Hiring a personal injury lawyer usually means agreeing to pay some fees for legal representation. Injured victims are usually financially vulnerable. They have to deal with lost wages and expensive medical bills. Therefore, adding high attorney fees to the expenses might seem overwhelming. Luckily for you, our Riverdale personal injury attorney can explain how lawyers charge and the factors that could affect these figures.
This article covers all you need to know about an attorney’s fees and how the agreement works. We’ll also talk about additional costs you should expect when your case goes to trial. On that note, let’s take a look.
What a Typical Riverdale Personal Injury Attorney Fee Looks Like
Most times, personal injury lawyers get paid through a contingency fee agreement. This means that the lawyer’s payment depends on the case’s outcome. With a contingency fee agreement, the lawyer takes no fee upfront to represent you for your case.
Instead, the lawyer takes their fee from the recovered amount based on an agreed percentage. If there’s no positive outcome for your case, the attorney won’t receive payments for their services. Therefore, the fee of the Riverdale personal injury lawyer is contingent on a successful claim for you.
What Is the Attorney’s Percentage Under a Contingency Fee Agreement?
Again, under a contingency fee agreement, the personal injury lawyer receives a percentage of the recovered amount as their attorney fee. Usually, the rate is negotiable and appears in the contingency fee agreement. However, many factors determine how much the attorney will receive as a percentage of the recovered funds.
Some of these factors include:
- The complexity of the case
- The risk your lawyer would be taking
- If the case goes to trial, and
- Whether your attorney will pay for the case expenses.
For example, some personal injury cases are quite complicated. In such cases, the attorney will ask for a higher contingency fee. The same applies when the attorney anticipates extensive costs and the case poses significant risks.
The lawyer often receives reimbursement of these costs from the accident victim. The contingency fee agreement always includes the percentage the attorney would get and whether you would pay it before or after clearing litigation costs.
An example of how contingency fee agreements work is if your personal injury case settles for $100,000. Suppose you agreed to a 30% contingency fee. Your lawyer takes $30,000 from the settlement.
Then you will then reimburse the litigation costs (for example, $10,000), making the total recovery $60,000. However, if the lawyer deducts the litigation costs before their percentage, that leaves you $63,000.
Can Attorney Fees Change During a Personal Injury Case?
Sometimes, the attorney could increase their fee percentage depending on some factors. This means the percentage depends on where the case stands when it is resolved. For example, the rate is usually lower if the personal injury case settles out of court. Most times, the contingency fee is one-third of the settlement.
However, if the parties involved in the case do not reach a settlement and it goes to trial, the fee might be 40%. This increase is due to the litigation fees and expenses that arise during the case. Additionally, a lawsuit requires more of the attorney’s time and resources. Litigating a case usually comes with incurring expenses, and if your lawyer is paying, the attorney fees will rise.
What Are the Additional Costs in a Personal Injury Case?
Apart from the contingency fee that the attorney receives from the client, there are additional costs that you need to pay to keep your lawsuit going. The legal fees usually depend on how severe your injury is and the difficulty of your case. Some of the expenses that you might incur along the way include:
- Court costs and filing fees
- Cost of getting certified copies of various records and transcripts
- Cost of hiring expert witnesses
- Mailing, copying, and shipping costs
- Administrative expenses like legal research, trial exhibits, travel, etc.
- Cost of hiring investigators
Most people think the only fee they will have to pay is the attorney’s fee. However, these litigation costs are additional fees you should always consider. Most times, they total up to a significant amount when the case becomes a lawsuit.
In most cases, your Riverdale personal injury attorney covers these costs and expenses throughout your lawsuit. If you get a favorable verdict on your case, you can pay your attorney from the compensation.
Your lawyer must include a breakdown of these expenses in your contingency fee agreement. Your attorney will deduct these expenses from the payment if you pay a retainer fee.
Other Attorney Fee Arrangements to Consider
Although a contingency fee arrangement is one of the most popular arrangements favored by lawyers, there are other fee arrangements you could explore with your Riverdale personal injury attorney.
Hourly Fee Arrangement
Some lawyers operate on an hourly fee basis. In such a case, your personal injury lawyer sets an hourly rate. Then you pay an initial deposit known as a retainer fee. After signing a contract agreeing to the hourly rate, the attorney will send detailed statements of the time spent on the case to the client regularly.
Most lawyers charge several hundred dollars per hour when working on an hourly rate. Therefore, it’s pretty common to rack up a high bill in a short time. Hourly fee arrangements are rare as most lawyers use a contingency fee arrangement.
Flat Fee Arrangement
Another type of fee arrangement you could explore with your Riverdale personal injury lawyer is a flat fee arrangement. Typically, the lawyer tries to calculate litigation costs and other expenses and then states an amount the client needs to pay. However, when a personal injury lawyer charges on an hourly basis, they don’t take a percentage out of your compensation, nor are there recurring charges like the hourly fee arrangement.
However, this type of arrangement is not common in personal injury cases. Instead, attorneys tend to charge a flat fee for discrete services like processing formal documents, copyright application, or drafting a will.
Hire a Riverdale Personal Injury Lawyer Today!
There are distinctions in the way personal injury attorneys charge their clients. However, you shouldn’t let costs keep you from taking legal action when you have a personal injury case. Whether your personal injury resulted from medical malpractice, auto accidents, or a workplace incident, you need a lawyer to defend your rights.
Our experienced personal injury attorneys at Humphrey and Ballad, have years of experience protecting the rights of injury victims. Our attorneys work tirelessly to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Book a free consultation today with an experienced personal injury attorney in Riverdale, Georgia, and we’ll explain the legal process and your options. We’ll also answer any inquiries you might have about your personal injury case.