Accident attorneys more often than not work on a contingency basis. This means that if they do not recover damages for a case that they are representing they will not get paid. It is very rare that you will come across an accident attorney who works on a per hour basis. Contingency fees represent a very large portion of income for most personal injury attorneys. How much are these fees, though?
So What Can I Expect to Pay In Contingency Fees?
If you have been injured in an accident and require the representation of an accident attorney to recover damages for you, you might be wondering how much you can expect to pay for their services. The answer to this question is that it depends on what they charge in contingency fees for a personal injury case.
Many personal injury attorneys stake their claims on the fact that they are doing a service to society by representing needy clients in the court of law, when in reality these very lawyers who are gloating over the fact that if they do not win they do not get paid, actually generally charge very high contingency fees. This means that in actuality, charging this higher percentage contingency fee equates to much more than what any accident attorney would ever dare charge by the hour. Contingency fees range in amount from 25 to 45 percent of net winnings, where many states have caps on how high they will allow an accident attorney to go. This means that after all other various fees are subtracted, the attorney will get 25 to 45 percent of the plaintiff’s award. Think about it from a business perspective, since not very many personal injury cases have a happy ending, it is, therefore, important to remember that charging a higher contingency fee is crucial to make up for long “dry spells” where the lawyer may not have any source of income.
In many cases, from the perspective of an individual who has been hurt in an accident, it does not so much matter how high the fee is unless it is outrageously steep. This is because a lot of times those who require representation in a personal injury case could otherwise not afford representation and so a contingency fee that is slightly higher than an hourly rate works in their favor.
Personal injury law is an area of law that is continuously becoming increasingly competitive. For this reason, it should be expected that accident attorneys will be willing to negotiate the contingency fees for those cases in which they believe they can retrieve compensation. When it comes to how much a personal injury attorney will charge, it is a lot of times depending on what they expect the punitive damages to be awarded. This is because punitive damages are not compensation that is meant to cover the loss of personal property, medical bills, lost time at work, etc. Instead, these are damages that simply go straight into the pockets of the plaintiff, and thus, it is not uncommon for an accident attorney to not feel bad about charging a higher percentage if they expect a high payout in punitive damages.
Today, a standard of approximately one-third of the award is what can be expected. Though you might occasionally come across an accident attorney who charges significantly less than this standard 33 percent, remember that you get what you pay for. Trying your luck at hiring a subpar personal injury attorney who does not have a track record of settling or winning at trial, may cost you big if you lose your opportunity to recover compensation for your case.
No Recovery, No Fee, When You Opt for a Good Accident Attorney
This popular payment arrangement where the attorney agrees to no fees if they do not recover, or contingency fee, is popular among personal injury cases. This arrangement, which is essentially contingent upon the result of a successful outcome, allows many more injured parties to have a shot at recovering the compensation they deserve.
When it comes to contingency fees and selecting an accident attorney, always be straightforward with your candidates and always be honest with yourself. Do not select the attorney with the lowest fees. Instead, interview, assess, and negotiate terms that work for you both. Make sure that your accident attorney makes you feel comfortable and confident; and above all never settle for less than what you are worth.