How Much Do Personal Injury Lawyers Charge & How Do They Get Paid?
How Much Do Personal Injury Attorneys Charge?
The practice of charging a “contingency fee” actually goes back centuries to England. The standard fee since then has been 33.3% – paid after you win your case. Even though most charge this way, there are a few other differences you’ll bump into as you talk to attorneys.
It’s very important to ask your counsel precisely how they charge. And if you run into any evasive answers, or if you encounter some of the situations below, you should immediately thank them for their time and go about your day. Because in many of these cases, you’ve found a dishonest attorney, and dishonesty in payment could also mean they’re not going to give your case the full attention it deserves.
Here’s What Happens in The Real World:
Some lawyers charge fees of 40-50%.
There’s no reason for them to do this, other than to get more money. You’re not getting anything special. Many, even the best, charge the standard 33.3%. If it’s any higher than that, no matter how good they make it sound, do not hire them.
Ask whether their contingency fee includes their fee for services.
That 33.3% should include the counsel’s fees for providing you with their legal services. With some attorneys, it may not. Ask for clarification. If their fee for services goes above the 33.3%, do not hire them.
Some lawyers have you pay case expenses as they work on the case.
For example, they need to assemble some bills and talk to an expert witness. They tell you they’d like you to pay for that now, possibly along with some other expenses. It probably means the law firm doesn’t have a lot of money in the bank. Or, they’re just trying to get what they can. Either way, don’t hire that attorney. The vast majority of experts will pay your case expenses and recoup those expenses when your case is resolved.
Ask if you have to pay any costs if your case is unsuccessful.
You shouldn’t have to do this. Most attorneys, and even the most skilled ones, ask for nothing if they don’t succeed. That’s standard operating procedure. But some do. Ignore them and don’t hire them. They should be willing to simply write these off as a tax-deductible business expense.
Some law firms try to get you to pay interest on your case – don’t fall for it.
Because of the enormous cost involved in some cases, some law firms get loans to pay all the costs along the way. They’ll ask you to pay the interest. But you shouldn’t accept this arrangement. That’s because the interest can easily run up to 30%, just like you’d get hit with on a credit card. Plus, it may mean the law firm isn’t experienced at these cases, or isn’t successful, because they don’t have the money in the bank to do the job.
The Rule Is You Should Only Pay A Set Contingency Fee When Your Case is Won
There’s no sense in taking on any other agreement. It often indicates dishonesty or business weakness. And even the very best attorney you can get normally charges a standard 33.3% fee after they win.
How Do Personal Injury Lawyers Get Paid?
Every injured victim can afford the best injury attorney, even if they have no monthly income whatsoever. Here’s why:
1. They Only Get Paid When/If They Win Your Case
Not every lawyer works this way – more on this in a minute. But the vast majority don’t charge you a penny until your accident settlement check is received. Seems fair – doesn’t it? After all, the other party, not you, is responsible for your injuries.
2. They Only Take on Cases They Know They Can Win in Court
It makes sense because it’s in the lawyers’ material interest to do so. They don’t get paid hourly as your case goes along. They get paid only when they win your accident case. It’s a win-win-win situation: lawyers represent legitimate cases, you don’t have to pay lots of money you don’t have, and the legal system doesn’t get burdened with frivolous lawsuits.
Contact Mullen & Mullen Law Firm in Dallas Now at (214) 747-5240 for a Free Personal Injury Case Evaluation