If you or a loved one has been injured due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness, you will likely need a qualified and experienced personal injury lawyer to ensure that you recover the compensation to which you are entitled. A common question after a personal injury accident is “how much does a personal injury lawyer charge for his or her services?”.
The good news is that hiring a personal injury lawyer to represent your interests generally won’t cost you anything out of pocket. Instead, the lawyer that you hire to handle your personal injury case will take a percentage of the final settlement or judgment.
This is called a contingency fee and will be agreed upon by you and the attorney before the case begins.
The typical percentage of a contingency fee usually falls between 33% and 40%.
For example, if your case settles for $45,000 then you will receive $30,000, and your attorney will be paid a fee of $15,000.
This arrangement can be very helpful to you (the plaintiff) because there is no risk or upfront cost to you when hiring a personal injury lawyer to assist you in recovering the compensation you deserve.
How is the Contingency Fee Rate Determined?
Attorneys who handle cases on a contingency fee basis are taking on a risk. This is because there is no guarantee that they are going to get paid for the assistance they give you.
During the course of litigation, the case may turn out to be easier than the attorney initially thought. On the other hand, it might turn out to be much harder.
Some cases will settle, some will go to trial, and some will even be appealed and perhaps tried multiple times. Thus, when an attorney signs you up, he or she really has very little idea as to whether your case will take five hours or five hundred hours of work.
The attorney also knows that the case may make lots of money, or it could get nothing—in which case he or she has invested significant time and gets no money in return.
But not only will the attorney not get paid for his or her time if the case loses, he or she will also lose the costs spent on it—potentially thousands of dollars—because many clients cannot afford to reimburse these expenses (even if they are contractually obligated to do so).
So, before taking on this risk, the attorney will want to know more about your case, such as:
• What type of personal injury case do you have (car accident, slip, and fall accident, product liability, medical malpractice, etc.)?
• Is liability in dispute?
• How difficult will liability be to prove?
• How big are the potential damages?
• Is there sufficient insurance available from which to collect damages?
Your attorney needs to know all of this information to properly analyze the risk and to quote you an appropriate contingency fee.
Contingency Fees are Negotiable
Once the attorney has quoted you a fee, you should understand that it is still negotiable. The fee you will be quoted is not, as a general rule, determined by law or statute, and you are free to negotiate with your attorney.
That said, the attorney should quote you a fair fee, to begin with. If the attorney is willing to negotiate the fee that he or she has quoted you to a significantly lower amount, be concerned that he or she may also be willing to negotiate your settlement to a significantly lower amount than what you deserve.
On the other hand, an attorney who stands firm by the fee they quote is more likely to be one that will stand firm by the value of your case when negotiating with the liable insurance companies.
Who Pays for Costs and Expenses?
Many personal injury attorneys will cover costs and expenses related to pursuing a client’s personal injury claim, such as the cost of medical records, police reports, filing fees, deposition fees, and other such costs. These costs and expenses may add up to hundreds or thousands of dollars, and will also be deducted from the final settlement or judgment received.
Once you agree upon a fee arrangement, be sure that you receive and sign a written retainer agreement with the attorney, and that you understand it. This agreement should clearly spell out what the contingency fee is going to be and how the attorney will be reimbursed for costs and expenses.
Contact An Experienced California Personal Injury Lawyer
Call eAccidents today @ 844-400-0123 to learn more about what our expert personal injury lawyers charge and how they can get you the compensation you deserve. We offer a free consultation where we can evaluate your case and discuss our fees, expenses, and what you can ultimately expect to receive at the end of your case. Furthermore, we charge no fee unless we obtain a settlement or winning verdict in your case.