How much does a personal injury lawyer cost? It depends. Here’s what you should know about how personal injury lawyers charge and how you can get the best deal possible on legal assistance.
Most Common Type of Lawyers’ Fees
Almost all civil or criminal law firms use the following fee types:
Most personal injury lawyers work on contingency fees, which means they don’t require any money upfront to begin working on your case. Instead, they receive a percentage of any settlement or verdict awarded in your case. If they don’t win you money, they don’t get paid, so let a Georgia personal injury lawyer review your case if you were in an accident in that state and need to recover compensation for your injuries and losses. Don’t worry about upfront fees for a second. Instead, your attorney should worry about winning your case.
Some personal injury lawyers charge hourly fees, but this is rare in personal injury cases. You may have been referred to an attorney who charges hourly fees for some reason, but it’s almost always best to look for attorneys who work on contingency fees.
The lawyer charges a fixed fee for specific services and expenses rendered with this payment structure. For example, if a client needs help writing a standard letter to insurance companies or other attorneys, he may be charged a flat fee for this service. The client pays them directly to the attorney in lump sum payments or installments when paying flat fees.
However, most personal injury lawyers collect their fees only after winning the case in many cases. In this instance, the fee is usually a percentage of the settlement or award from the claim. This makes it easier for people who don’t have much money to hire an attorney.
Understanding the Cost of a Personal Injury Lawyer
If you’ve been injured due to another person’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. While it’s difficult to imagine what you might do with any money you recover, it’s important to remember that the compensation is meant to help pay for the costs of your injury.
These costs can include medical expenses, lost wages and lost earning capacity, property damage, pain and suffering, and other non-economic damages. A personal injury lawyer can help you calculate those costs and make sure they are included in your demand letter or lawsuit.
How are Contingency Fees Calculated?
The contingency fee amount can vary depending on the jurisdiction you’re in, but most lawyers will charge between 33% and 40% of any money they recover for you. This means that the client doesn’t have to pay any legal fees unless the attorney successfully recovers compensation for their injuries.
Before agreeing with a client, personal injury lawyers must disclose their contingency fee rates in writing. The cost of hiring a personal injury lawyer depends on several factors, including:
1. The lawyer’s Experience and Reputation
Lawyers with more experience and a better reputation will charge more for their services than lawyers who have just entered the field or whose reputation is still unknown.
2. Whether the Case is Settled Before or After Filing a Lawsuit
A lawsuit will generally result in higher legal fees than an out-of-court settlement because more steps are involved in preparing for and participating in a trial.
3. The Location of the Case
The location of your case has a big impact on how much you’ll have to pay in legal fees. Your attorney’s hourly rate may vary based on where they live, which means the more hours they spend working on your case, the more you’ll pay. You’ll also be paying for the travel time and expenses that your attorney will incur while traveling to meet with you, all the witnesses involved in your case, and while visiting the scene of your accident.
4. The Amount of Time Spent on the Case
The more time your attorney spends on your case, the higher the costs.
Should an Injured Person Avoid Hiring a Lawyer Because of the Cost?
No, you should not avoid hiring a lawyer because of the cost. You may have heard that lawyers are expensive, but there’s a good reason for that. Hiring an attorney can save you money in the long run. It’s also important to note that most personal injury attorneys work on contingency, which means they don’t get paid unless they win your case.