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How Much Do Personal Injury Lawyers Charge?

Personal Injury Lawyer

After being injured in an accident, you might feel overwhelmed with all the expenses, and the thought of hiring a personal injury lawyer in Washington, DC, such as from Cohen & Cohen, could exacerbate those feelings. While you need to file a lawsuit to gain compensation to help you with your expenses, you don’t have the funds to pay your lawyer upfront. The good news is you might not have to.

Contingency Fee Agreements

Personal injury lawyers understand that the circumstances surrounding most personal injuries don’t exactly give you time to save up for representation. This is why many of them allow for contingency fee agreements. Instead of you paying your lawyer upfront, or even as you go through the process of your case, pay would be contingent on winning the case. That fee would come out of your settlement. This means if there is no settlement, so if you lose the case, you wouldn’t end up paying the lawyer fee at all.

Many contingency fees range anywhere from 33% to 40%, but could also vary based on a few factors. For example, if a lawyer has more experience and is more sought after, he or she might charge a higher percentage for the fee, such as 45%. This means that 45% of your settlement would go to the lawyer. If your settlement is $80,000, the lawyer would be paid $36,000.

The obvious benefit of a contingency fee agreement is that the fee comes out of the settlement at the end, but there are other benefits as well. For example, you often receive better representation from a lawyer who charges a contingency fee because his or her payment depends on whether the case is won.

Other Costs

Keep in mind there are other costs associated with personal injury cases. These are often not included in the contingency fee, but it depends on your lawyer. For example, the agreement with your lawyer might allow you to pay these additional costs after you reach a settlement. It might be included in the contingency fee because the lawyer would pay for them along the way. In another agreement, a lawyer might require you to pay these additional costs along the way. Be sure you know and understand what they are, as well as what and when you are required to pay.

Contact a Lawyer Today

When you’re injured in an accident that could have been avoided, you deserve to be compensated. Contact a personal injury lawyer today with any questions.

Official Friends of the Southern Poverty Law Center

We are proud to announce that as of February 25th, 2021, the Law Offices of Neil Crane have become official Friends of the Southern Poverty Law Center! The SPLC is a non-profit organization that fights for racial justice in and beyond the southern region of the US “working in partnership with communities to dismantle white supremacy, strengthen intersectional movements, and advance the human rights of all people.”

The organization is currently monitoring over 1,600 extremist hate groups across the nation including the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazi movement. They work to expose these groups’ actions to the public as well as file investigative reports and train law enforcement officers. In 2020 alone, they tracked 838 American groups which can be found in their comprehensive Hate Map on their website. The SPLC has published an annual census of hate groups operating within the country since 1990.

SPLC also works closely with educators and students within their Learning for Justice program. They provide free resources to schools in order to supplement curriculum while not only transforming communities into inclusive, safe spaces but also implementing the value of social justice into the development of children that they will carry to their adulthood. Currently, the Learning for Justice program includes more than 500,000 educators who subscribe to the organization’s resource materials.

In terms of legal triumph, the Southern Poverty Law Center has battled through several landmark cases starting with Smith v. Young Men’s Christian Association in 1969. The city of Montgomery, Alabama closed its recreational facilities instead of integrating them and when the local YMCA took over its programs, they continued to exclude Black people. Morris Dees, the SPLC co-founder, sued and won this case forcing the YMCA to integrate its programs. Throughout the years, SPLC continued to fight for the human rights of Black people, disabled people, women, children, immigrants, and the LGBTQ+ community.

We are more than honored to be Friends of the Southern Poverty Law Center because of their monumental work throughout history and continued determination to achieve social justice across the entire country. For more information contact The Law Offices of Neil Crane today.

American Rescue Plan Child Tax Credit

President Biden’s new American Rescue Plan introduces a wide variety of Covid-19 relief expansions, including an extended child tax credit. This bill makes interesting adjustments to the child tax credit program that is currently implemented in an effort to, according to President Biden, “give families who are struggling the most the help and the breathing room they need to get through this moment.” 

This proposed credit grants an annual $3,000 per child ages six to 17 or an annual $3,600 per child under six years old. If this bill is passed, families could start receiving monthly payments of $250 from the IRS for school-aged children by this July. Additionally, families could receive about half of their total child tax credit this year and then claim the remaining amount on their 2021 tax returns.

The proposed credit expansion is income-based: 

  • Eligible families include individuals with a yearly income of $75,000 or less and joint filers with a yearly income of $150,000 or less. 
  • The credit is then reduced by $50 for every $1,000 of additional adjusted gross income. 
  • The credit is capped at individuals with a yearly income of $95,000 or more and joint filers with a yearly income of $170,000 or more.
  • However, taxpayers who are ineligible but still make less than $200,000 individually or a joint $400,000 can still claim the original $2,000 per child credit.

