Being involved in an accident that is not your fault can be scary.
However, many victims are more terrified of paying for an attorney to help them with their case. This is because most people often exaggerate the fees of an attorney which makes victims feel like hiring one is just extreme waste of money.
We understand why you may be hesitant to contact an attorney to assist you. After all, being a victim can be financially draining. Aside from the medical fees, adding the fees of a legal expert may be too much to bear. However, believe us when we say that a legal professional’s fee may not be as steep as you may think and that their services are worth every penny.
What are the costs of hiring a personal injury attorney? Are they really worth the extra expense?
Your guide to a personal injury attorney’s fees and costs
A personal injury attorney’s fees may be overwhelming for some people. However, it is easy to be confused as to why there are a lot of costs to hiring one, and that there are fees that you are actually paying to investigate your claim.
Here are the things you should know when it comes to the expenses of hiring an attorney for your personal injury case:
Fees, costs, and attorney fee arrangements
Fees vs. Costs
Although they may appear the same, an attorney’s fees and costs are different from each other.
When we talk about an attorney’s fees, it is the actual payment you need to pay for their legal services. Hence, they are the fees that are paying for the expert’s compensation while working for your case.
On the other hand, the costs include the expenses that need to be paid for the entire legal process. This involves the court filing fees, deposition costs, the costs of investigation, the fees of witnesses, and more.
In many cases, the attorney’s law firm will be the one to pay for the costs of the process and will get payment from you once you are already able to receive your final settlement amount. Of course, the actual amount you have to pay will still depend on several factors, such as your chosen fee arrangement.
What is a fee arrangement?
A fee arrangement is the payment setup that you and your attorney have agreed on after getting their services.
Since not all accident victims are able to pay for the legal fees right away, there are different arrangements that they can choose from to make the process easier to bear financial-wise.
In this arrangement, the services provided are free and accident victims are not obligated to pay any fees to their personal injury attorney. However, this is only applicable in some states and also requires the victim to earn less than the federal poverty level.
Pro bono is free, but only offered and provided by certain organizations for the public good.
The attorney will charge the client according to their hourly rate. In this case, they will track their time and will usually bill the client on a monthly basis, depending on the duration of their lawsuit.
Flat fees are a standard rate of payment lawyers charge in simple cases. Since the cost is already agreed upon, it lessens the element of surprise of “hidden fees” that clients may not know about.
Finally, the most common arrangement in personal injury cases is what we call a contingent fee. In this arrangement, the attorney will agree to a fixed percentage of the money victims will receive in their settlement or verdict. Usually, the percentage is 33.3% of the value of the final settlement amount.
What happens if you are not able to receive compensation? In this case, the attorney will not be able to get paid as well. In many ways, a contingency arrangement is a gamble on both the lawyer and the client. The lawyer will have to pay out of pocket all the legal fees and costs since the client may not have the capacity to pay for their fees upfront. After receiving compensation, only then will the victims pay their lawyer according to the agreed-upon contingency fee.
As an example, let’s say that you were injured in a truck accident and are given $200,000 in damages. If the agreed-upon rate is 33.3%, you will pay your lawyer $66,600 plus the legal costs.
Contact a personal injury attorney in Florida today
There are many attorneys in town that can represent you in your personal injury case.
However, if you need a professional who will act with your best interests in mind, we at BC Law are here to help. With our 35 years of experience with personal injury cases, you can rest assured that our attorneys will be with you in every step of the way.
We know how difficult it is emotionally, physically, and financially. Our injury lawyers are here to do the complex legal work so that you can focus on your recovery.
For more information about our services and fees, feel free to get in touch. Tell us about your situation.
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