Pay for Results, Not Promises: Payment for Personal Injury Lawyers

Understanding how personal injury lawyers are paid might be confusing. After an accident or injury, you may worry about high legal fees, but most lawyers fight to save you from going bankrupt.

Lawyers frequently work on a ‘contingency fee’ basis. What does that mean for you and your case? This article simplifies everything.

Key Takeaways:

  • US personal injury lawsuits can involve car accidents, slips and falls, dog bites, construction injuries, medical malpractice, assault, and battery.
  • California Personal Injury Attorneys offer larger settlements, faster claims, a win-no-fee policy, quality medical care, skilled negotiation, experience with similar cases, peace of mind, court representation, proper evidence collection, objectivity, and free initial consultation.
  • Personal injury plaintiffs may receive economic and non-economic damages. Medical expenses and lost wages are economic damages, whereas emotional distress, bodily scarring, unjust hardship, and loss of enjoyment of life are non-economic damages.
  • California does not limit personal injury damages except for medical malpractice cases, which cap non-economic damages at $250,000.
  • Conlogue Law LLP recommends engaging a personal injury attorney to negotiate claims, defend victims’ rights, and get appropriate compensation.

Does your personal injury lawsuit require an experienced attorney? Contact E. Orum Young Law Personal Injury Attorney to discuss contingency costs and your case.

What Does Contingency Fee Basis Mean?

A contingency fee indicates the lawyer’s fee depends on winning outcome of a case. This approach exempts the plaintiff from attorney’s costs if the case is lost. The attorney receives a part of the plaintiff’s compensation if they win.

A case is considered won in two scenarios.

  • The case has been tried in court and found in favor of the plaintiff.
  • The case has been settled out of court before the trial.

In either instance, the case is deemed victorious if the plaintiff secures financial compensation (known as damages).

The actual contingent fee is dependent on the case:

  • The cut received by the attorney after a win is mostly a percentage of the compensation secured. It’s not a fixed amount.
  • A legal contract signed at the start of the case outlines the percentage the attorney will earn if they win the case.
  • The percentage may differ from case to case, depending on their complexity.

Specific scenarios where the attorney doesn’t win a case:

  • The attorney won’t bill for their legal services.
  • Most attorneys, however, will bill for the expenses incurred during the case.
  • If the plaintiff decides to switch lawyers or not go ahead with the case, most lawyers will bill for the time they’ve already spent on the case.
  • These potential charges should be highlighted in the initial attorney-client contract.

Other Costs and Expenses in a Personal Injury Claim

While personal injury lawyers typically work on a contingency basis, additional costs and fees are related to a personal injury claim.

Before digging into these costs, it’s essential to distinguish between legal fees and costs:

  • Fees are payments made to the attorney for their services, including an hourly rate, a flat fee, or a contingency fee percentage.
  • Costs represent expenditures necessary to progress the client’s case, such as travel expenses, court filing fees, hiring witnesses, or copy costs.

How attorneys charge for case-related costs varies. They may bill as costs are incurred or subtract them from the final settlement as a contingency fee.

Typical legal costs include:

  • Securing medical records and police reports
  • Expert witness fees
  • Postage
  • Filing fees
  • Hiring investigators and experts
  • Depositions
  • Transcripts
  • Trial exhibits
  • Court filing fees
  • Court reporters
  • Court costs

Also, if an insurance company settlement is achieved, there will usually be medical expenses to settle.

Personal injury lawsuits can be expensive. However, many of these costs only apply if the case goes to court which is relatively rare as most personal injury cases settle out of court.

How Do Personal Injury Plaintiff’s Attorneys Get Paid?

Understanding how personal injury plaintiff’s attorneys receive their payment is essential. The majority get paid under a contingency fee agreement.

Key details of a contingency fee agreement are:

  • The attorney only gets paid for their services if they retrieve recovery for the client.
  • The usual fee is a percentage (around 33%) of the recovered amount from a personal injury settlement or court judgment after the trial.

