How much does a personal injury lawyer cost?Personal injury lawyers generally work on a contingency fee basis, which means they are only paid if you win your personal injury case. If you win your injury claim, they are paid a percentage of the fee which you are awarded.
What happens if they do not win your personal injury lawsuit? They are not paid their fee, although some injury attorneys will require payment for general costs to process your case such as the filing fee. This is generally not an issue but should be discussed with your personal injury lawyer prior to signing any type of representative agreement.
How is the contingency fee calculated?
The rate of pay for a personal injury lawyer can be affected by a variety of factors such as the claimants state of residence or the type of injury claim.
Personal Injury payment amounts can vary by state
Contingency fees can vary by state. Injury lawyers may charge from 30 40% of the injury settlement amount. Under some conditions, you, the client, may be able to negotiate a fee, especially if the potential settlement award could be very high. Keep in mind, the best injury lawyers may not be willing to negotiate the fee.
Payment amounts can vary by type of personal injury lawsuit
Injury claims such as workers compensation are tightly regulated by the state and the amount paid to a work comp lawyer will generally be established by law or must be approved.
For example, in Texas work comp cases, the lawyer is paid by the employers workers compensation insurance carrier out of the income benefits the injured worker received, but the work comp attorney fees must be approved by the Division of Workers Compensation and are based on the time and expense of the lawyer.
After the work compensation claim is settled and the attorney fees are approved, the amount paid to the lawyer is deducted from the claimants payment and sent to the lawyer. The amount can be as high as 25% but is limited by state work comp laws. Other states have different methods of determining legal fees in workers compensation claims.
Benefit of Contingency Fee Agreements
Contingency fee agreements can benefit the claimant, especially if they do not have sufficient funds to immediately hire an injury lawyer to plead their case. Injury lawyers are also highly motivated to work hard and help their clients get a high reward.
What are the downsides? If the personal injury lawyer quickly settles the injury case the client may feel that they paid their lawyer for doing very little work. It could also be argued that this type of agreement may increase the amount of claims filed because there are no negative consequences for filing frivolous injury claims. Although some could argue that injury lawyers would have less of an incentive to take claims that they do not think they have at least a small chance of winning.
Do any injury lawyers work on an hourly fee schedule?
Most injury lawyers will not work on an hourly basis, requiring clients to pay them for every hour that they work on the injury case. Why? Because most personal injury claimants do not have the necessary funds to hire an injury lawyer with up-front cash payments and the injury attorney may make less money under an hourly fee schedule than they could received if they eventually won the injury lawsuit.