How Is A Personal Injury Attorney Paid?

If you are thinking of hiring a personal injury attorney, you may be wondering exactly how the payment will work. Here are some guidelines for understanding personal injury payment schemes. 

What Are Contingency Fees?

Many types of lawyer will charge you based on the hours they have put into the case as well as the expenses for other items, such as expert witnesses. However, personal injury attorneys are usually paid on contingency instead. This means that you won't need to put up any cash upfront to hire the lawyer. Instead, they will take a set portion of the winnings in the case that the trial is settled in your favor. 

This can be both good and bad, depending on your case. It's good because you have to do less record keeping yourself; you won't need to keep close records of the number of hours your attorney works and make sure you're not going over a set budget. But it can also be a difficult thing if your case isn't that strong. Since the attorney is only paid if your trial is successful, you may have a difficult time recruiting top talent if your case isn't very clear cut. Speaking with many different personal injury lawyers is the key to finding a great one. 

How Much Will the Attorney Be Paid?

The attorney and you should work out the details of your contingency fee in your initial contract. It's reasonable to expect a rate of between 33 and 40 percent payment. This means that if your case is settled, the lawyer will take this percentage after all of the other expenses (such as medical bills) are settled. If you don't win the case, then you aren't obligated to pay anything out of pocket. 

Is an Attorney Worth the Cost?

You may be wondering if it's worth it to have this percentage taken out of your final settlement. In some cases, you can go it alone and be successful. But if your case is not completely straightforward, a good personal injury attorney can increase your odds of a successful outcome. If your case involves medical malpractice, poisoning, wrongful death, or another severe injury, you stand a great chance of winning the case on your own, although a lawyer can argue for the maximum compensation by strengthening your case. When the injury is less impactful, lawyers can be worth their tariff if they help you to create a more compelling story.