For injury cases, you don’t have to pay attorney fees up front. Instead, Pompano Beach Personal Injury Lawyer work on contingency, meaning you only pay after a legal professional resolves your case. Under a contingency agreement, you don’t pay your attorney hourly rates or upfront retainer fees.
Typically, you pay a percentage of your eventual settlement or verdict to your lawyer. Below, you can learn more about your payment options and what to consider when seeking an attorney for your case.
How Working on Contingency Works When Hiring an Attorney
Lawyers who lead civil cases generally tie their payment to resolving your case. This is because victims of personal injury are usually taking legal action because they are already facing accident expenses that they can’t pay. Therefore, it wouldn’t be fair to expect victims to pay up front when they’re already struggling financially.
As a result, if you can’t afford to pay a personal injury lawyer in Florida, you can hire one on a contingency basis. If that lawyer does not win your case, either through a settlement or a trial verdict, you typically do not have to pay them for their legal services.
What Is the Percentage for a Contingency Fee?
The fee can vary based on the attorney and the case, but you can generally expect about a third of your settlement to go to your attorney. However, others might charge 40 percent for complex civil lawsuits.
Factors that Affect a Contingency Fee
How much you pay could also depend on:
- How quickly the lawyer can resolve your case
- Whether you file a lawsuit
- How complicated your case is
For example, let’s say you tripped on a broken step, fell, and suffered a traumatic brain injury at a hotel in Pompano Beach, Florida. You may just need the help of a Pompano Beach slip and fall accident lawyer to review settlement offers and review any documents before signing them. In that case, since you anticipate the case to settle quickly, your legal team might charge a smaller percentage.
By contrast, if you slipped on a puddle from a leaking ice machine, your attorneys might need to investigate the hotel, its staff, and the machine manufacturer to determine who was negligent. If the liable party disputes your story or undervalues your monetary damages for a brain injury, experts might need to weigh in. If you can’t reach a settlement and must take a lawsuit to trial, an attorney might end up charging a higher percentage.
In other words, the exact percentage doesn’t just depend on the lawyer you hire but also on the circumstances of your case. Plus, you and your legal team might not know at first if you’ll need to file a lawsuit or go to court, so the contingency fee agreement could change throughout your case.
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Types of Fees and Costs in Personal Injury Cases
Fees and costs are actually two different things. While you typically don’t have to pay any upfront fees for an attorney to work on an injury case, you may be responsible for costs. As the Legal Information Institute (LII) notes, costs are the other expenses related to your case that don’t go to your attorney. Fees are what you must pay for your lawyer’s services.
Pursuing a legal case can require paying costs for:
- Copies of records
- Private investigators
- Expert consultations
- Filing and court fees
- Postage and copying
- Court reporter transcriptions
- Daily juror stipends
You can potentially recover compensation to pay these costs if you win your case. Whether you pay these initially depends on your attorney’s contingency fee arrangement.
Do You Need to Pay Upfront for a Consultation With an Attorney?
In most cases, no. Many personal injury lawyers offer free case reviews so you can ask questions, learn how they would approach your case, and confirm they represent your case. For example, if a car hit you while riding your motorcycle, you want to check for a motorcycle accident lawyer with a track record of successfully handling your type of case.
Free consultations represent an opportunity for you to essentially shop around for a lawyer who fits you, your case, and your goals. Remember, you are the client hiring them for their services, so you have the right to ask questions, especially about money and pay.
What to Ask About Contingency Fees and Costs at Your Consultation
There are no dumb questions when it comes to clarifying your financial situation, so feel free to ask whatever you need to understand your options for legal representation.
Some basic starting questions are:
- Does the attorney work on a contingency fee basis?
- What percentage does a lawyer take after they win compensation?
- Will that percentage go up if you must file a lawsuit and prepare for court?
- How do other costs figure into your case, and what do you pay?
Also, thoroughly read over any payment plans before you sign them. Don’t be afraid to ask for explanations on the wording, either.
Other Questions to Ask an Attorney Before Hiring Them
Fees and costs are just one area to research when looking at personal injury lawyers. During a consultation, you can also ask:
- Do they handle this kind of personal injury?
- How long have they been practicing in this area of law?
- What are some of their past case results?
- How would they approach this case?
- How often do they stay in touch while handling a case?
You can also conduct your own research. For instance, our firm provides client reviews where you can see what past injury clients have said. You can also check Google reviews, research news items, and look up awards and recognition.
Free consultations can also help you gauge how well you get along with an attorney. This may not seem important, but you may end up working with this law firm for a significant amount of time—you want to make sure you feel comfortable talking to them, asking them questions, and trusting them with your financial future.
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Our Personal Injury Lawyers Have Free Consultations and Work on Contingency
The team at Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers works on contingency, so we only get paid if you recover compensation. You won’t have to pay attorney fees up front if you hire us.
We have been handling Florida personal injury cases since 2003, with plenty of settlements and verdicts to show for it. When you hire us, you will work directly with our partners. Call our South Florida law firm today to learn about your legal options for free. We are happy to answer any of your questions.
Call or text Chalik & Chalik (855) 529-0269