What Are Typical Personal Injury Lawyer Fees?
After an accident, many victims are curious about how much it would cost to hire an attorney.
The right lawyer can make a big difference in your personal injury case, collecting evidence and negotiating with the defendant or his insurer.
Unfortunately, attorneys do not work for free, and many victims wonder whether they can actually afford the injury lawyer fees.
Fortunately, typical personal injury lawyer fees require no up-front expenditure from the client, who can instead focus on receiving proper medical care to treat his or her injuries.
It is vital that you contact an attorney as soon as possible to protect important rights to compensation.
If you don’t, then you could forfeit any ability to receive money as a result of the accident that injured you.
Contact PhillyLaw as soon as possible to start your case.
How Do You Calculate a Personal Injury Lawyer Fee?
Most personal injury attorneys in Philadelphia work for victims “on contingency.”
This means that the attorney will not be paid hourly for his services the way divorce or criminal defense attorney is.
Instead, the lawyer agrees to waive any attorneys’ fees in exchange for taking a percentage of your jury verdict or settlement award.
Typically, the lawyer will take between 33-40%, depending on when the case settles or is resolved.
So if a client receives $100,000 in a settlement, then a lawyer will get around $33,000-40,000.
There are many advantages to a contingency fee agreement, which is why Pennsylvania allows attorneys to use them in personal injury cases like car accidents, slip and falls, and premises liability cases.
For one, the attorney has a strong incentive not to take a case if it lacks merit. Remember, the lawyer only gets paid if you win the case.
If your case is a sure loser, then a lawyer would be foolish to dedicate hundreds of hours only for the case to result in a defense victory.
Second, lawyers have an incentive to maximize the amount of money that a client receives.
The bigger the overall plot, the larger the portion the attorney takes.
Consider the following, where a lawyer has an agreement to take 33% of a settlement:
- The lawyer settles for $60,000 and receives $20,000. The client receives $40,000.
- The lawyer settles for $120,000 and receives $40,000. The client receives $80,000.
As you can see, both the attorney and the client benefit by increasing the amount of compensation. The more the lawyer gets, the more the client gets.
What Are other Expenses involved in Personal Injury Lawsuits?
A lawsuit carries other expenses in addition to personal injury attorney fees.
For example, there will be costs and fees associated with the lawsuit, including:
- Filing fees for court documents
- Copying costs
- Fees to obtain medical records
- Expert witness fees
The client is responsible for these expenses as well. Each case is different, and sometimes the costs will be negligible, but in other cases, they could be considerable.
Talk to your attorney at the start about how much the costs should be. Some lawyers will require that you pay all costs as they are incurred by billing monthly or semimonthly.
Other lawyers will agree to take the costs out of your final settlement or verdict.
What Are Other Fee Arrangements Lawyers Use?
A small number of lawyers might agree to represent you using an hourly fee or a flat fee. You should carefully analyze whether you think the fee is fair and reasonable.
An hourly fee is what it sounds like—the lawyer sets an hourly fee and then bills in 10- or 15-minute increments.
If a lawyer does a half-hour worth of work on your case in a month but bills at $400 an hour, you get charged $200.
If the lawyer does 3 hours of work at the same rate, you get billed $1,200.
Hourly fees are used often when a person is a defendant in a case but makes little sense if you are the injured victim. Hourly fees must be paid whether you win or lose the case.
Some lawyers also will work for a flat fee.
You will be quoted an amount—say $5,000—and this is what you pay regardless of the amount of work the lawyer performs.
Lawyers sometimes use flat fee agreements for routine matters. As with hourly fees, you pay the flat fee whether you win or lose the case.
Contact a Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorney to Talk about Fees for Your Case
If you have been injured in an accident, please contact us. We have years of experience building solid claims for compensation, and we want to work for you.
Give PhillyLaw LLC a call at 215-515-2050 or submit our online contact form. You have no time to waste.