While personal cases can be drawn out and expensive, one of the most common concerns for victims is how much it costs to hire a personal injury lawyer. When you get injured as a result of someone’s negligence, you might be under pressure from aggressive insurance adjusters who are eager to ensure that you accept a settlement quickly.
Most personal injury lawyers charge a contingency fee which is a percentage of the settlement. A contingency fee not only motivates your personal injury lawyer to help you win but also ensures that you do not lose any money in case you lose.
Depending on the type of personal injury, you may require an attorney who is an expert in that type of personal injury. The different kind of injury are such as:
- Motor Vehicle Accidents. Motor vehicle accidents are one of the most common types of personal injury cases.
- Medical Malpractice – you may require an expert medical malpractice attorney if you suffer medical negligence.
- Product Liability.
- Wrongful Death.
- Workplace Accidents.
- Premises Liability/Slip & Fall.
- Animal Bites and Attacks etc..
In some instances, your attorney’s fee may be higher depending on your lawyer’s expertise and experience as well as the time they invest in your case. However, a fee that is contingent on winning gives lawyers the incentive to take cases that have merit.
How Much it costs to hire a personal injury lawyer
Typically, if you settle before filing a lawsuit, your lawyer can claim up to a third of the settlement amount. However, if you settle after filing a lawsuit, your attorney can get up to 40%. Depending on your attorney, this amount may be higher.
While these fees may seem high, they motivate your personal injury lawyer to maximize your settlement amount as doing so results in a higher fee.
Hiring a lawyer by the hour can be too costly for most people. Charges may vary from $100 to $500 or more per hour which is out of reach for most people.
It means that most victims who do not have the resources to pay for an attorney by the hour would not get compensation for damages caused by negligent entities.
Since the advent of contingency fees, more people including poorer citizens who cannot afford hourly fees, have access to legal representation. Oddly enough, there are critics who believe that contingency fees lead to a flood of lawsuits that clog the legal system.
However, a contingency fee ensures the best possible outcome for the client as their lawyer works hard to maximize compensation.
When you are injured, you are more concerned with getting treatment, paying medical bills, and making up for any lost wages. This usually means you do not have a lot of money left over to pay for a personal injury lawyer upfront.
In such cases, hiring a personal injury lawyer might seem costly. However, it is the best decision you can make. A personal injury attorney will work hard to ensure you get compensation for economic and non-economic damages, saving you a lot of money in the long run.
A contingency fee arrangement ensures that you get a lawyer who will work diligently to ensure you get maximum compensation. This also means you do not need to pay any money to open your case.
However, it is important to note that contingency fees are not cheap. Most personal injury lawyers will take between 30% – 40% of your total settlement. In some cases, after all, expenses are deducted, you might take home less than the amount your lawyer makes.
In other cases, the traditional contingency fee structure is dependent on your lawyer’s expertise. It is important to decide whether the economics of your claim make it worthwhile to hire a personal injury lawyer. If not, consider pursuing the case in the small claims court.
A contingency fee agreement gives you access to your lawyer’s expertise and resources. A competent lawyer will work diligently to get you the best settlement.
Whether it is an auto accident, product liability, worker’s compensation claim, or premises liability incident, a contingency fee ensures you get the best possible outcome.
There are various factors that affect the contingency fee. These factors, also known as costs, are the expenses paid by your lawyer’s office while investigating your case, negotiating a settlement, or even going to trial.
These costs include:
- Investigation processes: A personal injury lawyer will investigate your accident by obtaining evidence including witness statements, photos, and police reports. This helps them determine what happened and who is at fault.
- Liability evaluation: Your personal injury lawyer will spend time reviewing medical expenses, doctor’s reports, hospital records, and expert evaluations. They might also talk to you about your pain, personal limitations as a result of the accident, and lost wages during the healing process. At this point, your lawyer may also study precedent judgments and settlements as well as future costs as a result of your injuries to determine your claim.
- Settlement negotiation: Most personal injury lawyers collaborate directly with the liability insurance carrier to prevent the case from going to court. Negotiation usually takes time and, in some cases, it might end in litigation.
- Filing a lawsuit: Litigation is one of the most exhausting processes in a lawsuit. Your personal injury lawyer will make the best effort to end the case in a settlement before litigation. If the liable party cannot make a fair settlement, your lawyer may decide to file a lawsuit.
- Mediation: In most cases, mediation is a cheaper alternative to trial. However, this process might require your lawyer to travel and spend many hours trying to reach a fair agreement.
- Trial: If you are unable to reach a settlement, the case will end up in trial where your lawyer will have to pay filing fees, hire expert witnesses, and even pay deposition recording fees.
- Documents: Personal injury lawyers also spend time exchanging releases, closing documents, and releases. They may also need to receive the settlement check and distribute fees to other involved parties.
Of course, these costs will be deducted from your compensation check, but it is important to clarify whether they will be deducted before or after your lawyer’s fees. If the costs are deducted before your lawyer’s fees, your final compensation will be less.
When you are involved in an accident, seeking compensation can be a daunting task. However, hiring a personal injury lawyer is a good investment as it helps you handle all the legal processes effectively while you recover from your injuries.
Most personal injury lawyers structure their fees without any upfront payments so that you can have your legal rights protected even as you continue to access medical treatment.
Having an attorney also helps you avoid mistakes that could negatively impact your compensation.
Hope this article helped you in understanding how much it costs to hire a personal injury lawyer.
Also read: ROLE OF A LAWYER IN SOCIETY
Author: This Article ‘How much it Costs to hire a personal injury Lawyer is written by Naphtal
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