When searching for a personal injury lawyer, you might have heard that you don't have to pay a fee if the settlement doesn't go your way. It is true that many lawyers will not make you pay upfront or pay any type of fee if you don't win your case but what are these fees for? Here is a breakdown to help understand the fees you will be asked to pay.
Percentage of Overall Payout
When a personal injury lawyer says they don't get paid unless you do, they mean they get a percentage of the overall payout from the settlement you receive from your case. These fees will vary with each lawyer and also will vary depending on the type of injury case with some fees being higher than others. For example, if a case goes to trial, the fees paid to your lawyer will typically be higher than if the case was settled out of court. The majority of fees range between 33% and 40% of your settlement.
What Are Other Fees Paid Out?
There may be other fees that you have to pay other than your lawyer's fees. These are deducted from your settlement payment and your lawyer will explain them in detail during your initial consultation. These fees may include any out-of-pocket expenses your lawyer paid while working on your case which could be hiring expert witnesses and any travel expenses.
You will have to pay any doctor fees that are unpaid. You might have been treated by a doctor who will wait for payment until after the case is settled. If this is the case, their fee will be taken directly out of your settlement. You will still be responsible for any medical bills even if your case is unsuccessful so it's best to prepare ahead of time.
When Will Your Lawyer Take Their Fees?
Your lawyer will usually take their fee from your settlement before any deductions are taken out. These deductions can include taxes since any legal payment settlements are considered income and, therefore, subject to be taxed. You should ask your lawyer at the time of consultation so you fully understand all the fees and when they must be paid in advance.
Also, if your settlement is unsuccessful you may still be responsible for any expenses your lawyer accrued during the case. It is best to discuss this with a local lawyer (such as one from Holth & Kollman LLC) as each one will have their own way of dealing with this.
Hello, I'm Christina Miller. Have you ever been fascinated with why the law works the way it does? Ever since I was in junior high, I had an intense interest in anything related to our legal system, whether it be a crime drama on television, a judge show or a legal case covered on the news. I followed it all. As time progressed, I began learning about how the actual legal system worked and not just the fictionalized version of our legal system. This has lead me to start writing my own blog posts about law that I hope will help others.