How Much Does It Cost To Speak With You About My Situation?
- March 6, 2017
While most lawyers are paid by the hour, personal injury attorneys are compensated very differently. Unfortunately, many people hesitate to speak with an injury lawyer for fear they can’t afford costly attorney’s fees or upfront costs. The truth is it costs nothing to speak with a personal injury attorney in Los Angeles for a consultation about your case. If you and your attorney decide to proceed, you will pay nothing upfront. Instead, your attorney will help you protect your rights and seek fair compensation for your injuries and receive attorney’s fees only when — and if — you collect compensation from the insurance company or a jury trial.
Here’s how a personal injury lawyer’s fee schedule works.
Personal Injury Lawyer Contingency Fee Agreement
A personal injury lawyer is not paid unless and until they win your injury case. If the lawyer wins your case, you will need to pay their fee, which is usually around one-third of your settlement amount. If the lawyer loses your case, you will owe nothing. This is called a contingency fee agreement.
After your consultation, if you decide to be represented by the attorney, you will sign a contract called a fee agreement, which clearly explains how your injury lawyer will be paid and the exact percentage amounts you will each receive when the case is over.
In addition to the attorney’s fees, there will also be some costs associated with preparing your case. Your attorney will pay a wide range of costs while preparing and negotiating your injury claim, including copying and office fees, expert testimony expenses, and deposition expenses. These fees will always be deducted from your settlement amount first before the attorney takes his or her percentage.
This means you will not have legal expenses while you are fighting for the compensation you deserve. Your injury lawyer will represent you and negotiate on your behalf while taking the risk that they will receive nothing if your case isn’t successful. Your lawyer will even pay out-of-pocket expenses to help finance your case.
As an example of how the contingency fee basis works, imagine you receive accept a settlement amount of $15,000 from the insurance company. Your attorney’s costs for preparing your case are $500 which is subtracted from the settlement amount ($14,500). Your attorney receives 33.3% in compensation from this amount ($4,833) which leaves $9,667. Your case has a $4,000 medical lien for treatment you received after the accident which is subtracted next. This leaves a net amount of $5,667 that you receive from the settlement.
Average Contingency Fees for Los Angeles Injury Lawyers
On average, a personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles have attorney’s fees of 33.33% on a contingency fee basis. This percentage can vary a great deal, however, based on location, the amount of experience the attorney has with the specific practice area, your liability in the case, the complexity of your case, and the amount of time that must be spent preparing your case.
Note that while attorney’s fees on a contingency fee basis are usually one-third of the settlement amount (after expenses and medical liens are deducted), it’s common for attorney’s fees to be increased to 40% if the case must be tried in court. This is very uncommon, however, as the vast majority of personal injury cases settle with the insurance company before a trial is necessary.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer in Los Angeles
If you have been seriously injured in an accident, you have nothing to lose by contacting a personal injury attorney. Along with working on a contingency fee basis to give you experienced legal counsel through every step of the process without upfront legal costs, you can also discuss your case with an attorney at no cost. A personal injury lawyer is available to answer any questions you may have and offer a no-cost evaluation of your case.