5 Tips for Paying for a Disability Lawyer
The type of fee arrangement you decide on with your lawyer will significantly impact the amount you spend on legal services. Legal fees depend on a variety of factors: the lawyer’s experience and reputation, the period taken to resolve your issue, overhead expenses involved and results obtained.
A few factors that will ensure you seamlessly recompense a disability lawyer depending on your needs and financial grounding include:
You can compensate the attorney only after winning the case
With a contingency fee agreement, the attorney’s services are free, and he/she only receives an entitlement after you win a case or get a settlement. There are many disability attorneys and advocates in Raleigh you can consult for contingency services.
Contingency fee agreements are the best option, but there are usually extra costs such as work, medical, school records and occasional medical examinations which your attorney will front you to pay.
Hourly fees settlements are perfect if you prefer tipping an attorney as the case proceeds
You can pay the lawyer directly for legal services on an hourly set rate as the case proceeds and upon winning the case keep the complete recovery. Under such an agreement, the attorney is more inclined to pursue your claim. Additionally, you will only be charged for the amount of work the attorney has done. However, for proper budgeting, you need to know in advance the total hours your case will be in court.
Upfront flat fees obligate you to pay the lawyer at the beginning of the case
Optionally, a lawyer can verify the amount of flat fee to be paid at the beginning of the case. Like for hourly arrangements, the claimant keeps the entire recovery upon winning in court but may refund attorney fees, costs, and interests. Under such an agreement, you know the total cost of your legal matter in advance, hence fewer fee disputes and savings if you negotiate for a lower price. However, you might overpay and even lose transparency of your costs.
With a retainer fee agreement, you can pay in the future
The client pays a set fee by the attorney’s hourly rate. A retainer is a “down payment” billed against future costs. The lawyer deducts the retainer fee from a special account set up.
Most retainer fees are non-refundable. And the lawyer is “on call” to handle your legal issues for some time. Notably, there is certainty in the amount of fee to be paid in a given period. However, the agreement may be subject to adjustments or renegotiations on the nature of work needed to be accomplished over time.
Installments/holdback fees are a good option for result-oriented clients
Holdback fees or installments are tailored to the client’s particular needs. The fee is a hybrid of flat-fee/contingency fee. As a client, you pay a portion of the agreed charges up front with the balance payable only upon winning your claim.
Reduced-fee-with-kicker payment settlements also fall under this category. The attorney settles for a relatively lower hourly fee. If he/she resolves your matters within a given time span, he/she receives bonuses.
Holdback fees are more predictable than regular hourly remunerations or full contingent payment options. Notably, the agreement may involve complex bookkeeping and can lead to disagreements after the success of the case.