If you have been injured in a car, truck, or motorcycle accident and want to pursue legal action, it is important to understand attorney fees in a personal injury case. How much does a personal injury attorney cost? Here is what you should know about the different types of attorney fees and the factors affecting the cost of hiring a personal injury attorney:
Types of Attorney Fees
Types of attorney fees commonly used in personal injury cases are:
- Contingency fees: This type of attorney fee is contingent upon winning the case. The attorney will take a percentage of the final settlement amount as their fee. If your claim is unsuccessful, you do not owe the attorney any fees. This is typically the type of attorney fee you will see a lawyer charge in personal injury cases and what you will see most personal attorneys advertise on TV or on billboards.
- Hourly fees: In this fee structure, the attorney charges an hourly fee for the time they spend working on the case. Everything, including drafting documents, attending meetings, or research, is billed at a predetermined hourly rate. Hourly fees are rare in personal injury cases as many people who are injured through no fault of their own cannot afford the hourly rates charged by experienced attorneys.
- Flat fees: Lawyers will sometimes charge a set fee for the work they do. It is rare for personal injury attorneys to charge flat fees to handle cases. Again, many people who are injured through no fault of their own cannot afford to pay a flat fee upfront at the beginning of a case.
Factors affecting attorney's fees:
For personal injury cases, you will typically see lawyers charge a contingency fee between 30% to 50%. Contingency fees are agreed to between the lawyer and client at the beginning of the representation. Sometimes a lower fee is charged before a case is filed and then raised when a case is filed and sometimes raised again if an appeal is necessary. Many factors are considered when an attorney sets their fee. The factors include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Complexity of the case
- Time and effort required
- Attorney’s experience and reputation
- Case outcome risk
Potential Additional Costs and Expenses
In addition to attorney fees, there may be additional costs and expenses associated with a personal injury case. These can include:
- Court and filing fees
- Expert witness fees
- Medical records and documentation
- Investigative costs
- Administrative and office expenses
Court and other litigation expenses can be high and variable depending on many case-specific factors, and an experienced lawyer will explain to you the estimated case costs and the variables that affect those costs and the beginning of the representation and throughout the claim/case handling.
Questions To Ask When Hiring an Attorney
When hiring a personal injury attorney, the attorneys you talk to will advise you about how attorney fees work in a personal injury case. But if you have fee-related questions, you should not hesitate to ask them to ensure you make a well-informed decision. Here are a few questions to consider:
- How are attorney fees paid in contingency cases?
- What is your fee structure?
- Is your fee structure negotiable?
- What is your experience handling personal injury cases?
- Will I have to pay attorney fees if I lose?
- What about paying fees and costs to the other side?
- What case costs I should be aware of?
- What affects the amount of costs I will pay in my case?
- Are there any written agreements that discuss fees and costs?
How Much Does a Car Accident Lawyer Cost?
An attorney’s fee structure is a crucial factor to consider when hiring a lawyer. Be sure to inquire about fees and costs and hire a lawyer whose fee aligns with your needs. Contact Whalen Injury Lawyers today and learn about our flexible fee structures.