Monthly Archives: September 2018

Lawyer a Cut of the Personal Injury Settlement

You hire a lawyer and she takes all your money. You hire a personal injury lawyer and he takes all your settlement money. That’s how it works, right? You fight in court and only lawyers get paid? Well, myths abound about lawyers, but perhaps some of it is merited. Just like any other profession, lawyers are looking at their bottom line. That does not mean you should forgo a lawyer. How much does a lawyer get of your settlement? Can you ever go without a lawyer? How does a lawyer help? These questions are important. Let’s answer them.

Can you win?
How do you know if winning is possible? Usually if a professional personal injury lawyer is willing to take your case. You typically pay a portion – some, not all – of your settlement to your lawyer. Therefore, if no one wants to take on your case or will only do it by charging you beyond the settlement, you may consider not filing. Say you were in a car accident, broke your leg, and the injury caused you to miss six months work. Because you were hurt, medical damages should be covered. Because you missed work, that should be compensated. And then any emotional damages such as pain and suffering can be covered. This can really add up to a large number. On the other hand, if you suffered a very minor injury, twisting your ankle, it may not be worth anyone’s time to go through with a lawsuit. A good lawyer taking your case proves you have a chance.

What price should you pay your lawyer?
For personal injury lawsuits, as just noted a lawyer will take a portion of your final settlement. If you reach a fair number outside of court, which is very common, your lawyer takes a smaller portion, typically 25%. If you have to fight in court, the costs may be closer to 35% of the settlement. If a lawyer tries to take a large cut, such as half of the settlement, you should consider someone else.

Is a lawyer worth it?
An experienced personal injury lawyer protects your rights in and out of court. Since most cases are settled far before court, you may think you can forgo a lawyer and just take a cash settlement. True, you might avoid paying a lawyer fee, but you rarely will get the full amount you might have gotten. And that’s saying that the offer is even made without a lawyer. They may take you to court instead. In that case, a lawyer is essential.

How do you hire a lawyer?
You can find hundreds of lawyers in your state online, perhaps the quickest way to contact, evaluate, and hire an experienced personal injury lawyer. Many offer free consultations to get you started. Remember that if they charge too little, they may lack experience; and if they charge too much, they won’t be worth it.

Find Lawyers Onlin

If shopping to find lawyers online or the more traditional way, it is important to consider these resources to get the right information and the right lawyer.

1. Referrals are the traditional and still the number one resource to find lawyers wherever they may be. These resources can be in the form of relatives, friends, other lawyers and some colleagues or acquaintances who also needed the services of a lawyer. Ask the resources for recommendations.

2. In the past, it was not allowed to post an ad about lawyer services, but no longer. There are now various lawyers who post their services and contact numbers so people who go over magazines, newspapers and other printed media can take note of the numbers and give them a call. There should also be a list in the phone book listing the lawyer services according to their specialties. This should help narrow down the list to go over.

3. The internet is a beautiful resource technology and no one really ignores it. A simple entry on the browser to look for a specific lawyer or specialized lawyers should result to numerous results. There should also be an online directory of the top lawyers and law firms in the county, state and national level.

4. This fourth one is a fairly new concept. It is called a matching service for lawyers and clients. This is a service that will match to the searching client potential lawyers who may be the best to handle the specific case. However, this may not be a good way to keep the confidential information from the world-wide public.

5. The American Bar Association has its own website and it can offer recommendations on the specific lawyer chosen. This site can provide a background check on the lawyer like disciplinary actions taken against the lawyer or if the lawyer chosen is an actual lawyer, not a bogus one. There are many incidents of fake lawyers handling cases and many have already been victimized. Before signing up with the lawyer services, check out their educational background, their bar exam results if need be, even their license to practice. This website will also help the clients if they need to report any problems that may arise while working with that particular lawyer or group of lawyers.

There are so many lawyers out there and most of them are specialized in a specific field of the law. When searching, make sure to indicate what kind of lawyer is needed, this will shorten the length of time spent on the search.

Myths Made To Make You Fear Lawyers

Lawyers and Attorneys consistently get a bad rap from public opinion. Why is that? Most Lawyers are just people with a profession like you that only want to make an honest buck. Just because a small portion represents huge corporate interests that are unpopular the general public has demonized them. I hope to provide you in this article some of the Myths about Lawyers that consistently get passed by word of mouth without any facts to back them up. Lawyers are one of the cornerstones of business, if we didn’t have them criminals would go free and innocents would be executed.

