How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Many people who have been injured due to the actions of another party consider filing a personal injury claim, but may be discouraged from doing so based on the presumed costs of hiring a personal injury lawyer.
If you think that you have a personal injury claim and are wondering, “How much is it to hire a lawyer?”, we have good news: working with a personal injury lawyer isn’t nearly as expensive as you may think.
Consider the following information about the personal injury lawyer fee system in California, and be sure to schedule a consultation with our skilled injury lawyers to learn more about the specifics of working with us.
How Much Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Cost?
If you’re assuming that hiring a lawyer will cost you an arm and a leg, and that’ll you be forced to pay an hourly fee, retainer fee, or other exorbitant fees, note that the vast majority of personal injury lawyers--including those at Starpoint Law--work on a contingency fee basis.
What’s a Contingency Fee?
A contingency fee arrangement refers to an agreement between you and your attorney whereby their fee is contingent, or dependent, upon the outcome of your case. If your case is successful and you recover a settlement, your attorney will reserve the right to collect an agreed upon fee that is based on the value of your winnings (you and your attorney will agree to a percentage of your settlement that will serve as the attorney’s fee in advance).
A fee will often fluctuate based on how long a case takes to settle or if the case goes to trial - attorneys who represent clients in trial typically collect a greater fee (charge a larger percentage on a settlement) than do those who settle a case out of court.
What If I Don’t Win?
A contingent fee sounds great - but what happens if your case isn’t successful and you don’t recover a settlement at all? Will you still be liable for debt owed to your attorney?
The answer is no. Based on the contingency fee system, if your lawyer is unsuccessful in recovering a settlement on your behalf, you will not owe the lawyer money for their services. Indeed, you will only pay the attorney if you yourself get paid.
What Percentage Will My Attorney Charge?
In order to determine what percentage of your winnings must be paid to your attorney at the end of your case should it be successful, it is best to meet with an attorney and request a free consultation in advance, where the attorney will outline their fee schedule. Typically, contingency fees range between 33 and 40 percent, depending upon the amount of time that your attorney dedicates to your case.
So, this means that if you had a contingent fee agreement with your attorney that stated that you would owe the attorney 33 percent of your settlement and you recovered $100,000, you would owe your attorney $33,000 of that. This means that you never have to pay your attorney out of pocket.
Avoid Personal Injury Attorneys Who Try to Overcharge
While personal injury attorneys should always work on a contingency fee basis, there are unscrupulous lawyers out there who may try to overcharge you and take advantage of your naivety when it comes to lawyers’ fee arrangements. Always make sure that you understand your fee agreement and that it is in writing, and refuse counsel if an attorney asks you to pay a retainer fee or an hourly fee.
What Other Fees Should I Expect as Part of the Personal Injury Claims Process?
In addition to your lawyer’s fee, there are other fees of which you should be aware as you initiate the personal injury claims process. These fees might include court filing fees, experts’ fees, administrative expenses, and investigative costs. Ask your attorney how much they expect these fees to be and how fees are handled and whether or not you will be liable for these fees out of pocket.
Call Our California Personal Injury Lawyers Today to Learn More
To learn more about filing a personal
injury claim in California, what working with a lawyer is like, and how much
hiring a personal injury lawyer costs, schedule a free consultation with a
lawyer near you today. At the law offices of Starpoint Law, our California
personal injury lawyers are happy to sit down with you to discuss your case
today at no cost to you. Reach us online or by phone to get started.