How Much Does a Long-Term Disability Lawyer Cost?October 07, 2016
If you’ve been injured in an accident that may result in long-term disability, you may be wondering: how much does a long-term disability lawyer cost? If you’re worried about the expense of hiring a lawyer, finding out about the fee structure and payment process can go a long way in helping you plan for your future.
Below, you’ll learn about the costs associated with long-term disability lawyers so you can make the best choice for your situation.
Common Fee Structures
Most people can’t afford to pay a lawyer on an hourly or flat fee basis. This is why long-term disability lawyers typically operate under a contingency fee structure, where you will owe them nothing unless they win your case. These fees usually range between 25% and 40% of the total amount you are awarded. This fee structure makes it possible for disabled parties to receive good legal assistance without having to financially overburden themselves by paying for it upfront.
Payment Processes for Long-Term Disability Lawyers
So how do disability lawyers get paid? Depending on whether you receive a lump sum or monthly payments for your settlement, the payment process will be different. If you receive a lump sum settlement from an insurance company, your lawyer will take out the percentage of the settlement you agreed to in your contingency fee agreement.
If the insurer has been asked or ordered to pay your benefits on a monthly basis, your lawyer will typically collect a percentage of your past-due benefits.
Any lawyer who requires payment for your future benefits should not be trusted. Make sure to work with a lawyer who does not require this.
Negotiating with Your Lawyer
If you have an especially strong long-term disability case, it’s easier to negotiate with your lawyer about fee amounts, for how much your disability lawyer will charge. For example, if you have supporting documentation from your physician and strong evidence like MRIs, lab tests, or x-rays, your case will be strengthened. Regardless of your case’s strength, it can be worth it to attempt to negotiate, remembering that 25% is typically the lowest percentage a lawyer takes in these cases. If the lawyer you have chosen is committed to terms you find unfair, look for someone else to work with.
Understanding Expense Agreements
In addition to the fee percentage you’ve agreed on, in most cases you’ll also have to repay your lawyer for any costs they incurred during your case. These costs typically include medical records costs, postage, filing fees and travel expenses.
Prior to hiring a lawyer, make sure you have a good understanding of the expenses you’ll incur and whether you’ll have to pay for them if you lose your case. Also make sure your lawyer provides you with an itemized list of charges when you’re billed. If any costs seem unrelated to your case, discuss them with your lawyer.
Why Are My Fees so High?
Because lawyers lose some cases, contingency cases are risky and fees are often higher than they would be if you paid an hourly or flat rate upfront. Although this is true, there is protection in place to ensure that the fees a lawyer charges are in line with the amount of work they performed on the case. This tends to keep lawyers from overcharging.
If you feel you’ve been severely overcharged, attempt to negotiate with your lawyer. At a minimum, your lawyer should be able to account for the hours they spent on your case. If you continue to have problems, you can have the bill assessed through the courts and/or file a formal complaint with your province’s bar association.
Reasons to Hire a Long-Term Disability Lawyer
Long-term disability lawyers know how to best utilize evidence to support your case. They can also take a lot of stress off of your plate by meeting deadlines, negotiating with insurers, and filing lawsuits against insurers when needed. Insurance companies are always backed by experienced legal teams and will often be skilled at denying claims from unrepresented parties.
If you’ve become disabled in an accident, it’s worth it to contact a long-term disability lawyer for a free consultation. You’ll learn more about your rights and find out exactly how much it will cost to get proper representation.
To better understand your rights, book a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer.
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