Last Updated: November 4, 2022

When (and how much) Do I Have To Pay The Injury Lawyer?

When Will I See Money From The Case?

In this article, I will address when, how much, and how quickly you might anticipate receiving payment for the lawyer. The reason I'm doing this is that I was speaking to a man late last week who had signed up with my office. We had a conversation and went over some of this information, and he had read and watched some of my videos and articles. I think just out of a sense of caution, he wanted to confirm that you don't have toe attorney out of your pocket while the case is pending, but in injury cases, it's unquestionably true.

So this man had a workers' compensation case. In other areas of law, such as, say, filing for a divorce or wanting to patent an invention, you pay the attorney, and if you stop paying them, they quit. However, in a personal injury case, you never pay the attorney out of your own money. If you hire a lawyer, they will receive a portion of whatever money they can recover for you; but, if they are unsuccessful in their efforts to recover compensation for you, they will not be compensated. And, when you think about it, it makes sense; wounded individuals are frequently under a great deal of stress. Everyone I talk to nowadays is under financial stress, even if they are not hurt and are working; the last thing someone going through a crisis needs is financial stress, especially if they are hurt and are not working. The benefit of an injury case is that you don't have to pay your lawyer out of pocket; you don't have to pay them weekly, monthly, or in any other way; you don't have to give them a retainer that they bill against; they only get paid after the case, after you know when you get your money so long and short like Readers Digest on all of this and that.

What do you pay a lawyer? 

Well, in workers’ compensation cases, the fee is typically 20 percent of the money the lawyer recovers for you; this is mandated by Illinois law. In third-party cases, such as car accidents, nursing home abuse, falls, dog bites, bicycle accidents, and motorcycle accidents, the lawyer typically charge one-third of the total damages if they can settle your case, or they frequently charge up to 40 percent if the case must be litigated; this is what my contracts are. That's what I've always done; you know, I worked at a lot of places before I became a lawyer, or before I established my firm about 17 years ago, and every place has that split contract. Why? Because in a third-party case, the costs and time involved in the case increase exponentially once you file a lawsuit.

The amount of investigation, work, lawyer time, staff time, and money that the lawyer has to advance out of his or her pocket in your case also increases significantly. The lawyer must appear in court once every 60 to 90 days in your case, and if there are any strong feelings involved, written Discovery is required. As a result, the percentage fee increases if a case goes to trial. However, since a high percentage of my cases settle, my fee usually amounts to a third of the total value of the case. If this is not the case, I am fairly flexible with my fees, depending on the outcome. For example, if we have to compromise and settle for less than we had hoped for because the case is difficult or the opposition has weak evidence, I am willing to be reasonable with my attorney's fees.

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Benefits In Workers' Compensation

But in any event, that is how it works; you don't pay the attorney until the conclusion of the case. This man's other concern was when can I anticipate money because he had a worker's compensation case. I said, "You're hiring me after the company has an established defense and they're cutting you off like it's going to take me a little time to get in front of the judge.” So what I do, your benefits in workers’ compensation, you're entitled to receive two-thirds of your pay every week or every other week with a doctor's note, but that's just because you're entitled to it under the ACT.

Doesn't always imply they'll give it to you. Often, after giving it to you, they'll chop it off for record-keeping purposes. To find out what the issue is, I always start by getting in touch with the workers' compensation insurance company's insurance adjuster. On occasion, they may have what lawyers refer to as a substantive defense, which means they believe they can defeat your legal requests that they pay you while you're off work by going to court. Sometimes, however, all that is required is a doctor's letter from a certain date and the request that your client undergoes an independent medical examination (IME). It's a defense medical examination since the defense consistently uses the same doctors who have written notes on previous cases. As a result, the examination is somewhat fraudulent.

I shouldn't say that because some excellent IME physicians perform a respectable job; still, it appears to me like more than half of them. It is the usual procedure if it is and if it can be claimed that it is not job-related. If they can claim that you have medical care and don't require any medical care and they want to send you back to work, they will do so if they believe they can get away with it. It's because the insurance provider pays those doctors. Anyhow, under workers' compensation, you have the right to be compensated while you're off work and get a lump sum payment after the case to account for the physical changes you have undergone. 

I hope this information is helpful. If you or a loved one needs legal representation, please think about giving me a call for a free consultation at 312-500-4500. It might take some time for me to get your benefits reinstated, which is why I advise people to hire a lawyer as soon as possible if they are injured at work or in any other kind of accident.

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