Personal injury lawyers, such as the ones at Parker Waichman NY office, help clients receive financial compensation for damage caused to them as a result of a third party’s negligent or purposeful actions during car collisions, medical treatment, assault, and more.
The way most personal injury lawyers charge also helps make their fees more affordable, and they are expected to remain about the same for 2023.
How Personal Injury Lawyers Charge for Their Legal Representation
Plaintiffs can be rewarded as much as in the millions or more for their injuries, depending on the case and severity of damage sustained; however, it also usually includes the lawyer’s costs for representation.
This is because, quite often, personal injury lawyers work on contingency, meaning rather than requiring the client to pay their legal fees upfront, the lawyer will simply subtract their payment from the settlement after they’ve won the case.
Since personal injury cases are typically very risky lawsuits that require extensive research and outsourced expert assistance, the contingency fee can be substantial due to the complexities involved.
How is the Contingency Fee Determined?
On average, lawyer contingency fees range between about 30% to 40% of the client’s settlement. However, in some cases, it can be as high as 60%.
This includes the costs for setting the lawsuit in motion, as well as the professional fee the lawyer charges for disputing the case.
How is the Contingency Paid?
In most cases, the lawyer will receive the settlement check on their client’s behalf, after which time, they will make the necessary deductions and then provide the plaintiff with the remaining amount.
Generally, any costs and expenses for investigators, duplicate police reports and medical records, court filing fees, and more will be subtracted first, followed by the lawyer’s fee. Or the lawyer may deduct their pay and then all other costs related to the case, so be sure to ask.
What Are the Client’s Costs if Their Case is Lost?
Since personal injury lawsuits are contingency based, it usually means that the plaintiff does not owe if the lawyer doesn’t win their case.
However, it is important to speak with the lawyer before they take on the case to be sure that is their specific firm’s policy.
Otherwise, since various other fees are also associated with filing and arguing the case, some lawyers may stipulate that their clients are still responsible for paying those fees. Or they may require the client to share in the associated costs.
Likewise, if a client is awarded a settlement that is lower than the contingency fee, they may still have to come out of pocket to pay the remaining balance owed to the lawyer.
Hence, clients should be sure to inquire about their lawyer’s costs even if they were to lose their case to help avoid surprises later.
The lawyer will also provide the client with a breakdown of the contingency fee so they have a general idea of the total costs that will affect their settlement payment.
Lawyer Costs by The Hour
Some lawyers opt to be paid hourly for their services as opposed to charging a contingency fee, in which case, the client can expect to be billed between about $250 to $500 an hour for legal help. However, these rates vary by state.
The lawyer’s hourly rate also depends on the time and special circumstances surrounding the court case that may require additional labor.
Clients can also expect to pay more for experienced lawyers and those skilled at trying certain cases, which increases the chance of getting their desired outcome.
That said, a lawyer’s hourly rates can really add up, thus making receiving justice for personal damages caused by a negligent party unattainable for all plaintiffs. Hence, the perpetrator would get off scot-free.
Therefore, most personal injury lawyers simply charge a contingency fee to make their services accessible to everyone deserving of fair compensation.
How Much Will It Costs to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer in 2023?
Since most personal injury cases are on contingency, the percentage of settlement costs for legal expenses is expected to remain about the same for 2023, provided there are no changes in the cost of court filings, expert witnesses, investigators, etc.
Personal injury lawyer fees are also expected to remain about the same for 2023, which average around $10,000 for claims that go to trial and around $5,000 for claims that do not.
However, one report showed that about 90% of law firms may be forced to slightly raise their prices by about 7% to compensate for inflation and increased overhead costs.