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The case

If you suspect you have a legitimate personal injury case, take the following steps:

- Do not negotiate with the other party's legal representation or sign any statements or papers provided by them

- Contact a personal injury or employment law firm as soon as possible; your case may fall under a statute of limitations

- Document the claim as soon as possible with medical and police records

- Gather witness contact information

- Keep records of injury-related expenses such as medical or driving expenses



The contingency fee

Personal injury and employment lawsuits are civil suits seeking monetary compensation. Firms that specialize in these areas work on a contingency basis. That means they get money only if you receive a settlement. Your initial consultation should also be free and without further obligation.



The contingency fee is negotiable, but typically is between 30 and 40 percent of your settlement amount. If your case goes to court, the contingency fee will be on the higher end of that scale. However, most personal injury suits are settled through out-of-court negotiation.



The collection

If a personal injury or employment law case is settled in your favor and the party against whom the judgment was rendered is insured, the best way to collect is to speak with their insurance company. If they are not insured, you will need to have the judgment entered with the court and then seek to enforce that judgment. In such cases, the services of an attorney who specializes in collecting judgments may be useful.

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