Just How Are Personal Injury Attorneys Paid?

In most personal injury cases, the clients and their attorneys have a lot of leeway in determining the fee arrangements. How the personal injury lawyer will get paid is often determined by the side of the case that they represent, being either the defendant who allegedly caused an injury or the plaintiff bring the claim.

Most plaintiff attorneys in the field of personal injury law get their payment under an arrangement known as a contingency fee agreement. In these agreements, attorneys don’t get paid for their legal services unless they are successful in obtaining any kind of recovery for their client. This usually involves a certain percentage, typically 33 percent, of the amount that is recovered via trial judgment or a personal injury settlement.

Given this particular arrangement, many personal injury attorneys for plaintiffs will push hard for a negotiated settlement so they can make the most money in the quickest amount of time, while avoiding the work of a trial.

Personal injury attorneys working for defendants usually go along the more traditional lines of billable hours. This might involve a retainer fee, blended hourly rates, and hourly caps.

In many cases, insurers are who pay the personal injury attorneys of defendants, considering how an accident and subsequent lawsuit might trigger the liability coverage that the defendant has. Insurance carriers will typically have their own rules and guidelines about how to pay lawyers, but if a lawsuit legally triggers their policy, then they are obligated to provide legal defense to the policy holder. This is contractually mandatory even in situations where the plaintiff’s case is so strong and obvious that a positive defense or good outcome is seriously unlikely.

In such cases, the lawyers would very much like to avoid a trial where a sympathetic jury could award serious compensation. As such, they try and push settlements quickly too.

M. Daisy Everhart, Attorney at Law

I serve clients involved in interstate, international, and overseas matters related to family law, as well as legal matters involving simple wills and probate administration.

I provide dedicated and experienced legal representation in the following areas:

Divorce
Every divorce proceeding is unique. You need an experienced and skilled attorney to be an advocate for you and your family’s best interests.  I handle both straightforward, uncomplicated divorces as well as more difficult dissolution’s involving complex division of assets.  You can trust in me to provide the dedicated and experienced counsel you need to safeguard the well being of you and your children.

Child Support, Child Custody & Visitation Rights
Issues relating to children, including support obligations, child custody, and visitation are among the most important issues we face.  I recognize the long-term implications these decisions can have on a child, and I am committed to fighting for the best interests of children while never losing sight of the needs of the parents.  If you have legal issues that have a serious impact on your children, you need an attorney you can trust to resolve these difficult issues in a sensitive manner. 

International Custody Disputes
I also handle family law matters that cross international borders.  In these cases, you need the assistance of an attorney with special skills that will enable you to help resolve these disputes involving international custody. I handle all relevant situations, including when children are removed form one country against the wishes of a parent (international kidnapping), or when custody needs to be decided between a parent in the U.S. and another parent in a foreign country.

Modifications to Orders and Enforcements
It is often necessary to seek legal assistance to enforce the terms and conditions of an existing order, as well as modify or make changes to an existing order pertaining to child support, child custody, or visitation rights. I also deal with the most common enforcement issues, such as nonpayment of child support and failure to comply with established periods of possession.

Paternity
Fathering a child does not automatically establish that parent’s legal rights to custody or visitation with the child.  Nor does it automatically establish the legal duty to financially support the child. I assist biological parents who voluntarily acknowledge paternity to establish their legal rights to their children.  I also can help clients bring an involuntary paternity suit against a biological parent for purposes of securing child support for the child.

Adoptions
Adoption is the process of replacing biological parents with adoptive parents. Prior to adoption, however, all connection with the biological parent or parents must be severed, either by the death of the parent or by the judicial termination of their parental rights. I handle all issues regarding adoptions, whether it is a grandparent adoption, stepparent adoption, foreign adoption, or private adoption.

Wills & Probate
I also assist with the drafting of simple wills, living wills, or handling issues involving probate administration of a will.