Is Legal Aid Available for Personal Injury Claims?
When you’re facing a complicated legal matter, it’s natural to wonder if you’ll be able to afford an attorney. Many Tennesseans have heard of Legal Aid, which provides free or low-cost legal services to eligible clients.
Depending on your financial situation and your legal problem, you may indeed qualify for Legal Aid services. However, Legal Aid offices generally do not handle personal injury claims. Don’t worry — legal services are not out of reach for you.
If you or a loved one suffered severe injuries or were killed in an accident in the greater Chattanooga area, Davis Firm, LLC will handle your case on a contingency fee basis. That means that you only pay legal fees if our attorneys obtain a financial award on your behalf.
You also won’t pay to find out if you have a case. All initial consultations are free, with no strings attached.
Call (423) 401-9980 or contact us online to schedule your no-cost case review.
What Is Legal Aid?
The Legal Aid Society is Tennessee’s largest nonprofit law firm. There are 32 attorneys who provide legal assistance to low-income and indigent clients in 48 counties. Legal Aid of East Tennessee alone serves 26 counties from Chattanooga to Johnson City.
Legal Aid of East Tennessee provides civil legal assistance to approximately 8,000 individuals annually, but there are an estimated 300,000 eligible persons in its service area. The agency’s “We Mean Business” program provides free transactional legal services to minority, women and veteran-owned small businesses in Hamilton County.
Tennessee has three other primary Legal Aid programs for low-income clients:
- Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands
- West TN Legal Services, Inc.
- Memphis Area Legal Services, Inc.
There are several other non-profit organizations in Tennessee that provide legal help to low-income individuals or families or those living below the poverty line.
What Kind of Cases Does Legal Aid Cover?
The Legal Aid Society in Tennessee has five practice groups. A lawyer from the Legal Aid Society or its Volunteer Lawyers Program could represent you in cases involving:
- Health insurance and other public benefits
- Family matters and domestic violence
Legal Aid lawyers also provide representation for immigration issues.
When Legal Aid cannot provide representation in a legal matter, it may be able to refer the case to a volunteer lawyer or a law school clinic.
Can You Get Legal Aid for a Personal Injury Case?
Personal injury is usually outside the scope of Legal Aid services. However, you might be able to qualify in certain circumstances.
For example, domestic violence victims may be able to obtain representation for some personal injury cases. Legal Aid usually applies only to those who are facing life-altering consequences or are involved in cases involving possible violations affecting the rights of others.
The good news is that most personal injury attorneys handle cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that a client does not have to worry about paying anything up front, and attorneys only get paid if they win a verdict or settlement on their client’s behalf.
Some Legal Aid programs sponsor pro bono programs under which private attorneys agree to represent low-income individuals at no cost. Check with your local organization see if they have a pro bono personal injury lawyer on the roster.
How Are Personal Injury Lawyers Paid?
Personal injury attorneys earn their money by helping victims recover monetary compensation for their medical bills and treatment, lost pay, property repairs, pain and suffering and other damages. Most cases result in a settlement, which a personal injury lawyer negotiates with the at-fault party’s insurance company.
In other cases, the attorney may have to take a case to trial to get a fair and just award.
What Is a Contingency Fee?
A contingency fee is what you owe your lawyer if he or she obtains a favorable result in your personal injury case. Rather than paying your attorney an hourly fee, you agree to pay a percentage of the total award you receive at the conclusion of your case. If you don’t win, you don’t pay.
The benefit of a contingency fee arrangement is that attorneys are very selective about the cases they accept. They’re only going to pick cases that they believe they have a good chance of winning. That’s good for you as the client, because you can be confident that the attorney is going to invest quality time and resources into your case.
You will be asked to sign a contingency fee agreement if you decide to work with a personal injury attorney. The document will explain what costs are covered and what are not. Most of the time, clients have no out-of-pocket costs.
At Davis Firm, LLC, our attorneys will work with you to determine a fee arrangement that works for you.
What Is the Average Contingency Fee for Personal Injury Cases?
Contingency fee agreements can vary depending on the lawyer. In general, typical attorney fees for personal injury are usually 33 ⅓ percent of any out-of-court settlement or possibly 40 percent of an award resulting from a trial.
You should certainly ask about an attorney’s contingency fee protocol during your initial consultation. In some instances, the terms of the fee agreement may be negotiable. The fee structure should be spelled out in the agreement before you sign on the dotted line.
How Can The Davis Law Firm Help Me?
Did you sustain severe injuries or was your loved one killed in an accident in Chattanooga, Hamilton County or elsewhere in Tennessee? It is important to act quickly so you can have an experienced attorney take all necessary steps to preserve your rights to compensation.
Founded by U.S. Air Force veteran Scott Davis, Davis Firm, LLC fights for injured clients to receive full and fair compensation if they’ve been harmed in accidents caused by someone else’s recklessness.
Our attorneys understand that each case is unique. We guarantee to provide personalized and compassionate service from start to finish.
If you’re ready to get started, contact us today.