Most people don’t expect that they’ll ever need to contact a lawyer in their lifetime, hoping that they can lead fair and honest lives without getting involved in any unnecessary disputes or legal dramas. Unfortunately, life is very unpredictable, and there are many situations that can arise which can lead to you needing legal assistance.
You might find yourself involved in one of the six million auto accidents that happen on American roads every single year, for example, and need a lawyer to help out with supporting your claim and getting the compensation you deserve. Or you could find yourself injured at work or slipping and falling while out and about, due to the negligence of another party.
In any of these cases, and so many others, a lawyer can be of vital assistance, helping to gather evidence, build up arguments to support your cause, and fight your corner in court – if it comes to that – in order to provide the justice you seek. But one worry that many people have when it comes to lawyers and legal firms is how to cover all of the necessary costs.
Legal fees can vary quite a lot from lawyer to lawyer and firm to firm. Some of the big high-profile lawyers can charge very high fees for their services, and many people hear of such fees and fear that they’ll never be able to afford legal representation of their own. Fortunately, most lawyer fees are a lot lower than some of the outrageous amounts you hear about in the news, and there are several ways you can pay, even without much cash in the bank.
One of the best ways to work with a lawyer when you don’t have the money to pay them up-front is to find a legal firm offering contingency agreements and fees. This system means that you won’t have to actually pay anything before or during the case; you only need to pay the lawyer once the case is over, and you won’t even have to pay anything at all unless the lawyer is able to win your case for you.
As Boohoff Law explains, “A contingency fee is a type of payment that a personal injury lawyer receives if you obtain some compensation for the harm you endured. Instead of charging an hourly rate for their services, the attorney receives a percentage of any monetary recovery they help you recover. Consequently, their payment is “contingent” on you receiving some compensation.”
Lawyer Loans and Credit Payments
Another possible option you might like to consider if you’re short on cash but need a lawyer is a loan or credit payment. This allows you to get the cash you need to pay for your legal services straight away, without having to wait around and save up over time, and then you can pay back whatever you owe over a set period of months or years.
Loans for legal services work just like regular personal loans; you make an application with a bank or lender, they’ll check your credit score and other information, and then as long as you get approved, you’ll receive the funds you need. You can also make use of credit cards to pay for legal bills and pay them off over time, or take out a line of credit to borrow the amount you need during the case.
‘Pro bono’ is a legal term that a lot of people have heard, but not everyone understands exactly what it means and how pro bono lawyers operate. Pro bono is a Latin phrase which translates to ‘for the public good’, and pro bono lawyers essentially operate on a voluntary basis, without requesting any kind of payment.
The American Bar Association actually recommends all lawyers to carry out 50+ hours of pro bono service annually, and a lot of lawyers will be willing to operating on a pro bono basis in certain situations, but it often depends on the specifics of the case. You can find pro bono lawyers operating in many different fields of law, including those who will help out with personal injury cases.
Crowdfunding has really taken off in recent years, and we now regularly see people creating campaigns on different crowdfunding platforms and asking people for financial help with their personal problems or professional projects, with strangers often willing to donate to help out with everything from paying for vet bills to hormone therapy and legal support too.
If you’ve been wronged in some way and feel that your case could generate some sympathy among the general public, starting a crowdfunding campaign isn’t a bad idea. It can help you raise money quite quickly, and there are many success stories in which people have managed to raise quite large sums via this method.
Ask Loved Ones
Of course, another much simpler option than taking out loans or setting up global crowdfunding campaigns is to simply give your loved ones a call and ask if they’d be willing to help out. This may or may not be a viable option for you, depending on your personal family relationships and the financial situations of those around you, but it can be a great choice in many cases.
Often, family members and close friends will be willing to offer financial assistance to those involved with legal disputes, and they may not charge you any interest or only minimal interest when it comes to paying them back. Just be sure that you will be able to pay them back and negotiate the terms with your loved ones before proceeding, in order to avoid any arguments or issues later on.
Finding yourself in need of a lawyer but without the funds to pay for one can be immensely stressful, but as this list shows, there are actually many ways you can still get the legal assistance you need without having to cover the whole bill straight away.