Suing While Broke: How to Pay for a Lawyer With No Money
It’s no shock that the legal system is available to those who can afford it. At the same time, the people who need legal representation are often those who are in situations where they can’t afford it.
If you get hurt in an accident and now face serious financial challenges, how are you supposed to file a claim?
The good news is you aren’t locked out of court. Here’s how to pay for a lawyer with no money.
Table of Contents
1. Find a Contingency Fee Arrangement
Attorney’s fees are expensive, and law offices are acutely aware of that fact. Few attorneys require you to pay all their legal bills upfront, particularly in personal injury or wrongful death cases. They offer a “contingency fee” plan.
A contingency fee plan ensures the lawyer gets paid—but only after you win the case. They take their fees out of the settlement they secure for you.
Using this fee structure works for you because you either pay nothing or you only pay for filing fees. Filing fees rarely amount to more than a few hundred dollars. Contingency fees also serve as incentives for the attorney because they don’t get paid if you don’t win.
2. Pre Settlement Lawsuit Funding
Another option for hiring an attorney with no money is to choose pre settlement lawsuit funding. These lawsuit loans allow you to borrow against your projected settlement amount. You only repay the balance when you win your case and your settlement check arrives.
Pre settlement lawsuit funding can grant you enough to pay attorney fees or other legal bills as the case progresses. However, you do need an attorney and your attorney’s permission to apply for the loan. Your attorney needs to work with the lawsuit funding company and share the details of your case. Because you only repay the balance if you win, the lawsuit funding company takes on risk when they lend to you. They want to know that you have a serious case and a strong chance of winning.
3. Pro Bono Attorneys
Most attorneys set aside at least 50 hours each year to dedicate to pro bono cases. They give their time as a way of giving back to the community and as a way to adhere to the American Bar Association’s guidelines.
To qualify for pro bono help in a civil suit, you typically need to meet certain income requirements. Usually, your income needs to be less than 125% of the poverty guidelines in your state.
You can find pro bono lawyers using the Legal Services Corporation map or the American Bar Association’s pro bono map.
Read More About How to Pay for a Lawyer with No Money
Getting justice in the United States is expensive, but you don’t need to go into unmanageable debt to get the help you need. If you’re wondering how to pay for a lawyer with no money, you should know that you have three viable options. What’s more, none of them cost you any money upfront.
Are you looking for more money management tips? Head over to our Money archive for more helpful content.