There are, however, variations in the contingency fee agreement:

Mixed Hourly/Contingent

  • The attorney earns a reduced hourly rate for all completed work, even if the plaintiff doesn’t win the case.
  • The attorney receives a “bonus” on winning or settling the case. This could be an extra hourly fee or a small percentage of the total amount retrieved.

Sliding Scale Contingency

The charge percentage is sliding, like a contingency fee arrangement. This percentage rises as litigation continues.

If the case settles before a personal injury lawsuit, the fee may be 25%. If the plaintiff wins at trial, the attorney’s fee may be 40% of the judgment.

Contingency Hourly

  • Just like the basic contingency fee agreement, the attorney gets paid only if a recovery is made for the client.
  • Unlike the basic contingency, though, the attorney’s payment depends on the time spent on the case.
  • This is less common in personal injury cases unless the plaintiff can get attorney’s fees from the defendant who lost the case.

These are just a few common ways personal injury plaintiff’s attorneys get their payments, and it’s pivotal to understand these before getting into an agreement with an attorney.

How Do Personal Injury Attorneys Get Paid When Representing Defendants?

Most personal injury attorneys charge by billable hours. At $350 per hour, an attorney who spends 32.5 hours on a case would charge $11,375.

Hourly billing is simple, but there are modified hourly fee arrangements, such as:

  • Retainer: The client pays the attorney a retainer, a lump sum held in a separate bank account, before work begins. As the case develops, the attorney withdraws retainer funds.
  • Blended Hourly: A blended hourly rate may be used when numerous attorneys work on a case, combining the rates of less experienced and more experienced attorneys. The client pays one flat charge for all work, not per attorney.
  • Hourly Cap: Similarly to regular hourly billing, an hourly cap limits the maximum cost that attorney can charge for a case, even if taking longer than expected.

Who Pays the Personal Injury Attorney?

Most plaintiff attorneys work on contingency, so their fee is based on the defendant’s settlement or court order.

If a liability insurance policy covers the accident, the insurer pays the defendant’s judgment or settlement and defends him. The insurance company hires and pays a lawyer for the defendant.

Without insurance coverage, the defendant must pay out-of-pocket for attorney services.

Is it Worth Hiring a Louisiana Personal Injury Attorney After An Accident?

After experiencing an accident, you may wonder whether involving a personal injury attorney from Louisiana is necessary. Here are some compelling reasons to think about it:

Understanding of the Law

State and federal laws can be complicated, but experienced personal injury attorneys understand them. They can explain legal concepts in plain English, making it easier for you to make educated judgments regarding your case.

Protection Against Missing Deadlines

Legal proceedings have strict deadlines, and missing one might jeopardize your claim. Hiring a personal injury attorney prevents such errors because they file the relevant documents on time.

An Experienced Team to Do the Work

Personal injury lawyers have a team of professionals who handle various case issues. To develop a compelling case, they gather evidence, interview witnesses, contact healthcare providers, and more. You can focus on recovery while they do the heavy lifting.

Refuge From Insurance Companies

Insurance companies sometimes reduce payouts, which is worrisome. Personal injury attorneys negotiate with insurance company to get you fair compensation.

Full Valuation of Your Damages

Knowing your claim’s value is vital. Medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, psychological distress, and other losses are included. Personal injury lawyers examine every area of your case to assist you be compensated.

If you or a family member was in a Louisiana accident, contact E. Orum Young Law now. You deserve support and compensation. Request a free case review.

Contact a Louisiana Personal Injury Lawyer Today!

Knowing how personal injury lawyers are paid should help you choose a lawyer. Another important issue is the attorneys’ ability and desire to fully represent your interests.

Contingency fee models are widespread among personal injury lawyers, notably E. Orum Young Law. We only get paid when we redeem a settlement or win your case in court. 

When you hire E. Orum Young Law, a dedicated staff handles your Louisiana personal injury case. You recover stress-free while a dedicated team handles the legal process. 

Please contact E. Orum Young Law for assistance. You deserve a tireless advocate for your compensation. Call us or use our internet chatbox today.