Before requesting the services of a personal injury lawyer, there are several things to take into account. The first of these is whether or not your specific case qualifies as a personal injury case. If it does, it’s essential that you understand the total costs attributed to a personal injury lawyer and when these costs will be due. As for what qualifies as a personal injury case, they are legal disputes that occur in instances where a person suffers some type of injury or accident that is the result of another person or business.
While these cases can be taken to court, they are typically resolved via an informal settlement by the entity that’s legally responsible. A personal injury lawyer will take a look at the case, and then make a decision on how to pursue it. A statute of limitation may exist, which means that there will be a window of time after the incident occurs that the injured person can make a personal injury claim. This period of time varies by state. Once you have determined if your case qualifies as a personal injury case, it’s time to ascertain how much it will cost.
How Much a Personal Injury Lawyer Costs
There are several different fees that you will be accountable for when hiring a personal injury lawyer. These fees can be further divided into contingency fees and additional expenses. The amount of contingency fees owed depends primarily on the result of the case, while the additional expenses can include a large variety of fees, some of which you may not have to pay. Understanding these costs will provide you with the information necessary to make a final decision on whether or not to pursue the case.
All personal injury cases that are pursued come with a contingency fee. This fee is negotiated before the lawyer takes on your case. This negotiation will determine the percentage the lawyer receives of the final settlement money. This is typically between 30 and 40 percent. The final amount is reached at the conclusion of the case. As such, if the wrongdoer or insurance company provides a settlement of $100,000, the personal injury lawyer that represents the case will receive anywhere from $30,000 to $40,000.
When the contingency fee is paid depends primarily on when the settlement occurs. If the settlement is reached before a lawsuit is filed, the amount the lawyer can receive is usually capped at just over 30 percent. This generally happens when the defendant has a good case, which results in the accused business or person entering negotiations to settle before the case is taken to court.
In settlements before lawsuits, the percentage that the lawyer receives is capped because of the fact that they don’t represent your case in court. However, in situations where the settlement occurs after filing a lawsuit, your lawyer will receive a larger amount of the settlement, usually around 40 percent. Other expenses will come into play, especially if a lawsuit is eventually filed, as additional court costs will eventually take effect.
While the contingency fee that the lawyer receives after the settlement covers the vast majority of the fees attributed to a personal injury lawyer, the lawyer usually pays a lot of the expenses that come up during the course of the trial or settlement proceedings. They will then subtract these costs from the settlement you receive.
However, some lawyers will take a different tactic and demand payment for each expense as it occurs. Some of the primary expenses in a case of this type include medical records, witness fees, police reports, filing fees, depositions, trial exhibits and investigators. Overall, the final amount of the settlement that the lawyer receives usually ranges anywhere from 45 percent to just over 60 percent.
Once the defendant and accused have reached a settlement, the settlement check will be given to the lawyer. They will then subtract what they are owed, while providing you with a list of expenses. The remainder of the settlement will then be given to you.