A personal injury retainer agreement is a document that outlines the legal agreement between a personal injury lawyer and their client. This agreement is signed by both parties at the beginning of the representation and lays out the terms of the legal relationship.
Personal injury retainer agreements typically include the following elements:
1. Scope of representation: This section outlines the specific legal services the attorney will provide to the client. It may include investigating the accident, negotiating with insurance companies, and representing the client in court.
2. Fee structure: The agreement will state how the lawyer will be paid for their services. In most personal injury cases, lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means they only get paid if the client receives a settlement or award. The percentage that the lawyer would receive is often contingent on the amount of the settlement or award.
3. Expenses: The client is typically responsible for any expenses related to the legal representation, such as filing fees, expert witness fees, and court costs. The agreement will outline how these expenses will be handled, such as whether the client will be reimbursed for expenses or whether they will be deducted from the settlement or award.
4. Termination: The agreement will outline how the legal representation can be terminated by either party. This may include circumstances such as the client failing to cooperate with the lawyer or the lawyer believing that the case has no merit.
5. Confidentiality: The agreement will include provisions concerning the confidentiality of the client’s information and the lawyer’s duties to protect their client’s interests.
It is important for clients to carefully read and understand any personal injury retainer agreement before signing it. They should ask any questions they have and make sure they are comfortable with the terms of the agreement before proceeding.
In summary, a personal injury retainer agreement is a vital legal contract that outlines the duties and responsibilities of the client and the lawyer during the representation. It is a crucial tool that enables both parties to better understand their obligations and work towards achieving the best possible outcome for the client.