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How to File Lawsuit With No Money in North Carolina

It costs $200 just to file a Superior Court lawsuit in North Carolina, and that doesn’t even count the cost of getting the summons served, paying court reporters to transcribe depositions, or paying doctors and expert witnesses for their time in testifying. That can add up to thousands of dollars. It’s a sum that not everyone can simply pull out of their bank account, especially if you have been seriously injured, unable to work, and overwhelmed with medical bills.

Justice should be available to everyone regardless of whether you have or no money at all. If you were injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, in many cases you may have a personal injury attorney file a civil lawsuit on your behalf and advance those costs for you.

If you have a personal injury claim – after a car or truck accident, motorcycle accident, slip, and fall accident, or on-the-job accident – the attorneys at Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks are available to help you pursue compensation on a contingency fee basis.

A contingent fee agreement means we will not charge you a legal fee until we are successful and obtain money for you. This allows you to obtain legal help and file a personal injury lawsuit with no upfront costs. You can have professional legal representation from attorneys who have more than 75 years of combined legal experience.

How Does A Contingency Fee Agreement Work?

Under a contingent fee agreement, our legal fee is dependent on our success in handling your personal injury case. If we obtain compensation for you, either through an insurance settlement or a jury award, we will retain a portion of the amount recovered as our professional fee and repay us for the case expenses we have advanced. If we do not recover money for you, you owe us nothing for the attorney fee. However, the state bar requires that you continue to be liable for the court costs the attorney’s advance, regardless of the outcome.

It allows you to hire an experienced lawyer regardless of your financial means and at a much lower financial risk to you.

This also incentivizes us, as your attorneys. We don’t get paid unless we win the case. Our fee is a percentage of how much we recover for you, so we are motivated to recover as much as possible for you.

Another way a contingent fee arrangement protects us both is that our attorneys must have confidence that your case is winnable before we will accept it. We need to believe we can recover enough money to make sure that your needs are met while covering our fees and expenses as well.

Our first meeting with you is free of charge. After we review the facts of your accident, if we believe that we can help you, we’ll offer to handle your case on a contingent fee basis. If you decide to engage our firm, then we’ll begin to investigate your case. If we cannot take your case, we will explain why and discuss the options available to you.

If we decide to pursue the case together, our contingent fee agreement will be in writing. We will review it with you and answer your questions before you sign any documents.

Fees and Expenses in a Personal Injury Claim

Every case is different, but the maximum fee we charge is 33 1/3% of the total recovered in a settlement or court award. For workers’ compensation cases, our fee is 25%. Some law firms charge 40%, and sometimes up to 50%, of the total amount recovered.

Other routine expenses in a personal injury case

  • Court and filing fees
  • Costs of serving the summons on defendants
  • Investigation costs
  • Costs of medical records
  • Administrative expenses
  • Costs of depositions
  • Expert witness fees

No money LawsuitAs we pointed out above, North Carolina’s costs as of 2020 included $200 to file a lawsuit in Civil Superior Court, plus $30 for each defendant served with the lawsuit. A case’s other expenses will vary according to the complexity of the case.

Another thing to keep in mind is that much of the money recovered in a personal injury claim will be used to pay hospitals, doctors, and other creditors. If our attorney fee is more than the amount you would receive after money owed medical providers and health insurance comes out of your settlement, we will automatically reduce our percentage to ensure that our legal fee is not more than what you receive.

Regardless of the costs, we pledge to you that our law firm will never walk away from a settlement with more money than the client.

But Maybe You Don’t Need to File a Lawsuit!

Clients are sometimes surprised to learn that it’s never our objective to file a lawsuit or to go to court. We want to help you secure the money you need to move forward and put the accident you’ve experienced behind you. We can usually negotiate a settlement of an injury claim without going to court and usually without even filing a lawsuit.

What we Do Once Engaged with our Personal Injury Lawyers

  • Investigate to prove who should be held liable for your injuries
  • Develop a full accounting of your recoverable costs and losses.

Once you have finished the healing process, we will issue a demand letter to the insurance company or companies outlining our case and the compensation you deserve. Usually, a demand letter leads to negotiations toward a settlement. When the insurer refuses to agree to a reasonable settlement, and after a thorough consultation with you, we will be prepared to file a lawsuit. As lawsuits move forward, they are often settled prior to trial. When the few cases that aren’t settled go to court, we go with a well-prepared case and an expectation that we will prevail.

While we handle your claim, you need to get all of the necessary medical care. If you stop seeing a doctor, this gives the insurance company an opportunity to argue that you were not badly hurt. In the meantime, we’ll contact your doctors and other creditors to tell them we are pursuing a claim for you and ask them to delay any bill collection efforts. This will assure them that they can continue to serve you and expect to be paid from your claim settlement.

Contact a Dedicated N.C. Personal Injury Lawyer

If you’ve been badly injured in an accident that was not your fault, don’t accept any insurance company’s quick, low-ball settlement offer. Talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer about what you may reasonably expect to recover for your losses.

Contact Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A. in Raleigh, N.C. for an insightful and free assessment of your personal injury claim.

We’ll treat you with care and honesty, and if we see a way forward, we’ll be ready to fight for full compensation for you. Get the personalized legal help and answers you need today from NC attorneys with extensive experience in personal injury cases. Phone 919-661-9000 or contact us online.

About the Author

Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A.
At Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A., our clients work closely with a legal team that is dedicated to providing outstanding client service and unflinching legal representation. The majority of our attorneys and support staff have worked with our firm for many years.

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