering signing a personal injury attorney contract. Before signing on the dotted line, however, there are a few things you should consider to make sure the agreement is beneficial for both parties. Keep reading to learn what you need to know about your personal injury attorney contract.
Most personal injury attorney contracts include details about the fee arrangement that will be used for payment. It’s important to make sure that you understand the fee structure before agreeing to it. For example, some law firms may require payment of fees upfront or require a percentage of any settlement amount as payment. Additionally, make sure that any additional fees associated with your case (e.g., costs related to filing motions or obtaining expert testimony) are included in the agreement and are acceptable to both parties.
Terms of Engagement
A good personal injury attorney contract should include details about the terms of engagement between you and your lawyer. This includes when services will begin and end, how often communication will take place, who will be responsible for which tasks, and which methods of communication will be used. Make sure these terms are clearly laid out in the agreement so that there is no confusion later down the road. When signing a contract with a reputable firm, such as Wingfield, Ginsburg & Lipp, PC, feel free to ask any questions you have about the contract you’re signing.
Your personal injury attorney contract should also include information regarding how potential settlements or awards will be allocated between yourself and your lawyer—including any bonuses or incentives that may apply if certain goals are met during the course of representation (e.g., securing a high-dollar settlement amount). It’s essential to know exactly how much money you can expect to receive from your case before signing any agreements. This way, there won’t be any surprises at the end of your case when it’s time to settle.
Scope of Representation
Every personal injury attorney contract should also include information regarding the scope of representation. Including what tasks your lawyer is expected to perform during the course of litigation so make sure this is laid out clearly before signing anything. Additionally, make sure that both parties agree on what tasks fall outside of this scope so that expectations are managed properly throughout litigation proceedings.
Finally, every good personal injury attorney contract should have termination clauses included so that either party can withdraw from proceedings without incurring significant financial damages if necessary or desired. This includes provisions such as “no-fault” termination clauses in which no party is held liable in cases where one decides to terminate services prior to completing litigation proceedings. Conversely, “fault” clauses are where damages incurred by one party due to another’s breach must be paid out upon termination of services without cause or reason given by either party involved in said proceedings.
When it comes time for you to sign a contract with your personal injury attorney it’s important to understand all parts. This includes ensuring things like compensation structure and scopes of representations meet both parties’ needs/wants before binding yourself legally with another person/business for potentially long-term engagements resulting from such contracts being signed. By knowing all facets mentioned above, you can rest easy knowing all bases have been covered prior to entering into said contractual agreement. With this knowledge at hand, you can feel more confident moving forward with a potential legal representation arrangement.
Author information: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter: @RachelleWilber