If you can’t afford to pay for a personal injury lawyer in Florida, you could select a law firm that works on a contingency-fee basis. This fee structure means that a personal injury lawyer’s payment is “contingent” upon winning your case and getting compensation on your behalf. If you happen to lose your case, you will not have to pay attorney’s fees.
For injury victims who would otherwise be unable to afford an attorney, you still have options. Our lawyers can explain more about what these fees mean and work for you based on contingency.
Contingency Fees Are Paid Based on Your Case Results
Here’s what to expect if you hire a law firm that works on a contingency-fee basis:
- You will pay a percentage-based fee out of any settlement or award you receive at the end of your case.
- This fee is often between 33 and 40% of the total compensation received.
- You will agree to this percentage rate when you hire your lawyer.
- If you don’t win your case, you should not have to pay contingency fees.
There are several benefits to this system. First, you can expect that your lawyer is motivated to seek as much compensation for you as possible. After all, they will only get paid more if you win more.
Additionally, these fees lower the financial risk involved with hiring a lawyer. Essentially, the law firm will be taking on most of the risk of your case instead of asking you to do so. So, even if your finances are tight after your accident or injury, you can still get legal help.
Talk to the Law Firm to Learn How Their Contingency Fees Work
The percentage rate a law firm requires for its contingency fee will vary from firm to firm. At the onset of your relationship, you and your lawyer will go over a contract that outlines the expected services and details of payment.
In some contingency-fee agreements, the law firm will cover all fees involved with your case until you receive a settlement or award. However, you may have to pay for certain items and services. Those details should be covered in the written agreement you sign with your lawyer at the beginning of your case.
This is an important consideration when determining if you can afford to pay for a personal injury lawyer.
Other Legal Fees You Should Be Aware of
A contingency-fee agreement does not mean representation is completely free. You may be required to pay some incidental fees involved with your case, including for:
- Conducting an independent investigation
- Traveling to visit and interview witnesses
- Hiring expert witnesses
- Various court costs, such as filing fees
- Obtaining and preparing documents needed for the case, such as medical documents and pay stubs
Never make any assumptions about what is covered under your firm’s contingency-fee agreement.
Make sure that you understand all of the fees you may be responsible for, when/how you will need to pay them, and if you will need to pay them regardless of your case’s outcome. To protect yourself, you should request a copy of your contingency-fee agreement for your records.
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How Florida Law Regulates Legal Fees
You should know that there are regulations that restrict how much lawyers can charge clients. The Florida Bar notes that attorneys must set reasonable fees. Attorneys are restricted from:
- Assessing a fee that is clearly too high based on the expected results of the case
- Fraudulence or misleading a client about the case’s potential
Several factors should determine how a law firm establishes a reasonable fee. For instance, a lawyer’s fee may be higher if they have more experience in your case type.
If you believe that a lawyer’s contingency fees are too high, you should ask questions about why the lawyer is charging that rate.
Other Common Fee Structures for Florida Injury Lawyers
Some injury lawyers work based on other fee structures. They may require:
- Hourly rates
Retainers work like a kind of deposit that you are expected to pay up front. The law firm will place these funds in an account and withdraw them as needed for your case.
Hourly rates will be assessed based on the number of hours required to complete your case.
If you want to work with a law firm that uses these fee structures, make sure you understand how long your case may be expected to take and the total estimated cost. This can help you determine whether or not you can afford to hire the firm.
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Services an Injury Lawyer from Our Florida Team Can Provide
If you were involved in an accident that resulted in injuries or losses due to someone else’s negligence, carelessness, or recklessness, you may have the right to pursue compensation for those injuries. A lawyer’s role in your personal injury case is to prove that a negligent party’s actions resulted in your injuries and that the party in question should pay for your damages.
Some of the services that our lawyers may provide to promote your case’s success include:
- Managing communications with the insurance company and liable party
- Fighting for a fair settlement on your behalf, whether that be out of court or before a judge
- Collecting relevant evidence
- Consulting third-party experts (including medical professionals or accident reconstruction specialists) to learn more about your situation
- Keeping you updated on your case’s progress
- Estimating the cost of your economic and non-economic damages
- Representing you in court, if necessary
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Get Started on Your Case As Soon As You Can
In Florida, you usually have four years from the date of your accident to file a personal injury lawsuit, per Florida Statutes § 95.11(3)(a).
The sooner you get started, the more time you give your legal team to build a solid case. Also, you’ll help ensure that your case complies with this important deadline.
Call Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers for Free to Learn About Our Contingency Fees
At Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers, we proudly operate on a contingency-fee basis to minimize your financial risk when working with us. We serve injury victims across the state of Florida, including Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, and Tampa.
During your free initial case review, we will listen to your story so we can determine how we can help you. You can also ask more about how our contingency fees work and how we can get started. Call our team for free today to learn more: (855) 529-0269.
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