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04/16/24   |   By

How Much Do Injury Lawyers Charge?

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Have you been injured in an accident and are unsure how to proceed? You might wonder if you need a personal injury lawyer and, if so, how much their legal services typically cost. In this article, we will break down the following: how much a personal injury lawyer charges, the different pay structures a personal injury lawyer may use, and what you, as the injured client, can expect from a financial standpoint.How Much Do Injury Lawyers Charge?

If you have more questions regarding payment or your injury case, contact a Regan Zambri Long personal injury attorney for a free consultation. Our compassionate lawyers will lay out your legal options, including a payment plan that works for you and your family.

How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?

The cost of a personal injury lawyer can vary wildly, depending on the severity of your injuries and the complexity of your claim. To give you a ballpark estimate, let’s look at two different case examples:

  • Case 1: The client was involved in a car accident and suffered a broken leg. The personal injury case only involved one plaintiff (the client) and one defendant (the negligent driver). It was clear the other driver was speeding and under the influence of drugs and alcohol at the time of the crash, so the case was settled in two months.

Over the two months, your personal injury lawyer dedicated 64 hours to your case, charging $300 per hour. The entire personal injury case will cost the client $19,200.

  • Case 2: The client was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer due to inhaling toxins from a dangerous product. The case has multiple defendants, including the product manufacturer, the distributor, and the wholesaler. The plaintiff has many medical bills and cannot work anymore because he is sick. The personal injury case is massive, taking 18 months to resolve. Over those 18 months, the personal injury attorney dedicated 384 hours to your claim, charging $300 per hour. Thus, the total cost of the lawyer would be $115,200.

Although those numbers look scary, don’t panic. Many personal injury lawyers offer alternative fee structures that their clients can work with. Additionally, most offer free consultations so you can discuss your case and better understand the costs involved with no obligation.

What are alternative fee structures a personal injury lawyer could charge?

Understanding how personal injury attorneys charge empowers you as the client. Before your consultation, explore these three common fee structures: hourly rates, flat fees, and contingency fees. That way, you can go into your consultation knowing what payment plan best suits your situation.

Hourly Fees

An hourly fee is when the personal injury lawyer charges a set hourly rate for their time working on your case (like the case examples above). If your case is simpler, this may be a good option.

Flat Fees

A lawyer might offer a flat fee for the entire case, especially if the case is very straightforward. This provides certainty about the total cost upfront.

Contingency Fees

A contingency fee agreement is a popular option in personal injury cases. This is where the attorney’s fee is a percentage of the final settlement or verdict you receive.

The contingency fee percentages typically range from 30%-40% of the total compensation awarded. In this fee structure, the injured victim doesn’t pay an upfront cost; the personal injury lawyer only gets paid if they win the case.

What is a sliding scale option?

A sliding-scale fee is the price of legal services based on the client’s ability to pay. It applies to hourly rates, flat fees, and contingency fee agreements. It factors in household income and family size and varies from client to client.

For example, if a lawyer’s fee is typically $200 per hour, they may lower the price to $100 per hour for a lower-income client. If the lawyer charges a $1200 flat fee, they may only charge $900 for clients who cannot afford the entire fee.

If the client and lawyer work on a contingency fee basis, the lawyer may scale back his contingency fee from 30% of the total compensation to 25%. Similarly, suppose you put in much of the work of the personal injury case (i.e., you negotiate with the insurance adjuster or investigate the accident by yourself). In that case, the lawyer may accept a smaller contingency fee percentage.

What’s the Most a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Take From a Settlement?

There is no legal maximum for a personal injury lawyer’s contingency fee. However, most will not charge more than 40% of your final settlement. The average contingency fee is around 33% or 1/3 of the compensation awarded.

This percentage reflects the lawyer’s time, expertise, upfront costs, and the risk of not getting paid if they lose the case. If you speak with a lawyer who proposes a higher fee than 40%, it’s in your best interest to seek another attorney who offers a more reasonable rate. Remember, you can negotiate any contingency fee agreements before signing.

