On top of being physically painful and disruptive to every part of your professional and personal life, getting seriously injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence can also be extremely expensive. From medical bills and missed work income to long-term expenses and losses, there are plenty of financial worries that your personal injury settlement demand or lawsuit may need to account for. The last thing you want to worry about is how much money you will have to pay to the legal professional assisting you.
With that in mind, you are certainly not alone if one of your most pressing questions immediately after a serious accident is what percentage of your final damage award or settlement your personal injury lawyer will take. Here is a brief guide about how paying for legal services typically works, as well as what may impact the total cost of your unique case.
How Contingency Fees Work in Personal Injury Cases
Unlike many other types of legal professionals who may charge upfront for their services or bill clients by the hour, personal injury attorneys typically work on a contingency basis. This means they get paid for their services by taking a portion of whatever settlement or court verdict they obtain on their injured client’s behalf. If a lawyer working on contingency is unable to win a case on behalf of a client and that client does not get any settlement or court award, that lawyer does not get paid for their services.
The exact percentage of a client’s settlement or damage award that a personal injury lawyer will take as their contingency fee can vary greatly from firm to firm, and even from attorney to attorney. The average amount taken is 33 percent of the final settlement or damage award’s total value, but it is not unheard of for the percentage to go as low as 10 percent or as high as 45 percent.
It is worth stressing, though, that skilled attorneys almost always factor their contingency fees and related costs into the demands they make of defendants. In other words, they will generally demand compensation for the full value of their client’s damages and then add their contingency fee onto the final sum they ask for through a settlement or court verdict—rather than just taking their fee out of whatever amount an injured person receives for their losses.
What Factors Affect the Cost of Legal Services?
While the contingency percentage that most personal injury attorneys take out of whatever award or settlement they obtain on an injured person’s behalf will represent the bulk of their income from any single case, there may be additional costs and fees attached to a case. For example, if a case proceeds to court, other administrative expenses may be factored into what amount of money the lawyer retains from a successful verdict.
Likewise, injury claims that take longer to resolve tend to be more expensive in terms of administrative and procedural costs, which may impact the claim’s overall value. Our team can go into specific detail with you about what fees and costs may come with your case during a private consultation. Call today to schedule your free case review with one of our trusted personal injury attorneys at OnderLaw.