February 22, 2022
Personal Injury Lawyer
If you’ve been injured in an accident and want to file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party, you may decide to work with a lawyer. However, before you hire a lawyer, make sure you have a good understanding of how much their services will cost.
Most personal injury lawyers will offer you a contingent fee arrangement, which means that instead of charging you an hourly rate, the lawyer will receive a fixed percentage of your settlement if you win your case. This agreement incentivizes the lawyer to work hard to secure you a win, and it ensures that you won’t get hit with high legal bills if you do not win.
Under this fee arrangement, your attorney can typically take between 25% and 40%, though there may be limits to these fees based on your state’s laws. The standard percentage is 33.33%. If the person who caused the accident is willing to settle out of court, your lawyer may take a lower percentage. Because there are so many variables to consider, it is essential that you carefully read the legal contract. Never sign an agreement to do business with a lawyer unless you have a very clear understanding of the stipulations.
Depending on your agreement, you may be responsible for paying any court costs and associated expenses on top of the contingency fee. These costs may include:
- Court filing fees
- Summons costs
- Subpoena costs
- Medical record fees
- Police report copies
- Expert witness fees
Some law firms will ask you to pay these expenses as they happen, while others will require a lump sum payment upfront. If you are contractually obligated to pay the fees upfront, your lawyer will typically put your case on hold until you have paid your bill in full.
However, in many cases, your lawyer will pay the fees on your behalf and deduct the total fee amount from your settlement money.
Some arrangements will require you to pay a retainer (usually several thousand dollars) before the work begins and then a contingency fee if you win the case. However, the retainer amount will usually be deducted from the contingency fee amount you owe.
The total cost of hiring a lawyer varies by case and whether you want to pay upfront or accept a contingency fee agreement.