What Is the Average Payout for a Personal Injury Claim in the USA?

Since personal injury cases cover a wide range of accidents, we are going to look at the five most common personal injury claims filed in the United States and what their average settlements are:

  • Car accident claim: Minor injuries may settle between $3,000 and $15,000, while serious injuries could settle for $100,000 or even millions.
  • Medical malpractice claim: On average, the settlements for medical malpractice claims can be between $250,000 and $1 million.
  • Product liability claim: A straightforward product liability accident resulting in minor injuries may settle anywhere between $10,000 and $25,000. More complex cases with severe injuries can reach millions.
  • Slip and fall injury claim: An average slip and fall injury case settles for between $10,000 and $50,000.
  • Workplace injury claim: The average workers’ compensation settlement is around $22,000. However, if the injuries are catastrophic, the settlement will be higher.

It’s important to remember these are just averages, and the actual settlement for your case will depend on the specific facts and circumstances. If you’ve been injured, consulting with a Regan Zambri Long personal injury lawyer is the best way to get a more accurate estimate of your potential compensation.

What damages are included in a personal injury settlement payout?

In a typical personal injury case, personal injury lawyers work to secure damages for the following:

  • Current and future medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Punitive damages

In cases of wrongful death, your attorney will recover additional damages:

  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Loss of consortium

What Are the Typical Costs of a Personal Injury Claim?

Besides attorney fees, other legal fees add to the costs and expenses of a personal injury case:

  • Administrative Costs: These are out-of-pocket expenses your lawyer might incur on your behalf, such as court filing fees, copying documents, postage, delivery fees (to deliver legal documents), and fees to retrieve medical records.
  • Court fees include the fees charged by the court system, such as filing fees for a lawsuit and jury fees if the case goes to trial.
  • Expert witness fees: As we discussed before, significant fees will be associated if your case requires special testimony or investigation.
  • Deposition Costs: If your case involves witnesses giving sworn testimonies outside of court, there may be fees for a court reporter.
  • Travel expenses: If your personal injury attorney or witnesses must travel for depositions, trials, or investigations, the expenses may be added to your bill.

If you and your personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee plan, they will most likely handle the upfront fees and deduct them from your final settlement.

Do Most Personal Injury Cases Go to Court?

Only about 5% of personal injury cases end up going to trial. A personal injury case usually settles out of court through negotiations with the insurance company.

Who Pays for Your Costs if You Lose Your Case?

If you work on a contingency fee agreement with your attorney and lose your case, you typically will not be responsible for any of the legal costs associated with the case. That’s the benefit of working on a contingency fee — the lawyer is taking the financial risk.

However, some personal injury attorneys require expenses to be paid by the client or reimbursement for certain expenses if you lose the case. Those caveats will always be in your contract, so discuss the attorney’s fees and review the agreement carefully before you sign.

Is it Worth it to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney for My Claim?

In short, yes. Having an experienced personal injury attorney by your side greatly increases your chances of recovering maximum compensation for your injuries. It also takes the pressure off you during the claims process.

Your lawyer will handle all communication with the insurance company, thoroughly investigate your accident, and navigate all the legal complexities that arise in your case.

When you consider the potential financial recovery and the burden lifted from your shoulders, hiring a personal injury lawyer (especially on a contingency fee basis!) is a very worthwhile decision.

The Regan Zambri Long Personal Injury Attorneys Work on a Contingency Fee Basis

How Much Do Injury Lawyers Charge?If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, the Regan Zambri Long personal injury attorneys understand the physical, emotional, and financial challenges you and your family face.

Our personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee agreement with our clients — you won’t pay a dime unless we win your case. We have a proven track record of securing millions for our clients, and we are confident we can do the same for you.

Schedule a free consultation with a leading personal injury lawyer who can discuss personalized payment options and a winning strategy that will help you make a full recovery. We handle personal injury claims in DC, Maryland, and Virginia.

Regan Zambri Long
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Personal Injury
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