The CDC states that 31 million people a year are injured and require medical treatment.
One of the first questions most injury victims have is whether they can afford to hire a personal injury lawyer. You may be surprised to learn that often you don’t need to pay upfront costs.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about typical attorney fees for personal injury.
Typical Attorney Fees for Personal Injury
Most personal injury attorneys charge a contingency fee.
This means that you only pay the lawyer if they are able to negotiate a settlement that involves money for you. So, if you don’t get any money from the defendant who caused your accident, then the lawyer doesn’t collect money from you.
If you do win, then from those proceeds you will pay the lawyer the expenses related to preparing the case.
Usually, contingency fees are charged as a percentage. The percentage might vary depending on the area you live in. Check out this service area to understand more.
Yet, typically all personal injury lawyers in one area charge the same percentage.
It is possible to work out a deal to get a lower percentage but make sure you do that before you hire the lawyer.
Make sure you understand whether the fee is calculated on the gross award (the award before your lawyer’s expenses have been deducted) or the net judgment (the award after your personal injury lawyer’s expenses have been deducted).
Advantages and Disadvantages
The main advantage of contingency fees is that it costs you nothing to hire a lawyer. Also, your lawyer will want to get the largest amount for you because their cut will then be more.
The main disadvantage is that your lawyer may get a settlement very quickly. Then you might feel that the lawyer hasn’t really earned that contingency amount.
A Typical Contingency Fee Example
Now let’s look at typical attorney fees for personal injury.
Let’s say that you sign an agreement with a personal injury lawyer for 33.3% of whatever compensation they get for you. That 33.3% might be calculated after reimbursement for the expenses your lawyer had regarding your case.
Imagine you got a settlement of $10,000 for your personal injury claim. The lawyer’s expenses might add up to $1000. So that would be deducted first.
You now have $9000 left. From those funds, the lawyer will collect their share of 33.3% leaving you with $6000 as your compensation.
Hourly Fees For Personal Injury Attorneys
Hourly billing rates are another option for legal personal injury fees.
In this scenario, you pay your personal injury lawyer for every hour that they work on your case. You pay this whether you win or lose. You must also pay for any expenses incurred by the attorney.
This hourly billing method is not very common for personal injury lawsuits. For one thing, it requires injury victims to pay cash upfront when money may be limited.
Also, even if the attorney wins their client a large settlement, their total earnings are often less than if they handled the case on contingency.
If a lawyer offers to represent you on an hourly basis, that may be a sign that you aren’t likely to get a large payoff.
Ask that lawyer if they normally work on contingency. If so, are they willing to take your case on contingency?
Personal Injury Lawyer Costs
Thanks for reading.
We hope this article on typical attorney fees for personal injury helps you decide if you should hire an attorney to represent you. Remember, the cost of a lawyer might be worth it depending on the ongoing cost of your injuries.
Be sure to check out our other blog posts for more informative articles for you to read.