If another person’s negligence has left you mentally or physically hurt and at a financial loss, legal assistance can feel out of reach.
You may have heard the term pro bono related to criminal defense. Pro bono is a Latin phrase that means work taken on free of charge. Pro bono attorneys offer free legal help as a noble service to people in need, usually as a form of charity or social responsibility.
That said, since most pro bono lawyers focus on special causes and human rights cases, you may be asking yourself, what is a pro bono personal injury lawyer; is there any such thing?
Here’s the Short Answer to What is a Pro Bono Personal Injury Lawyer:
A pro bono personal injury lawyer takes on personal injury cases without charging any fees to the client, even if you win. However, such lawyers are very rare and virtually nonexistent because personal injury law is different from other areas of law where you commonly see pro bono work.
- It’s standard practice for lawyers to charge hourly rates in many areas of the law, such as family, divorce, criminal, estate planning, corporate, tax, business, entertainment, immigration, and mediation.
- Conversely, Personal injury lawyers typically work on a contingency fee basis, which means you only pay them if they win the case and recover compensation for the client.
- Since the lawyer takes their fee out of the winnings or settlement, the client doesn’t pay anything upfront, and the lawyer is motivated to work hard and win the case.
Pro bono work is relatively unheard of in personal injury law.
However, thanks to the practice of contingency fees of personal injury attorneys like Zinda Law Group, you can still get aggressive and capable legal representation without paying anything upfront.
Still, while pro bono personal injury lawyers are rare, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any out there at all.
Let’s take a deeper look at whether there is such a thing as a pro bono personal injury lawyer. We’ll explore how to find a pro bono personal injury lawyer and examine your alternate options for free legal resources.
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How to Find a Pro Bono Personal Injury Lawyer
Finding a pro bono accident lawyer is challenging because there are high costs inherent in personal injury cases. To be what’s considered a pro bono personal injury lawyer, a lawyer must take personal injury cases without getting paid, whether they win or lose.
- Pro bono attorneys typically deal with civil justice cases for people who can’t afford legal representation.
- The standard cutoff for pro bono qualification is 125% below the federal poverty level, although this varies between organizations.
If you’re determined to find a pro bono lawyer near you, here are the first steps:
- Try contacting a legal aid office in your state, either through online searches or through community resource centers and local non-profit services.
- Use the American Bar Association’s Map to find a pro bono attorney on the local level.
However, as we said earlier, pro bono lawyers are rare and almost nonexistent in personal injury law. Even if you convince a pro bono attorney to take your personal injury case, they likely don’t have the experience or resources to handle it effectively and secure the settlement you deserve.
Personal injury lawyers typically offer free consultations and charge you a percentage of your settlement money. The percentage pays them for their time and working hours and recuperates the high costs of working a personal injury case.
Why Don’t Pro Bono Lawyers Take Personal Injury Cases?
Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. For the most part, a contingency fee agreement gives the attorney a pre-arranged, fixed percentage of your settlement. Some of the areas that pro bono lawyers can help with are:
- Housing Situations
- Issues with Landlords or Tenants
- Domestic Abuse
- Assistance for Veterans
- Losing a Job
- Retirement Benefits
- Debt and Credit Problems
- Human Rights and Social Justice
- Immigration Issues
Since finding a pro bono accident attorney is close to impossible, you’re probably wondering if there are other options for accessible or affordable legal assistance. Insurance companies can be aggressive, invasive, and hard to deal with, especially while you’re recovering from a personal injury.
Due to the recent trauma, most clients we work with are in a strained financial situation, making advice from an hourly lawyer unrealistic.
Let’s consider some alternate options to pro bono personal injury attorneys.
Is There an Alternative to Pro Bono Accident Lawyers?
The most realistic option for “free” legal support after a personal injury is hiring a contingency fee lawyer. A contingency fee agreement means your lawyer’s payment is contingent, or dependent, on the outcome of your case.
However, contingency agreements can vary depending on the lawyer, the case, and what state you live in.
We’ll cover a few different types of contingency fee agreements in the next section.
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How to Find Legal Help for a Personal Injury When You Can’t Afford a Lawyer:
Again, if the negligence of someone else left you with an injury, an expensive hourly attorney isn’t your only option. You can get legal help without paying anything upfront by hiring a personal injury lawyer who works on a contingency fee basis.
Some lawyers may charge a lower settlement percentage and an hourly fee. Others may ask you to pay for their expenses if they lose your case.
Our contingency fee agreements at Zinda Law Group include expenses and don’t charge you anything unless we win your case.
For example, let’s say your contingency fee agreement gives your attorney 35% of your recovery plus expenses, and the attorney spends $10,000 covering your case expenses. Let’s assume you settle for $250,000. After recuperating expenses plus the 35% fee you agreed to, your attorney takes $97,500 from the 250k, and you collect $152,500. The fees come out of the settlement from the insurance company, not your pocket.
Before you hire a contingency fee lawyer, ask them how they calculate their fee and what other charges you may face. The type of case and their policies affect the percentage they take, so read the contract carefully.
Final Thoughts on Is There Such Thing as a Pro Bono Accident Lawyer:
To conclude, pro bono accident lawyers are scarce and almost nonexistent due to the high costs involved in personal injury cases.
Therefore, most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t have to pay anything unless they win your case and get you compensation. You don’t have to worry about your financial obligation until the settlement is secured.
If you have any more questions about pro bono vs contingency fee lawyers, or if you need legal advice for personal injury, contact Zinda Law Group today.Car accidents can change your life in the time it takes to blink. The aftermath not only involves physical and mental recovery time, but bills and financial burdens also leave you struggling to support yourself and your family. The insurance companies and their lawyers count on your desperation.
Fortunately, the experienced car accident lawyers at Zinda Law Group will review your case for free to determine if someone else is liable for your injuries and damages. If a negligent person was responsible for your accident, you may be able to seek maximum compensation.