How Much Do Personal Injury Attorneys Cost?
Personal Injury Lawyer questions: How much do personal injury lawyers cost? How do personal injury lawyers get paid? How do personal injury lawyers charge?
These are questions many personal injury law clients ask and the answer is that in the United States the general contingency (fee-splitting) agreement is for anywhere between 33 and 40 per cent of the amount recovered at trial.
Any client can of course negotiate a reduced fee with their attorneys. The fee taken will be deducted from the settlement achieved by your lawyer, or from any award in damages after a favorable verdict, although most cases by far settle well before that milestone is ever reached.
If there is no favorable verdict or settlement then there are no fees for the lawyer just as there is no compensation for yourself as client.
There Can Be A Sliding Scale
Lawyers will draw up an agreement regarding their fees and there will often be a sliding scale that varies depending upon the quantum of the award or settlement made in your case.
For instance, the lawyer will generally take something around 33 per cent upon a successful settlement of the case, but it may be that a lawsuit needs to be filed, in which case the lawyer’s share may be closer to or even beyond the 40 per cent range.
It is important for clients to negotiate the fee arrangement at the beginning of the lawyers’ hiring so that you are aware of the fee expectation if the matter does not settle quickly and goes to trial.
The fee issue is also needed to be considered when any settlement is offered given that there may be a trial likelihood with a higher fee payment. These factors need to be properly balanced and require the assistance of a good attorney who can honestly represent your interests, but also be very clear as to fee expectations.
Costs and Expenses
Clients also need to remember that costs relating to personal injury lawsuits are considerable and will generally be met by the law firm as they occur, but then be deducted from the client’s share of any settlement or award from the court.
The range of expenses is considerable and may wind up being up to 60 per cent of any settlement, together with the legal fees, and includes such matters as:
- expert witness costs
- medical reports and costs
- police and private investigator fees
- court filing fees
- travel, postage and related costs