Hiring a lawyer for a personal injury case is essential to helping you win your case. Personal injury lawyers will help you settle your case and get you the money and treatment you deserve, whether you were injured at work or in an accident. But before you call a personal injury lawyer to take on your case, it’s important to know what sort of fees to expect. This way, you go into the situation informed and aware of what to expect and what sort of fees you’ll end up paying.
Contingency Fee Basis
When a personal injury lawyer takes a case, it’ll usually be on a “contingency fee” basis. This means that their fees for taking on your case and representing you will be taken out of the final personal injury settlement or from any damages you get if the verdict is in your favor. But if you don’t get a good outcome and aren’t awarded any money, then the lawyer won’t collect any fees. So, if you’re hesitant about hiring a personal injury lawyer because you’re afraid you won’t have the funds to pay for their services, know that you won’t have to pay out of your pocket for anything. If you’re still hesitant, make sure to express your concerns to your personal injury lawyer so that you feel confident in hiring them. You should also know that these contingency fees won’t be cheap and reflect the risk that the personal injury lawyer is taking since they aren’t getting money upfront.
Typical Contingency Fee Percentages for Personal Injury Lawyers
The majority of personal injury lawyers will have contingency fee agreements that take about 33% to 40% of the settlement you get if the verdict is in your favor. However, it’s not set in stone and you can always try and negotiate a lower percentage or another agreement, especially if your case is a good one. But usually, expect to give your personal injury lawyer about one-third of your award or settlement money. So, if you are awarded $30,000, expect to only get back $20,000 since your attorney will take $10,000 for their services representing you in the case.
A “Sliding Scale” Option
Some personal injury lawyers will have a fee agreement drawn up if you agree for them to represent you that details how the contingency fee percentage will vary depending on the stage the case is resolved. This is the “sliding scale” option that some personal injury lawyers might have mentioned. If they use this option, you’ll get a demand letter early on, explaining how this works and the percentage they’ll take. For example, if you have a really good case, then the other side could send a counteroffer, which means a settlement might happen before a personal injury lawsuit is even filed in court. If this happens, your personal injury lawyer might be less than the average of 33%.
But if you get money after you file a personal injury lawsuit in court, your lawyer might want more of a percentage when you get your settlement given the chances of receiving more money is higher. Then if the case goes to trial, they might want an even higher percentage given there’s a lot more work involved on their end. It’s important to ask a personal injury lawyer about their percentages and if they have a “sliding scale” option so that you know how much money you’ll have to give them when you finally reach a settlement.
Costs and Expenses Associated with Personal Injury Cases
Typically, you won’t have to give any money when you hire a personal injury lawyer since they’ll usually cover all the costs and expenses that can occur. They’ll then keep a record of all these costs and deduct them from the settlement at the end. Costs and expenses that can occur include filing fees, postage, medical records, police reports, postage, depositions, experts or investigators, trial exhibits and transcripts.
These costs can get quite expensive, especially if the case goes to trial. Usually, the longer the case plays out, the more the costs and expenses are. So, the personal injury lawyer’s final percentage, including all their fees, costs and expenses can really add up! You might owe them up to 60% of the entire settlement!
What Happens If You Fire Your Personal Injury Lawyer Before You Get Your Settlement?
If something happens and you decide to switch lawyers or even represent yourself, you’ll still have to pay the original lawyer for their expenses and fees. But if you find yourself in this situation, it’s recommended that you get your original personal injury attorney to agree in writing that they won’t seek any interest in expenses or fees for your case. This official document will then need to be forwarded to the defendant in the case before any settlement is made to avoid any delays on the lien. That’s why you should make sure you’re comfortable and confident with your personal injury lawyer before you agree to hire them.
To ensure that your personal injury attorney gets paid, they’ll receive the settlement check when it comes in. You’ll be contacted when the settlement check comes in and then you’ll get an itemized list of what will be deducted from the amount to cover their fees, expenses, and costs. But if you decide to dispute any charges, the lawyer will then put the disputed amount into a trust account until all issues are resolved.
If you were involved in an accident that has had some sort of impact your life, you should consult with an attorney to see if it’s even worth its lawsuit. At One Law Group in Beverly Hills, you can have one of our attorneys do a free evaluation of your case here.
Our experienced Beverly Hills lawyers understand how insurance adjusters think and they’ll be able to help you negotiate settlements. If you are involved in a hit-and-run accident or if you’re involved in any form of accident, contact One Law Group at (844) 626-1529 today. We’re here to help victims when they need it the most.