Another change that this bill proposes to the program is that the credit becomes fully refundable. Under the current policy, taxpayers could only get up to a $1,400 refund if their credits exceeded the taxes they owed. If this plan is approved by the House this week, taxpayers could get the full $3,000 or $3,600 refunded. Additionally, parents do not need to be employed to be granted this credit and the proposed policy expands to US territories. Hopefully, through the passage of this bill, families who have been facing pandemic-related financial hardships could get some relief.


American Rescue Plan

On Saturday, March 6th, 2021, the US Senate approved President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief package. This bill will be going through the House of Representatives this week in efforts to get President Biden’s signature before key unemployment programs expire on Sunday, March 14th

This bill includes:

  • A $300 weekly boost to unemployment benefits through September 6, 2021
  • The distribution of $1,400 stimulus checks to individuals with an $80,000 or less yearly income or joint tax filers with a $160,000 or less yearly income beginning this month
  • The allocation of funds towards Covid-19 testing and vaccine distribution
  • The direction of funds to state, local, and tribal governments and schools
  • The expansion of tax credits for children to $3,000 annually per child ages six to 17 and $3,600 per child under six 
  • The expansion of tax credits for low-income employees
  • The expansion of rental payment and nutrition expense assistance
  • The extension of health insurance subsidies

Unsurprisingly, this bill has faced a whirlwind of partisan controversy within the Senate, House, and media despite a 68% American public approval rating, a total of about 527,000 American Covid-19 deaths, and the highest unemployment rate since the Great Depression. The American Rescue Plan is being swiftly pushed through Congress so this highly-anticipated, final passage decision is expected by the end of the week.

4 Mistakes To Avoid Before Bankruptcy

4 Mistakes To Avoid Before Bankruptcy

4 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Contemplating a Bankruptcy Filing

It is inevitable that when faced with financial hardship, most individuals will take steps to improve their financial situation.  These steps however, generally do not improve the financial situation and more often than not, a bankruptcy still becomes necessary.   If your faced with a mountain of debt that doesn’t seem to be going away, bankruptcy is often your best bet to achieving the financial fresh start you are looking for.  Below are some tips on mistakes to avoid before bankruptcy which can complicate your ability to file and become debt free.

  1. When faced with financial disaster borrowers will often look towards their own assets to liquidate before considering bankruptcy. Don’t fall into this trap!  Liquidating your retirement, your belongings and savings will only affect your ability to get back on your feet.  Most retirement accounts, household belongings, and savings are entirely protectable in bankruptcy and do not have to be liquidated.  Do not sacrifice your future to your present financial situation!  Before you clean out your 401K to pay off your debt seek the advice of a bankruptcy attorney, and learn the alternative options available to you that don’t require you to be penniless first!
  2. Avoid taking your name off of assets such as: real estate, bank accounts, and vehicles. Under the Bankruptcy Code transfer of property for less than fair value prior to a bankruptcy are considered fraudulent and can complicate your ability to file.  Before you transfer your house to a family member or friend consult with legal counsel to ensure that you are not going to hinder your ability to obtain a fresh start.
  3. With soaring credit card rates, late charges and fees, borrowers find themselves in a vicious circle of making high minimum payments only to be forced to re-incur debt each month to pay for basic living expenses. If you’re in this vicious circle of payments, stop using your credit and seek professional legal assistance immediately.  Get the education you need to break the cycle that will never end well for you and your family.
  4. Be aware that if you stop paying your creditors and are contemplating a bankruptcy filing please do not pay back your family and friends. In the eyes of the law, grandma is an equal creditor with visa, repayment on debt owed to family and friends is consider preferential and can create serious issues if you need to file bankruptcy.  There are numerous other options that will work far better.  Until you get specialized legal guidance, treat all your creditors the same and prevent issues arising from paying back grandma.  Notify your legal counsel immediately if you have debt to family and friends and they will be able to advise you on the proper course to take in handling that debt.

By keeping these four simple tips in mind, you will avoid common mistakes made by people in financial trouble.  There are professionals out there with the answers and education to assist you in getting out of your debt, and back on the road to financial success! Call us today to get answers to all of your Bankruptcy questions.  At the Law Offices of Neil Crane, we want to quick get you back on track quickly and into financial recovery.  Call us today at  203-230-2233, or complete our online contact form to get a free consultation.

How do I know if my debt is too much to be properly resolved?

The best indicator is your debt-to-income ratio. You can calculate this by taking the total amount of money that you spend each month paying off your debt (this includes all recurring debt, such as mortgages, car loans, child support payments and credit card payments) and dividing by your gross monthly income. The lower the number, the better. If you do not have extra money coming in, then NO debt consolidation plan can resolve it.

Read more about Debt-to-Income Ratio