These Are the Typical Personal Injury Lawyer Fees

Posted August 11, 2020 by in Lifestyle
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Did you know that around 31 million people are injured in the United States every year? If you have recently been injured and are looking at hiring an attorney wondering what personal injury lawyer fees are, you are in the right place. 

Keep reading to learn the fees that you can expect to pay. 

What Are the Common Personal Injury Lawyer Fees?

Most personal injury attorneys do not require accident victims to pay fees out of pocket. Instead, the cases are paid with a contingent fee agreement that the attorney and client agree on a portion of the total settlement. 

This gives attorneys like an even bigger incentive to not only win the case but win as much money as possible for their client. It is also great for the client because they don’t have to worry about coming out of pocket for the case.

A personal injury lawyer will take a look at your case and will let you know which way it would be best to pursue it. Sometimes there are statues of limitation in place that you might not be aware of. This is when there is a certain window of time after the incident occurs to make a personal injury claim.

Sliding Scale

With this option, you and your attorney will agree on different percentages from the settlement based on when the case closes. For example, your lawyer might receive a higher percentage of around 40% if the case closes soon after the lawsuit is filed. 

If the case goes to a trial stage then you might agree on a different percentage or if there is an appeal trial the percentage might be higher.

Hourly Rate

In rare cases, a personal injury lawyer might agree to work by the hour instead of on a contingency fee. If this is your preference then you can look for an attorney that will set a reasonable rate.

Keep in mind that if a lawyer does not set a reasonable rate they are subject to sanctions by the state bar for violating ethical obligations that all attorneys have. With an hourly rate you are going to be responsible for paying the fees and expenses even if they lose the case. 

If you are on tight finances because you are out of work then it might be a better idea to find a lawyer that works on a contingency even if the percentage they will keep at the end seems a bit high. 

Extra Expenses

There might be extra expenses that you are responsible for even if you hire your attorney on a contingency basis. The attorney will pay for all of the fees as they come up during the course of the trial but they will subtract these fees from the settlement that you receive at the end. 

Some of these fees include filing fees, trial exhibits, investigators, depositions, police reports, witness fees, etc. Some attorney’s might not pay for these out of pocket and might make you pay them upfront to avoid headaches in the future.

Usually, the final amount of the settlement that the attorney will receive ranges from 45% to a little over 60% depending on how many extra expenses they pay for. 

Questions to Ask

Before you decide to hire a lawyer for your case take the time to ask the following questions to make sure that you are completely clear on what you can expect financially:

  1. How much do they believe you can receive in damages for your specific injury and case?
  2. How much of the settlement amount will go to their legal expenses?
  3. How much of the settlement will go towards legal fees?
  4. How much money would you be allowed to keep for lost wages, pain, suffering, and medical bills?

Who Receives the Check?

Once everything is said and done and your attorney wins the case for you, it is common practice for your lawyer to receive the check. This ensures that your lawyer does get paid and the client does not run away with the entire check.

You will be contacted once the check is received, and it should have a list of what is deducted from your check to cover their fees, expenses, and costs that were agreed upon in the beginning. 

If there are any discrepancies that you dispute the lawyer might put the amount that you are disputing in a trust account until the issue is resolved. 

Firing an Attorney

If you are not happy with your lawyer before the case is closed or you opt to represent yourself, your lawyer will have a lien for the fees and the expenses that they incurred before you changed your mind and fired them. The original lawyer might also be able to sue you and the personal injury defendant for not protecting and honoring the attorney’s lien. 

Before firing a lawyer take the time to get them to agree in writing about your decision. Make sure that it is clear that they won’t seek interest on fees or expenses in this case. This will help you avoid unnecessary headaches. 

Time to Look for a Personal Injury Lawyer

Now that you have an idea of what to expect when it comes to personal injury lawyer fees, you can move forward and find the perfect attorney for your case. Take the time to research your potential attorney to make sure that they are a perfect fit for you and your case. 

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