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What Personal Injury Lawyers Do and How They Get Paid

One of the most troubling things about court cases are the potentially significant costs that can come with them. They can be expensive in both time and money, and no one wants to go through that hassle if it can be avoided. However, there may come a time when litigation is the best course of action, and the costs of this may weigh heavily on your shoulders. 

Thankfully for you, this article is here to help; this article will explain what personal injury lawyers do, what contingency is, and more to help you understand how much your personal injury attorney will get once your case is resolved. This can help you calculate the cost of your St. Petersburg personal injury lawyer and hopefully put your mind at ease.

How They Help You

Before we discuss attorney costs, we first need to understand how a personal injury attorney can help you. Personal injury law can be a bit complicated as it covers everything from what constitutes a personal injury to determining who to sue to how much you may be owed. 

Each case is unique, and the costs associated are as well, making it all even more complex and potentially confusing. This is where a personal injury attorney steps in. They have been educated on how the legal system works, know how to keep an eye on and understand new legislation, and they are aware of the steps needed for each case, no matter how unique. 

They can calculate how much you may be owed, evaluate the evidence to see how strong your case is, and so much more. To put it simply, a personal injury attorney understands personal injury law on a much deeper level than you possibly could due to their education and experience. Hiring one for your case is essential to securing everything you need as a result. 

They can even help with other issues outside of the courtroom, such as negotiating and obtaining a payout from an insurance company quickly. If you’re looking to file a personal injury claim, contact a personal injury lawyer for the best chance at success.

What Contingency is

Now that you understand why you need a personal injury attorney let’s discuss how they’ll be paid. We’ll begin by explaining what contingency is. A contingency fee is an amount of money that is only paid if the case ends in your favor, which may mean that you receive a good verdict in court or that a settlement is reached. 

If you’ve ever seen an ad for a personal injury attorney, such as those commonly found on billboards, they may say something similar to “we don’t get paid until you do.”, which refers to their contingency fee. Typically, these fees are somewhere between 33% and 40% of a settlement or judgment. For example, let’s say that you hired a lawyer with a 33% contingency fee, and you’re awarded $100,000 from a settlement. 

Ignoring court fees, which we’ll discuss later, the lawyer would receive $33,000 from this outcome, and then you’d receive the rest. This type of fee structure is common for many reasons. One reason is that it ensures that you, the client, aren’t saddled with a hefty bill from both the general court process and the lawyer you hired. 

The site of the law firm you hired will likely have their rate somewhere on their website, and your lawyer will be clear about this percentage as well, so you’re not caught off guard when it’s time to pay your dues. They might even be willing to negotiate it, but they also may not. It will depend on your circumstances and each individual lawyer whether they decide to negotiate their contingency-free or not.

Other Ways Attorneys Bill

The contingency fee is not the only one used by personal injury attorneys, however. There are a few different variations of it that the law firm may choose to use; we can’t discuss all of the possible variations here today, but we will cover a few. 

A mixed hourly/contingent fee means that a lawyer will charge a lower hourly rate than a normal lawyer that you have to pay, even if the case ends without a favorable outcome. Should it end in your favor, though, the lawyer will take some amount from your winnings as well. How much they take will vary but will usually either be a smaller percentage than if they used the regular contingency model or an additional hourly fee.

A variation that sounds very similar to the previous one on paper is the contingency hourly fee. Similarly to the contingency fee, a lawyer using this payment model will not be paid unless you receive a favorable outcome. 

The difference is that instead of charging a flat percentage, the amount they get paid depends on how long they were working on the case. These are less common in personal injury cases, however, and are typically only considered if you can get the losing defendant to pay for your legal fees.

How Payments are Made

You will pay your legal fees from your winnings, though whether the lawyer calculates their fee before or after the case costs are paid will vary based on the firm and will result in different amounts of money. The court costs are exactly what they sound like: the costs of taking the suit to court, which involve everything from filing a case to reaching a verdict. 

Whether the lawyer calculates their fee before or after court costs are paid will determine how much you get. While this sounds complicated, the source provides a good example that makes this concept easy to understand.

The Importance of Personal Injury Attorneys

Laws are complicated and can be difficult to understand at the best of times, but they become even more difficult when we’re suffering from the actions or negligence of another. This is what makes having a lawyer for a personal injury case crucial. 

They will be a clear head with a deep understanding of the law and an outsider’s perspective that will help guide you through each step of the legal process, from filing the suit to negotiating a settlement. If you’re ever injured due to someone else’s actions, hire a personal injury attorney—you’ll need their expertise to help guide you through your next steps.

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