When you are involved in an accident, you likely know it’s a good idea to hire a personal injury attorney. With the right lawyer at your side, you can feel confident you have the evidence needed to prove the defendant is responsible for the injuries you suffered. Also, you can maximize the compensation you receive if you are able to provide compelling testimony, as well as proof of both non-economic and economic losses.
However, if you are like many people, you may be worried about how much it will cost to hire a personal injury attorney. Learn more about the costs associated with hiring this legal representation, here.
Most personal injury attorneys represent a client on contingency. This means the client isn’t required to pay them per hour. Instead, the only fee charged is a percentage of the jury award or settlement.
If the case is unsuccessful, then you won’t be required to pay any attorney fees. A contingency fee is an affordable way for injured victims to acquire quality, legal services. The fees also allows attorneys to only take the cases that have merit. Otherwise, their work will be done for nothing.
The fee charged by an attorney is typically dependent on if you settle the case before or after you have filed a lawsuit. For example:
- If you decide to settle your case, then your attorney will usually receive a third of the settlement. For example, if you settle for $60,000, your attorney receives $20,000.
- If you opt to settle after you have filed your lawsuit, then your attorney will probably receive 40 percent of the total amount. The percentage could be higher or lower based on the attorney you hire.
While the percentages mentioned above may seem somewhat high, the attorneys have an incentive to maximize how much you receive. That’s because doing this will increase the amount of money they receive.
Court Costs and Other Related Expenses
Filing a lawsuit can be expensive. While you don’t have to pay your attorney a fee unless your case is successful, you still need to cover court costs and other related expenses including the following:
- Copying and postage charges
- Filing fees
- Trial exhibits
- Police reports
- Court reporters
- Expert witness fees
- Medical records
Each attorney is unique when it comes to how they will charge you for the court costs and other expenses. There are some who may bill you as the costs are incurred, while others will deduct the total amount from what you receive.
Carefully Read Your Contingent Fee Agreement
It is required that lawyers put their contingency fee agreements in writing as a part of their retainer agreement. Be sure to read the details of the agreement carefully, as this is where you will also find your obligations – such as when you have to pay the costs related to filing the lawsuit.
When a settlement is agreed on, your attorney will receive the check from the defendant or their insurance company. They should then provide you with a written statement that outlines what was withheld, why and a check that includes your portion.
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