If you’ve suffered an injury due to the negligence of another person, naturally you may wonder how much it can cost to hire an attorney. Many people think hiring an attorney isn’t affordable, or that the payoff simply isn’t worth the effort. We at Patterson Legal Group are here to explain how personal injury fees and costs work, so you won’t have to keep asking yourself, “What do personal injury attorneys charge?”
Most personal injury lawyers operate on a contingency basis. That is to say, the attorney’s payment is dependent upon a favorable verdict or settlement. If a verdict or settlement is unfavorable or not reached, the attorney doesn’t get paid. You may have heard phrases such as, “No fee unless you win,” or “You don’t pay if you don’t win.” So what contingency means is that if you don’t win at trial or the case does not settle, you don’t have to pay the attorney.
What do personal injury attorneys charge? Well, usually, a personal injury lawyer’s contingency fee can range from 25% to 40%. Some lawyers may use a flat rate (33% is close to standard), while others use a sliding scale system. For instance, some may charge 33% contingency fee if a lawsuit never needs to be filed. Most attorney contracts increase fees at the time a lawsuit is filed because of the amount of work it takes to prepare a case for trial. It is fairly standard for attorney fees to increase to 40% at the time of filing, and 45% if the case goes in front of a jury.
There are different ways contingency fees are calculated, as well. Some lawyers may deduct their contingency fees from the gross settlement—that is, the total amount received—while others may deduct their contingency fees from the net judgment, or what you as the client would receive as compensation.
Make sure you always discuss fee structure with your attorney before signing any contracts. Lawyers are legally obligated to explain how they will charge you, but it is your duty to make sure you understand. Always ask questions if you’re not sure of something.
Contingency fees are not the only costs involved when hiring a personal injury attorney. Some attorneys charge an hourly rate, regardless of whether you win or lose your case. Patterson Legal Group does not do this. Additionally, there are plenty of other costs that may be deducted from the gross settlement. Such costs include:
- Copy and postage costs
- Hiring expert witnesses
- Court filing fees
- Travel expenses
- Deposition costs
- Transcript costs
- Police reports
- Medical records
- And more . . .
Usually, if your attorney is not successful at reaching a favorable outcome, you won’t have to pay any of these costs. However, always check with your attorney, and pay attention to the fine print. You may have to pay these costs even if you don’t win your case.
In addition to such these expenses, personal injury attorneys are legally required to pay any medical liens you have against you at the conclusion of your case. Medical liens come from medical providers whom you still owe money to or from insurance companies who paid for your medical bills. Before you receive any settlement money, your attorney will pay the liens so that these debts will be paid off in full.
What do personal injury attorneys charge? All fees and expenses should be clearly outlined in the contract in the cost clauses, medical liens clauses, and net amount to client clauses. Be sure to pay careful attention so you know exactly how all fees, costs, and other charges are calculated before you receive your compensation amount. If you have any questions, always ask your attorney for help understanding how charges are determined.
Suffered an Injury and Wondering About Attorneys’ Charges?
If you suffered an injury due to the malicious intent or negligence of someone else, Contact Patterson Legal Group today. Our professional personal injury lawyers will work hard for your just compensation. Get in touch with us online by using our LiveChat feature, or call us at (888) 687-2400 for a free consultation.