How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Serious Injury Lawyer?

Serious Injury Lawyer?

Serious Injury Lawyer
Were you recently injured in an auto accident and need to file a personal injury claim? Do you need help figuring out the costs associated with hiring a serious injury lawyer?

Rates and fees will vary with every law firm. Therefore, it’s important to make sure you understand attorney compensation arrangements, as well as which options best suit your budget before retaining a serious injury lawyer. Here’s an overview of what you need to know regarding legal costs.


Serious Injury Lawyer Fees

For some serious injury accident cases, attorneys offer their services on a “contingency fee” basis, which means they do not bill upfront. Instead, a percentage is collected from the final settlement amount. Additionally, a lawyer will not charge if the case is unsuccessful, regardless of the services that were already provided.

Contingency Fees Percentages

Most contingency fee contracts for personal injury claim lawsuits range between 33% to 40%. Of course, this is just an average estimation. Percentages can always be discussed upon meeting with a serious injury lawyer.

In some cases, an attorney will receive one-third of the settlement. For example, an awarded total settlement of $50,000 will break down to $33,000 for the plaintiff and $17,000 for their lawyer. The specifics of contingency fees will not be the same for every law firm. Make sure you are clear on the percentage agreement before agreeing to work with a serious injury attorney.

Sliding Scale Option

Depending on what stage the case is on (filing a claim, settlement, litigation, trial) the contingency fee percentage can increase. This fee agreement is called a sliding scale.

For example, your serious injury lawyer may send the defendant’s insurance company a demand letter early in the case, and the other party may respond with a counteroffer. If negotiations are successful, the lower percentage of the contingency fee is collected. However, if the case keeps escalating and goes to court, the legal fee can reach a higher rate of 40%.

Therefore, make sure to consider the sliding scale arrangement in its entirety. There’s a potential to owe less in the end. However, it’s a gamble with no guarantees. 


Is It Worth the Price?

cost for lawyer
When deciding if you should hire a serious injury lawyer, consider how worthwhile that decision would be. 

If you are unsure, you can always request a consultation with a lawyer, and they should be able to give you an honest evaluation. Suppose the other party’s insurance company rejects the claim entirely or only offers minimal compensation, then a qualified attorney’s expertise would be very valuable.

If your case appears minor, like an accident resulting in a fender-bender or other small damages, then handling the case independently may be a better option. Another option is taking the case to a small claims court or arbitration with the other party. 


A Breakdown of Costs and Fees

Legal costs in a personal injury case are not necessarily for the serious injury lawyer. Instead, these expenses are utilized to investigate the claim. In other words, the fees are not a form of payment for an attorney. Most attorneys cover those costs on your behalf and then deduct what they paid from your settlement amount. Common expenses and costs:

  • Investigators and fees
  • Postage
  • Filing fees
  • Medical records
  • Transcripts
  • Police reports
  • Expert witness fees
  • Depositions

Your expenses and costs may add up significantly, especially if your settlement does not occur until close to trial. As mentioned earlier, your attorney may charge their contingency fee on a sliding scale basis.

If your case advances towards a lawsuit and then a trial, your attorney may take a more significant settlement percentage. In addition to taking their portion of the case, they will also deduct the cost of their expenses from your final award amount. 

Can I Fire My Lawyer?

If you decide to switch lawyers or represent yourself in the middle of your case, your previous lawyer may have a lien for their expenses and fees prior to you firing them. If you must part ways with your lawyer, you should get your lawyer to agree not to seek any interest on expenses or fees in the case. 


Who Receives the Settlement Check?

meeting for case details
It is very common for the lawyer to have the settlement check sent to their office to ensure they receive payment for their services. For example, an attorney who works on a contingency fee agreement only gets compensated once the case has ended. If the settlement check goes directly to the plaintiff and that individual chooses not to pay for the legal fees, that lawyer is left shortchanged.

Once your lawyer receives the settlement check, they will reach out to you and let you know. They will deduct their costs and fees from your check, and provide you with an itemized list of those deductions. Sometimes, charges are disputed. When this occurs, the settlement is placed in a trust account until an agreement this reached.


Hire a Reputable Serious Injury Lawyer

Dealing with insurance companies and attempting to negotiate with them after an accident is stressful and not ideal when trying to recover from injury. Hiring a serious injury lawyer can alleviate the pressure and prove beneficial.

If you’re still not certain about costs and fees, contact Alpha Accident Lawyers today. We offer a free consultation and can address any questions or concerns that you may have.

Call for Your Free Consultation


Scroll to top