If you have been injured and believe that someone else is responsible for the losses you have sustained, you will likely want to hire a personal injury lawyer to represent your legal claim. As you interview several attorneys to pick the one with whom you will be most comfortable working, one of the considerations to discuss will be the fee. There are several factors to keep in mind when discussing the legal fees for your case.
Generally, personal injury lawyers will expect to be paid a contingency fee if they are able to win your case in court or settle the case during arbitration or through other means. Most contingency fees range from twenty-five percent to forty-five percent of the total amount awarded for the claim, including all injuries, losses, and damages. For example, if your case is settled for $10,000 the attorney may receive anywhere from $2,500 to $4,500. It is important to discuss the percentage the attorney expects to be paid and to receive this fee agreement in writing up front.
Costs and expenses.
In addition to the contingency fee, you should ask who will pay for general costs like court filing fees, postage, and related items. Sometimes these amounts are absorbed into the contingency fee so that the attorney agrees to be responsible for them as part of the percentage he or she receives for bringing your case to a successful conclusion. This needs to be addressed up front so that there are no surprises later. Ask if there are any costs or fees that you are responsible for.
Hiring doctor, nurse, and other kinds of experts to testify during a deposition or a hearing, or to provide a video recording can be expensive. Sometimes the client pays their fees up front or is billed subsequent to their participation. At other times the personal injury lawyer will cover the costs of expert witnesses but expect a higher contingency percentage. This is another aspect of cost that should be clearly discussed in advance and agreed on in writing so that everyone knows what to expect when the case is won or settled.
Some legal fees are negotiable. Ask each attorney that you interview for specific costs or responsibilities of the attorney versus the client. Find out if costs are fixed or if they can be discussed in terms of an adjustable contingency percentage. Everyone should be clear going into legal proceedings of the possible range of expenses, and who is responsible for what. For additional resources, visit Futerman Partners LLP.