How much does it cost to hire a personal injury lawyer?

Contingent Fee Agreements are specific to personal injury lawyers. This is because most other types of law like business law or criminal law provide a service that does not seek to gain compensation for an intended purpose. In criminal law the defendants need someone to represent their interest so they don’t go to jail. Their fees will be paid strictly out of pocket. In business law, oftentimes lawyers are paid to minimize the liability of a business or protect them from being liable in certain situations (another service).

However, in personal injury law, the lawyer is working to get their client money to recover from property damage, injuries, and pain and suffering. Usually this means that the plaintiff is in need of money to sustain and recover back to their normal lifestyle (lost wages, medical expenses, money for repairs, etc.). Therefore, the personal injury lawyer and the client make a contingent fee agreement where the plaintiff does not have to pay any money until he or she has received compensation from a settlement or verdict.

How much does it cost to hire a personal injury lawyer?

In most cases – nothing! There are no upfront fees when signing on with a personal injury attorney. The law firm you choose to handle your case will not be paid until you are. Contingency fees make hiring a personal injury attorney easy and affordable for any budget.

Infographic: What Does it Cost to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer

In most cases – nothing! There are no upfront fees when signing on with a personal injury attorney. The law firm you choose to handle your case will not be paid until you are. Contingency fees make hiring a personal injury attorney easy and affordable for any budget.

Contingent Fee Agreement Defined

This is the agreement between the lawyer and the client stating that if the client does not have to pay any lawyer fees but the lawyer gets a percentage of the winnings of the lawsuit. If the lawsuit leads to no compensation, the lawyer is left with nothing as well. Lawyer fees are contingent if the lawsuit leads to recovery and the fee is a percentage so it grows as the amount of recovery grows. This allows lawyers to represent those who are victims of negligence and cannot afford an attorney.

Developing The Client-Lawyer Relationship: Get it in Writing

The majority of dispute between a lawyer and his or her client is how much money the attorney takes from a settlement or verdict in a personal injury lawsuit. It is integral that before you officially hire an attorney, you get the contingent fee agreement in writing. This will determine how much your attorney fees are. Find out if your fees are hourly or contingent. If they are hourly, the expenses are accounted for by the amount of hours your attorney puts into the case, however when contingent, the lawyer takes out a percentage of the settlement or verdict after you are awarded your compensation.

A written agreement not only ensures that you know the compensation schedule of your attorney but non-monetary items such as:

  • The levels of communication you and your attorney will maintain such as how often he or she will contact you and by what means
  • The logistics of possible outcomes in your case: who will be arguing for you if the case goes to trial, when would you want the case to go to trial, etc.
  • Clarifying how you or the lawyer can end the lawyer-client relationship

Creating Clear Levels of Communication

The obvious benefit to creating a written agreement is the openness of communication and the ability to push out room for disputes between you and your lawyer.

By including not only the compensation schedule for your attorney but also non-monetary items, such as communication schedules, you ensure that you and your attorney are both viewing the case and the desired outcomes in the same way. When it does come time to pay or not to pay your attorney, you can both refer back to the contract and avoid a dispute.

Other Things To Include In Your Contingent Fee Agreement

As we have discussed, when you enter into a lawyer-client relationship, get everything in writing:

  • How the attorney’s fees will be paid for
  • Who will handle your case
  • How you will communicate with your lawyer
  • How much you are willing to spend on developing your case
  • How the relationship can end
  • The extent of the lawyer’s representation of you. Sometimes you might want to clarify if the same lawyer will represent you if you have to appeal your case or perform further action after the lawsuit is finished.
In wrongful death cases, the family of the deceased or their estate can receive compensation in for medical and funeral expenses. Other damages such as, lost earning and financial support for the surviving spouse and children can be recovered. There can also be compensation for emotional distress, especially if the survivor witnessed the accident or negligent that caused to the death of the deceased. Other issues to bring before the court would be Loss of Consortium and comfort. Due to the significant compensation paid to the families of wrongful death cases, the litigation can be complex. We will begin an immediate investigation into your case to ensure that necessary evidence is preserved. Our attorneys will work with experts including accident re-constructionists who can assess the pain and suffering caused to the victim, and forensic accountants who can make an immediate and long-term evaluation of your economic losses. When your family suffers, you need attorneys who can provide the aggressive and effective advocacy you need to get results.

Choosing McMinn Law Firm turned out to be the best decision we’ve ever had to make. They offer a courteous, detailed, knowledgeable, and professional staff.

They were straight-forward and transparent. The best part of my experience with McMinn Law was the level of care and regard they had for my son. They had my son’s best interest at the top of their priority list every step of the way and gave us top notch referrals.

This was the first accident lawyer we have ever had to hire, so we were not sure what to expect, but we quickly grew to trust them. I was able to go on with my life and let them handle all of the details. We did not have to micromanage, check up on them, or research anything throughout the process like we did with other lawyer experiences which took all of the stress off our already busy lives. Excellent decision.

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At McMinn, We Are Here to Meet Your Needs

Contact us for a free initial consultation and we’ll explain how we will handle your case and what you can expect from us. We are here to meet your needs and get you back on track with the clearest communication possible. After reading this blog you should be equipped to handle yourself when entering into a client-lawyer relationship.