Whether you’re the victim of a hit and run, medical malpractice or some other crisis, one of the first things that often comes to mind is how much hiring a good personal injury lawyer will cost you. Legal assistance can sound pricey and seem intimidating. The good news is that hiring a personal injury lawyer doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.
Working on Contingency
Many people assume you must pay an attorney up front to represent you, however, this isn’t always the case. Most personal injury lawyers will work on contingency. Contingency essentially means you don’t pay until you get results. Under a contingency fee arrangement:
- You can get an experienced attorney without a lot of up-front costs
- Lawyer’s fees are taken out of any settlement you get in your case
- Incidental costs are also typically covered by your judgement
This type of arrangement makes it easier on you and gives your personal injury lawyer incentive to fight to get you a good outcome.
Contingency Fee Percentages
How much your personal injury lawyer will deduct from your final judgement can vary. A standard amount is 33 to 40 percent. That means if you are awarded $60,000, you might expect your attorney to deduct about $24,000. That percentage can vary by state and some attorneys will also allow you to negotiate.
Can fees go up?
The percentage your attorney may want can change depending on the stage of your case. For instance, if the wrongdoer settles before you go to court, expect to pay roughly 33 percent in most cases. But if you get a settlement only after your lawsuit is filed, the fee is usually closer to 40 percent. It’s easy to see why it’s important to pick a trusted attorney and communicate often about where your case stands to avoid unpleasant surprises when it’s time to pay.
Are there other costs?
A typical civil case can involve a lot of unexpected fees associated with things like medical reports, filing fees and even investigators. Often, a personal injury lawyer will include all of that in their final deduction, but some fees may need to be covered up front.
The cost of hiring a personal injury lawyer can vary based on the details of your specific case. But knowing what to expect can help you make good decisions. Reach out today to an attorney who will be up front about their fees and you’ll get through this difficult time much more easily.