Personal Injury Case – Fees and Expenses

We have told you all about finding the right personal injury lawyer in the other articles of this site but the most important thing here is a lawyer’s fees. You can find a good lawyer but there are still chances of him not accepting your case. The main reason for lawyer’s rejecting your case is that they don’t have much hope of getting higher compensation.

It is important that you know the different payment methods any lawyer will propose. The first method of payment is the simple upfront fees you pay to your lawyer after negotiation. These can be paid after every hearing or the number of sitting hours.

Many people are unable to pay their lawyer’s fees upfront so for them, lawyers have created another payment method that is called contingency fee.

If you choose to pay contingency fee then your lawyer will get a specific amount of percentage from your settlement and that would be considered payment for his services.

It is significant to know that most personal injury lawyers prefer this method of payment as it allows them to earn more. Since they are taking a risk by taking your case without upfront fees so they ask more amount in contingency fee.

It goes without saying that if your lawyer loses your case, you won’t have to pay him anything.

What Is the Maximum Amount a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Take from a Client’s Settlement?

The amount typically depends on how much you are getting in your settlement. It is because of this reason that we find it hard to pin down a definite number.

The contingency fee is mostly calculated in terms of percentage. That way, it will be convenient to calculate the fee without any confusion.

The Maximum Percentage

Most personal injury lawyers take 33% to 40% out of your settlement as their contingency fees. The general percentage that most personal injury lawyers take is 33.33%. You can always negotiate such things with your lawyer.

Higher than Normal Percentages

There are laws that don’t let your personal injury lawyer’s contingency fees exceed a certain percentage. The highest your lawyer can go is 40% and even then he will be deviating from the normal percentage that is 33.33%

Other Costs in the Lawsuit

It is important that you know the distinction between fees and costs of your lawsuit. The fee means the amount you’ll have to pay your lawyer and the costs mean everything else you need to pay for to file a lawsuit.

To make you understand more clearly, we’ve discussed some costs that you will be covering during your lawsuit below:

•The first cost you need to bear is the fees of filing a lawsuit.

•If your lawyer feels the need to hire experts and investigators, then you’ll be paying for that too.

•There is a time when you’ll have to pay for special and additional hearings too.

•You’ll also be covering other small expenses like copywriting, commute expenses and any work related to your lawsuit.

We will share a few tips that will save you from any losses that you might have to bear because of your ignorance.

You should always deduct the costs of such expenses from your settlement before giving your lawyer his share.

Why is that?

When you pay your lawyer without deducting the costs first then he’ll get more money and you’ll have to suffer the consequences.

For example, if your costs amount is $2500 and the settlement money is $14000, then after deducting this money you’ll be left with $12500. The percentage your lawyer will get is assumed to be $5000. In the end you’ll be left with $7500

But if you calculate the percentage of your contingency fees before subtracting the amount of the costs then he’ll get more than $5000 and you’ll get less than $7500.

• It is important that you write all the terms and conditions that you’ve negotiated with your lawyer in an agreement.

• Don’t forget to include costs expenses in this agreement too. Most lawyers add the basic costs in the initial agreement but you can still add and subtract these costs.

• It is better if you put a dollar number in your agreement so whenever a cost is expected to exceed that number, your lawyer will have to ask your permission to continue.

Caution:

As we’ve mentioned before, it is of utmost importance that you do not pay your lawyer from your settlement without subtracting the amount of the costs.

Most lawyers will try to trick you by saying this is how things work but you must follow what we’ve told you so far. And if they still don’t agree, then we suggest you look for another lawyer.

How much do clients pay their attorneys for personal injury cases if they lose?

We have addressed this legality before that since most personal injury lawyers prefer contingency fees, you don’t have to pay them anything if they lose.

When lawyers agree to this payment method, they are basically saying, ‘no win, and no money’. That’s why personal injury lawyers reject cases often as they do not see the point of taking a case they can’t win.  

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