Understanding the Costs of a Personal Injury Attorney

Rispoli & Borneo P.C.

Car Accident Lawyer

People often assume that an attorney costs more than they actually do. While criminal defense attorneys can cost tens of thousands of dollars for an entire trial, it is not the same for personal injury cases. Defense attorneys also expect payment upfront as a retainer to ensure they receive payment. Personal injury attorneys do not work in the same way. In fact, it is possible that you hire an attorney and, depending on the outcome of the trial, you don’t pay any lawyer fees, only for expenses. This seemingly magical arrangement is possible through the contingency agreement.

No Upfront Costs

A contingency agreement typically means you do not pay your lawyer anything until your case reaches a settlement or positive judgment. It is worth noting that both instances mean a victory for you. That’s right, most arrangements stipulate that you only pay attorney fees if you make money from your claim.

Before you get too excited, keep in mind that attorney fees in these arrangements can either be fixed or a percentage of the settlement or verdict. The percentage varies based on the amount of work that needs to go into a case, but it typically fluctuates between 30% and 40%. If a case goes to trial, the attorney will expect a larger percentage, closer to the 40%.

While that percentage can seem steep, it is worth noting that claims with legal representation are often more favorable than those without. By hiring an experienced attorney, you are giving yourself a better chance at victory. However, because of the increased risk to the attorney, they can be more selective about the cases they agree to take on.

Unavoidable Fees

A loss might mean you do not have to pay your attorney, but there are still incurred expenses that will need to be paid. For example, you will need to cover filing and expert witness fees as well as other miscellaneous office expenses. You should be clear and direct with your attorney to ensure you have control over frivolous expenditures. However, keep in mind that some things that might seem frivolous to you, like making copies, are often pertinent to the process.

While there is a presumed expense that comes with hiring an attorney, a personal injury lawyer often takes on the brunt of the risks. If you are curious about contingency arrangements, contact a car accident lawyer, like Ward & Ward Law Firm to discuss it and other issues related to your claim.