Most personal injury attorneys charge you a contingency fee. This compensation system allows the injured person to hire an experienced personal injury attorney without having to pay for upfront legal costs.
With a contingency fee, your attorney’s fees are taken out of the final settlement or verdict. Most attorneys also will deduct their legal expenses from this amount. The contingency fee percentage varies depending upon the attorney and the stage of the case.
Most contingency fees range between 33% to 40%. However, you can attempt to negotiate a lower fee. Most of personal injury settlements have a 33.33% contingency fee. For instance, if you get an offer of $30,000 from the insurance company after a car accident, you will receive $20,000. Your attorney receives $10,000.
Most states have varying fee limits based upon the case stage. Your personal injury attorney should send a demand letter to the business or person who caused your injuries. The letter will detail your injuries and make a demand for payment. If you have a strong case, the negligent party will often make a counteroffer, and further negotiations will follow. This all will happen before you file suit. When you try to settle before filing the lawsuit, it is likely the attorney cannot get more than 33% of the settlement.
In some cases, the negligent party may not respond to your demand letter. In this situation, if your case is strong, you would file a personal injury lawsuit. If the settlement occurs after filing suit, your attorney is usually allowed to get a higher percentage, such as 40%. If the case settles after the lawsuit for $30,000, your attorney would receive $12,000.
The final consideration is costs and expenses of the legal case. Most attorneys deduct these from your part of the settlement. Others may charge you for these expenses as they are due.