In the majority of personal injury cases, a lawyer’s services are provided on a contingency fee basis, which means that the lawyer’s fees will be deducted from the client’s final personal injury settlement—or from the damages award following a favorable verdict, in the unlikely event that the client’s case proceeds to a court trial. If the client does not obtain a good conclusion (in other words, does not receive any money), the lawyer does not collect any fees. What you should know before choosing a personal injury attorney.
Percentages of Contingency Fees
The majority of contingency fee agreements provide for a percentage of between 33 and 40%, although you may always negotiate a lower proportion or a different arrangement. A personal injury lawyer will typically get 33% (or one-third) of any settlement or award. For instance, if the at-fault party’s insurance company makes a $30,000 settlement offer, you will receive $20,000 and your lawyer would earn $10,000. (Learn more about hiring and dealing with an attorney, as well as when self-representation makes sense.)
Optional Sliding Scale
If you reach a settlement after filing a lawsuit, your lawyer may take a bigger share of the settlement, maybe as high as 40%. For instance, if your case settles for $30,000 but only after you file a lawsuit in court, your lawyer may receive $12,000 if the fee agreement provides for a 40% share at this point. The proportion may potentially increase somewhat if the matter proceeds to trial. Therefore, before rejecting a pre-suit settlement offer, keep in mind that as your case advances, it may become more expensive in terms of the percentage you would forfeit.
Expenses and Costs
The majority of personal injury attorneys will cover incidental fees and expenditures and then take them from your portion of the settlement or court judgment. It is uncommon for a personal injury attorney to bill clients for charges and expenditures as they accrue.
For instance, assume you settle your personal injury case for $30,000 following the filing of the lawsuit. Your lawyer covered a variety of expenditures and expenses totaling $4,000. As attorney fees, the lawyer will earn 40% of the settlement sum, or $12,000. Additionally, the lawyer will remove $4,000 from the $30,000 compensation for charges and expenses. The lawyer will earn $16,000 of the total settlement sum in this case. Discover how to effectively manage expenditures and expenses in a personal injury lawsuit.
As you now know how much does its lawyers charge to settle a personal injury claim so here is how to settle a personal injury claim.