If you have been injured in an accident as the result of someone else’s negligence, you undoubtedly have an array of different types of questions. High on the list of your queries is likely to be how much will an personal injury attorney charge for your case.
Personal Injury Attorney and Contingency Fee Agreements
In a personal injury case, an personal injury lawyer typically utilizes what is called a contingency fee agreement. Through a contingency fee agreement, you generally pay no fee unless an personal injury attorney obtains a favorable settlement or judgment for you in your case, according to Cornell University School of Law.
Calculating Attorney Fees in a Personal Injury Case
In determining what an attorney fee will be a in a particular personal injury case, an personal injury attorney and a client like you reach an agreement on a percentage of a settlement or judgment that will go to compensating your lawyer. The percentage varies from one case to another, based on the nature of the case and the agreement between client and legal counsel.
Understanding that the percentage is established on a case-by-case basis, the common attorney fee percentage range in a personal injury case is somewhere between 33 and 45 percent. Keep in mind that some contingency fee agreements have an adjustable fee schedule included within the agreement.
If the case is settled with an insurance company, the percentage will be a lower amount. If the case proceeds to trial, and requires more attorney time, the percentage is set at a higher amount. If the case ends up going to an appeal, the percentage is notched up a bit further. As previously noted, all of this is agreed upon at the commencement of representation between a client and an attorney.
Personal Injury Lawyer and Case Costs
A reality associated with pursuing a personal injury case is that expenses are incurred along the way. For example, an attorney representing you in a personal injury case may have to engage the assistance of a medical expert to develop vital evidence about the nature and extent of your injuries, according to Cornell Law School.
Ultimately, you are responsible for the expenses associated with the successful conclusion of your case. In other words, as a relatively routine practice in the New York City legal community, you become responsible for reimbursing those costs when your personal injury case successfully is concluded. In the interim, legal counsel “fronts” or pays for these expenses on your behalf.
Keep in mind that when it comes to major expenses associated with your case, a personal injury attorney consults with you before agreeing to an expenditure. You have input into how expenses accumulate in your case.
Written Contingency Fee Agreement
When you hire an personal injury attorney, you will receive from that professional a proposed, written contingency fee agreement. The contract puts into writing what you previously discussed with legal counsel in regard to attorney fees in your case.
You need to take the time to fully review the fee contract. If you have any questions, including how fees will be calculated in your case, you need to make certain you obtain full and complete answers before signing the proposed agreement. In fact, closely reading a contract is what you should to in any situation in which you are called upon to enter into an agreement.
Retain an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
The process of engaging legal counsel in an accident case is scheduling a preliminary appointment, or initial consultation, with an experienced personal injury lawyer. During the initial consultation, not only will a case evaluation occur, but a discussion of attorney fees will occur. You will be able to ascertain what to expect in the way of attorney costs for your personal injury case. No fee is charged for an initial consultation with legal counsel in a personal injury case.