What Does It Cost To Hire a Lawyer for a Personal Injury Claim?
Car Accident Lawyer
If you have been injured and are facing lost wages, medical bills and other expenses, you may be concerned about how much money it will cost you to hire a personal injury lawyer to pursue recovery from the at-fault party. This guide will cover some of the basic factors that determine how much it costs to pursue a personal injury claim.
Because clients often do not have the money upfront to pay for a personal injury attorney, many attorneys operate on a contingency fee basis. Under this payment arrangement, clients are usually not required to pay any upfront or hourly fees. Instead, their lawyer will collect a percentage of the client’s final settlement amount as payment for services.
The drawback to a contingency fee arrangement is that the total cost may be higher than if the client had chosen another payment arrangement. The reason for this is that attorneys working on a contingency fee basis are taking the risk that they will receive little to no compensation for their work if the client does not receive a settlement or receives a settlement that is less than expected. Contingency fees are often 33% to 40% of the amount of the final settlement. Additionally, the client is also responsible for money spent by the attorney to pursue the case.
In addition to the fees the client pays for the attorney’s services, there are expenses related to investigating, negotiating and settling a claim. There may also be costs involved with filing a lawsuit. Usually, the client will sign an agreement with the lawyer for these expenses to be deducted from the final settlement amount. If you are working with an attorney on a contingency basis, your agreement should specify whether the attorney will calculate the contingency fee before, or after expenses are deducted from the settlement. It is more favorable to you if the lawyer calculates the contingency fee after deducting expenses.
You don’t have to accept the first offer an attorney makes. You can attempt to negotiate a lower percentage for the contingency fee, ask for expenses to be deducted from the settlement before the contingency fee is calculated or work out an agreed price for standard costs ahead of time so that there are fewer surprises.
Most personal injury attorneys want to reach an agreement that has value for both them and their clients. If you are unsure whether you can afford to hire a personal injury attorney, ask about negotiating a rate you can afford.