Discovering that your newborn child has suffered a preventable birth injury can be devastating. If any of the healthcare providers involved in the birth caused the injury through their negligence, you have a right to seek compensation for the needless cost and suffering you and your child are going through. Birth injury litigation is usually an expensive affair, but hiring an experienced birth injury lawyer in Baltimore can become more affordable with a contingency fee arrangement.
Ask a Birth Injury Lawyer: How Can I Pay for the Legal Fees Associated With My Case?
To pursue justice and compensation for the costs of your child’s ongoing medical treatment, along with your emotional anguish and any other losses you’ve suffered, you’ll need to make a claim with the healthcare provider’s insurer or file a lawsuit against them. As birth injury cases are frequently complex and difficult to prove, it’s advisable to retain the best specialist attorney possible.
When it comes to legal fees, birth injury attorneys may offer various payment structures, including hourly rates, flat fees, and monthly retainers. But the most common and convenient structure is a contingency fee arrangement.
How a Contingency Fee Arrangement Works
When attorneys take on birth injury cases, they almost always agree to receive payment on a contingency fee basis. This means your attorney will only be paid out of your final settlement or court award when you win the case. Under this arrangement, if your case doesn’t succeed, you won’t need to pay your attorney a dime. In this way, the attorney takes on significant risk and is firmly incentivized to achieve the best possible financial outcome for you.
In most medical malpractice cases, including birth injury cases, a typical attorney’s fee is around 33% of the final compensation recovered. This rate may differ on a case-by-case basis, depending on various factors.
More Complex Cases May Require Higher Rates
Birth injury cases can be notoriously complex, expensive, time-consuming, and challenging to win. Determining and proving how the negligence of the medical practitioner caused the child’s injury is often far more difficult than proving liability in a car accident case.
Extensive investigation, careful consideration, and costly expert witnesses are usually required. The attorney may need to invest tens of thousands of dollars without a guarantee of success. Birth injury lawyers are also highly specialized and knowledgeable professionals. For all these reasons, you may find your attorney’s contingency fee to be higher than the typical fee in less complex personal injury cases.
The Rate May Rise if Your Case Goes to Court
When you hire an attorney and initiate your claim against the negligent healthcare provider, the first step will usually be to file a claim with their insurer. If your attorney can present robust evidence in support of your claim, the insurance company may offer to pay you an out-of-court settlement. This initial settlement offer may not be sufficient to cover your damages, in which case your attorney will enter a period of settlement negotiations with the insurer.
If the insurer refuses to pay a fair settlement, your attorney may decide it’s necessary to file a lawsuit. This escalates the case to litigation, where the outcome will be decided in court by a judge and jury. As a lawsuit and jury trial requires considerably more work and expense, the attorney’s contingency fee may increase to 40% or thereabouts. When hiring an attorney, you’ll agree in advance upon changes to their fee should the case go to court.
How Out-of-Pocket Case Expenses Are Covered
When speaking to prospective birth injury attorneys, it’s important to ask how out-of-pocket case-related expenses are handled. During the claims process, considerable expenses usually arise, such as filing fees, document fees, copying costs, discovery costs, travel expenses, and expert witness fees.
Many attorneys will agree to cover these out-of-pocket expenses themselves, and then reimburse them from the final compensation alongside their legal fees. If you don’t establish who pays for case-related expenses at the outset of the case, you might find yourself facing considerable monthly costs as the case progresses.
Discuss Fees With a Birth Injury Lawyer in Baltimore
Most reputable attorneys will be happy to sit down for a free consultation in which they can evaluate your case and explain how their fees work. An experienced birth injury attorney will understand the traumatic experience you’re going through and the financial hardship you may be facing as a result of it.
If they decide to take on your case, they’ll do so on a basis that works for both of you. Learn more here about how a seasoned Baltimore birth injury attorney can help you recover fair compensation for your losses.
Having a child suffer a birth injury can leave you facing a lifetime of medical expenses for the ongoing treatment of your child. When already facing financial hardship, the last thing you want is to worry about legal fees. A contingency fee arrangement can gain you access to a skillful and experienced attorney at no cost until the case is won and the settlement check arrives.