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Who pays for the costs in my case? Are they included in the percentage fee?
- July 27, 2016
In a personal injury case, you generally don’t have to pay your attorney upfront. However, this doesn’t mean that they won’t get paid for their services. In most cases, they will get paid a percentage of any settlement that you receive. Even then, this doesn’t mean that you will be on the hook for paying your attorney after the case is resolved.
Attorney’s Fees May Be a Separate Amount
When pursuing a personal injury lawsuit, court documents generally state what the plaintiff is hoping to get from it. Usually, the suit will ask for damages plus attorney fees and other costs. Therefore, a jury may award an individual $100,000 for lost wages and future earnings plus $10,000 for legal costs or whatever the actual amount may be.
What About Other Costs Related to Filing a Personal Injury Case?
In addition to attorney fees, there may be fees to talk with experts as well as fees to file the case. Assuming the plaintiff wins his or her case, those miscellaneous fees are also included in the award that an individual may win. If you negotiate a settlement outside of court, any costs incurred may be part of the overall settlement amount. However, you may have to settlement amounts broken down into their individual components for the purposes of determining what you owe your attorney as well as to determine how much you may owe in state or federal taxes.
Are Attorney’s Fees and Other Costs Included in the Percentage Fee?
The answer to that question depends on what you and your attorney agreed to when he or she was hired. Some attorneys may demand that they be paid this way while others may be more flexible depending on your needs and how that attorney prefers to be compensated. This is an important point that you should go over with anyone you talk to about representing your interests in court. The last thing you want is to have a surprise bill after your settlement comes through or to receive less than what you think you are owed because of unexpected legal fees.
You May Owe for Services Rendered If You Fire Your Attorney
If you fire your attorney partway through your case, you most likely still owe for services rendered. In some cases, you will owe that money immediately or be required to start making monthly payments to pay back legal fees. However, your prior attorney may allow you to pay him or her after your case is settled. Regardless of how you pay your legal counsel, make sure that you account for it as this is a legitimate debt.
What Happens If You Lose Your Case?
In the event that you lose your case, you may not receive any compensation from the person you believe hurt you. Typically, you won’t owe your attorney anything, but if you do have to pay any fees, it may be possible to enter into a payment plan to satisfy that debt. Some attorneys may require a retainer fee as well as charge other flat fees to take your case regardless of the outcome. Court fees are generally paid ahead of time unless they are waived by the court, which means that they shouldn’t be a factor if you don’t win your case.
There is no reason not to pursue legal action if you have been hurt. While you may lose your case, that is unlikely if you suffered legitimate injuries and can establish when they occurred. While it may take time to resolve the case, the law allows you to receive compensation for your injuries as well as other costs incurred, which may make it easier to hold others accountable without going bankrupt.