How do personal injury attorneys get paid?
The vast majority of attorneys use a contingency fee system. This means the client does not pay until the attorney gets recovery for his/her client. The attorney fees will be deducted from the settlement, as will costs and fees. Cost and expenses are detailed below, but they include filing fees, expert fees, transcripts, depositions and police reports to name a few.
What are examples of of costs and expenses?
Cost and expenses are deducted from the total court award or total settlement amount and they include, but are not limited to:
- Filing Fees
- Police Reports
- Medical Reports
- Experts (Expert Witnesses)
- Exhibits (for trial)
Costs and expenses are paid by our office before we settle. Our office advances such costs for your benefit.
Do I have to pay my lawyer if I decide to change attorneys in the middle of my case?
If you decided to change attorneys, you may be liable for the time and expense that attorney spent working on your case. They will either have a lien on your settlement or can sue you and the defendant in your case. It's best to communicate with your attorney first and agree in writing to the amount you will owe the attorney for their fees and expenses.
Why does my lawyer get the settlement check before instead of me?
Attorneys spend their time and money before clients pay anything. They have taken enormous risk. Thus, it is customary to insure they are compensated for their time and expenses. Once the attorney deducts his/her time and expenses, the remaining balance will be sent to the client.
What percent of my settlement do I have to pay to my attorney on a personal injury case?
Most contingency fee agreements provide the lawyer with 33-45%, depending at what stage of the case there was a distribution of compensation. If there was a settlement before filing a lawsuit, the attorney's percentage will be less. If there was a lawsuit filed but there was a settlement before trial starting, the attorney percentage will be 38-40%. If the trial started and court granted an award or a settlement occurred before a verdict, the percentage will be 45%.