How to Hire a Lawyer When You Have No Money

People hurt in accidents and incidents beyond their control often face severe financial strain. Medical treatment for an injury can rack up huge bills. Plus, many victims of preventable accidents miss time at work while recuperating, which limits their income.

“I Need a Lawyer, and I Have No Money”

If you find yourself in a situation that requires legal advice, you may be asking yourself how you can afford to hire an attorney. It may seem like a double-edged sword; the last thing anyone struggling through the aftermath of an unexpected injury thinks they can afford is an expensive attorney. However, you’ll be happy to know that even if you have no money at all, you can afford a top-notch lawyer to help you seek compensation after an accident that leaves you in dire financial straits.

Your Options in a Personal Injury Case

Depending on the nature of your legal matters, you may find that your options are wider than you thought. In criminal cases or in the event of a civil case involving family law, you may be assigned a court-appointed attorney. In these situations, you may receive free legal services, but you might not get much of a say in regard to who represents you. 

In some areas of law, you may not be able to obtain legal advice on a contingency fee basis (more on that later.) However, should you suffer an accident or injury that falls within the milieu of personal injury law, you most likely have the right to retain a lawyer of your choosing. While you peruse law firms that handle personal injury cases such as yours, there are a few important things to keep in mind that may help you make a decision.

Free Consultations

A personal injury attorney provides legal aid to those who have encountered unintentional and avoidable harm caused by another’s negligence. The lawyer will fight to get reparations for the injured party from those responsible for the injury. 

Virtually all personal injury attorneys offer free consultations. Why? Personal injury attorneys are committed to providing accessible legal guidance to those who have been injured. A personal injury lawyer eliminates any potential costs for a potential client by providing free consultations, allowing those who have suffered an injury to access advice from an experienced legal professional with no financial risk.

A free consultation serves as a “get to know you” of sorts. During such consultations, injured individuals tell the personal injury lawyer about how they got hurt and who they think may bear the blame. The lawyer asks questions that help them figure out if the injured person has a potential legal claim for monetary damages. The two parties are able to assess one another and decide if they are compatible to work together as attorney and client.

After a free consultation, the lawyer will usually give the injured person a preliminary assessment of whether they have a potential legal claim for damages. The lawyer cannot make promises or guarantees, of course. This is just a first meeting, after all. 

The lawyer will usually attempt to provide the person affected with the necessary information to allow them to make a judgment on whether to engage the lawyer for their case. And again, all of this happens with no up-front payment required.

Contingency Fees

If an injured person decides to hire a personal injury lawyer after the free consultation, the lawyer will virtually always represent the client on contingency. The personal injury lawyer does not require any kind of payment from the client prior to providing legal assistance. Instead, the client agrees to pay the lawyer a percentage of any money that the lawyer winds up recovering for the client. The lawyer’s fee is contingent on the lawyer getting the client receiving compensation.

In other words, even if you have no money to your name, you can still hire an experienced, skilled personal injury lawyer to represent you. Your lawyer will get to work advocating for your interests without you paying a dime upfront. The lawyer will only receive a payment if they are successful in obtaining compensation for their client; the greater the amount they are able to secure, the more they will be remunerated.

Nowadays, lawyers and their clients often come to a mutual agreement regarding the attorney’s fee, which is determined by the size of the sum in dispute or the effort and time spent to bring it to fruition.

Whatever the arrangement, the lawyer and client always agree on the percentage upfront, in clear and simple terms, so that the client has a clear understanding of how the lawyer will receive a fee.

Why Do Personal Injury Lawyers Work on Contingency?

There are two basic reasons. First, working for a contingent fee gives the injured client access to high-quality legal services. Without contingent fee arrangements, many people who desperately need legal help to recover compensation for an injury would never get justice for the harm done to them.

Second, working on contingency lines up the lawyer’s interests with the client’s. Both want the same thing: for the lawyer to obtain the most money possible to pay for the client’s injuries and losses and to accomplish that goal as quickly and efficiently as possible. A personal injury lawyer is focused on ensuring their client is justly compensated for any injury they have sustained by acting on the possibility of a successful outcome.

Most personal injury attorneys will bear the cost of pursuing legal action so that their clients don’t have to spend money to obtain retribution and recompense for any damages or losses they may have suffered.

Never Let Money Troubles Stop You From Contacting a Personal Injury Lawyer

Tatiana Boohoff Lawyer
Seattle Personal Injury Attorney, Tatiana Boohoff

No matter the cause of an injury, anyone who has been hurt due to somebody else’s negligence should still consult with a personal injury attorney; there is no cost to the injured party unless the attorney is able to recover funds, and then the fee is taken out of the money recovered. If you or a loved one suffers injuries in an accident caused by someone else’s poor decisions or dangerous actions, you can retain a lawyer. Your powerful attorney will represent you in seeking compensation for your injuries — no matter how little money you have. 

Personal injury attorneys commit their careers to the fundamental principle that no one should ever go without legal representation in a personal injury case because of financial strain. A personal injury lawyer will not turn you away because you have no money.

To learn about your legal rights after suffering an injury, contact an experienced personal injury attorney today for a free consultation to discuss your eligibility to file a claim.


Boohoff Law
2200 6th Avenue, Suite 768
Seattle, WA 98121
(877) 999-9999

January 31, 2023

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