Negotiating Fees with Your Lawyer
It is important to remember that when you are hiring an attorney, you are choosing a professional to represent yourself. You do not have to hire the first attorney that you meet with. The most important factor in choosing your attorney should be integrity. If you feel that you can truly trust your attorney, and you feel that they understand you and your specific problem, go with them. Another important factor is experience. Not just experience practicing law in general. That may seem helpful, but what is far more important is that lawyer’s level of experience in your particular area of concern. If you are looking to plan your estate, and you want your loved ones to inherit as much as possible and you want them to be protected, you will choose an attorney who specializes in estate planning and understands, wills, trusts, and tax law. When you are injured by the negligence of another, you want a lawyer who specializes in helping accident victims just like you. Most attorneys in Southern Utah will not send away cases. They want your business and they will go to any lengths to handle your case themselves. Unfortunately, this is not in your best interest. If each attorney would refer to other attorneys who specialize in one particular area of practice, the public would benefit. You do not want an estate planning attorney using you as their guinea pig for handling a personal injury lawsuit. Not a good idea. Make sure to go with an attorney that you trust, who specializes in what you need.
Once you have found a lawyer that fits that profile, you may be able to negotiate a reduced fee based on the facts of your particular case. Many times, negotiating for a lower fee will not be possible because of one of the following two reasons. First, the possible recovery may not be large enough. If your case is not worth very much, it would not make much sense for a lawyer to work very hard on it, and then to only get paid very little. The second obstacle to negotiating would be if there is a good chance that you would not win your case in court. If a particular case looks like it might lose, an attorney will likely not be able to lower his or her fee because he or she is already taking all the risk. Why would a lawyer who works on a contingency fee be willing to put a great deal of time and money at risk when there is not much chance of a large recovery? No smart lawyer would do that. For that reason, asking for a reduced fee when your case is weak may not be the best idea.
When you do have a strong case, and it may be worth a substantial sum, many reasonable lawyers will be happy to consider reducing their standard fee. You may have some room to negotiate. If that is the case, you may be able to put even more money in your pocket to help you recover after an injury. Bring this idea up with your attorney, if you have chosen one who is honest and can represent your interests well, he or she will be happy to go over your options with you. Hiring the right attorney at the right price may be the most important thing you do on your road to recovery after a car accident.
This article is offered only for general information and educational purposes. It is not offered as and does not constitute legal advice or legal opinion. You should not act or rely on any information contained in this article without first seeking the advice of an attorney.