Tuesday, November 16, 2010
How Much Does a Personal Injury Attorney Cost?
Personal injury lawyers almost often accept cases on a contingent fee (or "contingency fee") basis, meaning that they if they win the case, they receive a percentage of the award as their fee. If they lose, they do not receive an attorney fee. (Please note that attorney fees are different from costs, and you may be responsible for certain costs associated with your case, such as the filing fee for your lawsuit, even if you lose. While this is rarely an issue, as most civil litigation settles short of trial, you should to clarify the issue of costs with your lawyer.)
The amount of the contingent fee your lawyer will charge will vary somewhat from state to state. In most states, the attorney fee will be between one third and 40% of a personal injury award. Attorney fees for workers' compensation cases are more tightly regulated, and are typically lower than for regular personal injury matters. If your case is potentially worth a lot of money, you may be able to negotiate a reduction of the attorney's contingent fee, but the best personal injury lawyers are usually not willing to negotiate the fees they charge. They know that they are often able to recover substantially more money for their clients than attorneys with lesser skills, resulting in a greater award to you regardless of the percentage taken by the attorney.