1. All Lawyers are Sharks – The truth is that they are in a very competitive business that requires heated debate as its hallmark. Some take this so far as to manipulate circumstances to appear as they wish or force higher settlements but that is a small group. There are thieves in America but do we assume all American’s are thieves? Most lawyers are honest men and women trying to make a difference in the legal systems of their communities.

2. Lawyers are Overpaid – Often lawyers are actually far underpaid for their services. The average court case requires a lot more than what you see in the courtroom. Legal documentation can be some of the most tedious reading ever, they can take a long time to review and to make sure they missed nothing. Before ever stepping foot in the court they have to interview you, design a brief for the judge, outline their case and review all legal documentation and evidence. This amounts to hundreds of hours usually, even a burger flipper would get a few thousand dollars for that amount of time and effort.

3. Attorneys Try to Draw Out Cases – This is entirely on a person to person basis and exists in every industry, your mechanic does it, your employees do it etc. Most Attorneys have so many cases that resolving them all in a quick manner would be refreshing, often they have finished dozens of other cases before managing to put together a brief for a complicated one. The majority of the time this isn’t because of malice or avarice, it is because the case is very complex and requires many legal hoops to be jumped through.

4. All Good Lawyers are Loud & Boistrous – This isn’t always the case, a lot of the “magic” they perform is paperwork and hours of intense study. The news has sensationalized the image of the lawyer banging his fists and nearly committing contempt in order to achieve true justice. The true crusaders of the endless litigation battle do most of their work in the quiet of their offices. Often times they don’t even get a half an hours worth of time to speak their case. Passion for justice and their client’s cases is great, but it isn’t always exemplified by boisterous natures.

5. Lawyers All Hate Each other – Sometimes in the motions of a court hearing one of the lawyers gets succinctly defeated in a way that damages his reputation. This causes him to lose business and in turn revenue. This will cause animosity in any industry but it does not mean that all Lawyers burn their bridges, if that were true there would be no firms or partnerships. Often times the nature of the legal system causes many lawyers to work together in many scenarios and then face eachother as opposition the next year. There is a certain camaraderie between Lawyers in most larger cities. They are competitors in the same way sports stars are, when the games done most hold no hard feelings over who won or lost, it’s the fans that get furious with eachother, just as clients do for Lawyers.

6. Every Attorney has About the Same Training – This is completely untrue and makes it seem as though only experience makes a lawyer competent. In reality the situation is far more complicated than it may seem, A Probate or Estate Attorney will not necessarily be a competent Defense Attorney. Also location and available resources dictate a lot of how well educated a Lawyer is when they leave law school. If they lived in an area with a large population and lots of seminars they are likely to be better trained than someone that practices in a small city. Also laws change so frequently that age may even cause an issue because they may work on the basis of old laws.

7. You Don’t Need an Attorney – Wrong. The insurance industry wants us to believe that lawyers are an unnecessary bump in the legal system; they just want to keep more of your settlement money. They have entire divisions within their companies designed to cut payouts to the minimum necessary. Even outside of that some people think taking it upon themselves to run their own defense is intelligent. Do they honestly think that they know the legalities of our complicated system better than someone who deals with it on a daily basis? A lawyer is going to have resources and information that would not be easily available or apparent to the common citizen.

8. If I Already Have an Offer I Don’t Want An Attorney – Some people find themselves not wanting to talk to a Lawyer once they see the sum of money they are being offered, afraid the Lawyer will take a large portion. The common fee is in excess of 1/3 after all, but with a Lawyer on your side you may find your settlement offer gets much larger. Often you will not make claims for items because you are unsure if you legally qualify, a good Personal Injury Attorney will be able to find those items you missed and most of the time makes the increased amount far greater than that of the original offer.

9. Insurance Rates Are Going Up Because of Lawsuits – This is being painted in a bad light, of course insurance rates are going up but that is not through fault of the Lawyer, it is the high profit margins the Insurance Industry demands that cause this ever increasing rate. Frivolous lawsuits are not caused by the Lawyers but by their clientele’s demands and deceits. Insurance Companies will use any factor they can to increase rates justifiably and legal costs is an easy scapegoat.

