A personal injury lawyer handles personal injury lawsuits, which occur when one party suffers some kind of harm that can be traced back to the actions of another party and seeks to recover compensation for that harm. Common personal injury scenarios include vehicle accidents, being injured at work, wrongful death, medical malpractice, and injuries caused by defective products. Personal injury claims can be handled by settlements or in court.
It’s perfectly legal not to use the services of a personal injury lawyer when pursuing a personal injury claim, but utilizing a lawyer increases your chance of success. On top of that, speaking with a lawyer will help you decide whether your claim is worth pursuing and what steps you should take to do so. In deciding whether to hire a personal injury lawyer, it’s important to be aware of how much they typically cost and what fees can be associated with pursuing a claim with an attorney.
How Much Are Personal Injury Lawyer Fees?
A common type of fee structure for lawyers is an hourly rate; where a lawyer will charge you for the time he spends on your case. This includes all of the time that you and the lawyer are meeting, but also the time outside of that your lawyer spends writing and filing motions, gathering evidence, or deposing witnesses. Regardless of whether or not his client wins, the lawyer will be paid—sometimes half the amount of the settlement, or more.
This system might make people feel as though a lawyer has more incentive to drag out a case than he does to win it. However, personal injury attorneys commonly use a contingency fee structure instead of an hourly rate.
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A contingency fee structure means that your lawyer takes compensation as a percentage of the settlement you receive, not at an hourly rate or a flat fee. As you might expect, this requires the client to have received a settlement of some kind—with a contingency fee agreement, if you do not receive a positive outcome to your case, you will not owe your lawyer anything. You don’t pay anything upfront with a contingency fee agreement, and your lawyer gets paid when you do.
This fee structure is appealing to many people, especially those going through the personal injury claims process, because it allows them to pursue their claim without risk. Without contingency fee agreements, you could lose your case and receive nothing but still owe your lawyer money. No case has a certain outcome, and putting any money behind a claim runs the risk of not paying off. A contingency fee structure allows you to negate that risk.
A contingency fee structure ensures your peace of mind in knowing that you and your lawyer are on the same side and have the same interests. Your lawyer won’t be paid more for dragging out your claim—they’ll be paid more if you’re paid more. With a contingency fee structure, the lawyer is motivated to resolve your claim as quickly, efficiently, and as profitably as possible.
How Do Contingency Fee Agreements Typically Work?
Generally, contingency fees are standardized throughout the personal injury legal field. Cases that resolve themselves before going to trial require a lesser percentage than cases that proceed to trial or involve an appeal. In general, 33 percent is the fee for pre-litigation cases which do not go to trial, and 40 percent is the fee for cases that do require a trial.
These percentages might seem high, but they encompass all of the work done on a case which could take a year or more to resolve. A lawyer working under the hourly rate fee system can easily exceed that percentage by billing hourly, but there the client runs the added risk of still owing the same amount should the lawsuit not succeed.
Court Costs and Other Expenses
Regardless of the fee structure used by an attorney, a client will also have to pay for expenses incurred by his lawyer’s efforts to resolve his case. These could include traveling to various places, finding expert witnesses for testimony, gathering evidence through investigation or technology, or deposing witnesses.
There are also court fees associated with filing a complaint, the document that begins a personal injury lawsuit, and additional fees for every additional motion filed with the court. You may be required to pay for these sorts of benefits as they happen, or your lawyer will add them to your total fee at the end.
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Not all cases proceed to trial. If a defendant party does not think they will prevail in court and wants to skip the expense and time of going to trial, they may offer a settlement of money to compensate the victim to avoid going to court. Your lawyer will be able to advise you on your chances in court and how they might compare to an offered settlement, but it is always ultimately the client’s decision whether or not to accept a settlement.
If a settlement is accepted, it will likely be the lawyer’s responsibility to receive the settlement check. He will explain whatever fees and costs will be deducted from the final amount before the victim receives their compensation.
Get in Touch With Zinda Law Group Today
The experienced lawyers at Zinda Law Group are dedicated to helping their clients pursue their personal injury claims in the most efficient way possible. Our attorneys have won numerous settlements and favorable verdicts for victims injured by others. Being injured can be stressful or life-altering, but with Zinda Law Group, you can focus on recovery and know that your claim is being pursued by an experienced lawyer.
Everyone should be able to access high-quality legal representation. Zinda Law Group’s No-Win, No-Fee Guarantee means that you don’t have to worry about not being able to afford excellent legal representation or paying anything if you don’t win.
If you or a loved one has been injured and has questions about hiring a lawyer, call Zinda Law Group at (888) 241-6071 and receive a free case evaluation.
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