10. Trial Attorneys Charge Hourly – Some Attorneys do charge an hourly rate but this is far from standard practice, there is a precedent that was made only decades after the founding of our country that made it so anyone could obtain representation by paying a percentage of their award at the end of trial. They do this at great risk, they could end up spending months fighting a case that their client lied about to them and they make no money for their hard work.

Estate Planning Isn’t All About Lawyers

You’re First Consideration, whether you are a young adult of age 18 or a senior of age 65 plus, you need to set up a viable estate plan that protects and provides your loved ones with financial security. So who than should be considered the best possible combination of professionals needed in setting up such a valuable plan?

Make no mistake, there are books and a multitude of software packages available containing pre-written legal documents that are available for your purchase and subsequent use. However, bear in mind Federal laws change and State laws vary on estate planning issues. An outdated form or one containing the incorrect legal terminology can most certainly invalidate or at minimum, create an extended probate of what you thought was a drum-tight estate plan.

Don’t get me wrong, I’d be the first to admit that I have the highest regard for the hard core do-it-yourself individual. However, when it comes to estate planning and all the complex legal issues, I’d also be the first to highly recommend one seek the advice of the schooled professionals. Recommended, with a professionalism requirement in mind, here are some fields of expertise you should consider in achieving a complete estate planning team;

ACCOUNTANT – One of the most personal financial documents you complete annually is your state and federal tax returns. If you use a tax consultant, no one is usually more familiar with your financial situation than these accountants. If you run your own business, the accountant is the one who completes the check and balance sheets. So of course, use your accountant to assist in gathering the information necessary to put together a good estate plan that holds no oversights.

ATTORNEY – Like many professional fields, attorneys as well have specific fields and levels of competence. So, you do not need a criminal lawyer, patent attorney, bankruptcy or medical malpractice specialist configuring your estate plan. Usually a good estate planning attorney can be found under the Family Practice area of expertise. These attorneys are highly capable in drafting wills and preparing the many trusts available for your consideration should you decide such an instrument is needed. There are many other documents available as well and these practicing attorneys are schooled in the essential elements needed to satisfy specific legal requirements. To narrow down your search needs, see my article “Selecting an Estate Planning Attorney.”

FINANCIAL PLANNER – When it comes to estate planning, the financial planner’s specialty is giving advice to you about the multitude of programs and investments available to suit your means. Let there be no doubt, your money can always be more productive! Just remember, there are professionals and there are those that hang a shingle claiming to be an expert. For your own protection and ultimate well being, consider exploring a financial planner that belongs to a National Professional Group. For additional information you can contact the Financial Planning Association at, fpanet.org: the Society of Financial Service Professionals at, financialpro.org: and/or the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors at napfa.org.

LIFE INSURANCE UNDERWRITER – Across the age spectrum it is not unreasonable to state that most of us are underinsured. When it comes to estate planning, life insurance should be an integral part of this plan. Young families should consider Term Insurance which would provide necessary support for a family should one or both parents die. There may be a need for life insurance to make your estate more liquid for example – to pay the taxes without being required to sell assets to settle this debt. Your life insurance underwriter is the most suitable one to determine your needs and the subsequent amount and type of insurance that most favorably meets those needs.

TRUST OFFICER – To help manage your assets even better, you might consider a retirement trust. Perhaps you have already established a trust for your minor children. Talking to your bank or financial institute’s trust officer about their fees and services is most certainly, time well spent. Particularly about trust’s established for minors, as they could require a trust guardian to avoid squandering inherited assets because of their blind faith or immaturity.

In summary, You may or may not need every member of the estate planning team suggested, or at least all of them at any given time within your lifespan. As you grow and achieve the more complex your estate becomes. Thus, the more likely the chances you will have to call upon the range and far reaching capabilities of the professional services suggested.

In conclusion , just as in the current day real estate market, within the estate planning market, it is a buyer’s market as well. So remember, you are doing the hiring! You are not the one being employed and as such, despite the wealth of legal knowledge your team has, you remain in charge of the decision making process. You are the boss and the estate plan you decide upon is a final decision you make based upon your teams professional and legal advice.