For the typical person, one of the most important areas of law is the personal injury case. Put simply, personal injury cases arise when an individual or their property is injured through the negligence of another (whether by accident or willfully). In these cases, the injured person is often entitled to compensation from the guilty property.
When it comes to personal injury cases, most law offices offer services on a contingency fee basis. In addition to the contingency fee, personal injury cases often incur other costs, which could include (but not be limited to), court costs, administrative expenses, and witness fees.
In order to help you or your loved one gain a better understanding of what the true cost of your case may be, we’ve created a simple guide to break down what personal injury lawyer costs and fees you may encounter.
What is a Contingency Fee?
Many people who experience a personal injury may be unable to work, making it difficult to pay a lawyer’s fees upfront. That’s why many law offices operate personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis.
A contingency fee means that the lawyer’s fees will be deducted from the final personal injury settlement or damages awarded after a favorable outcome – should the client’s case go all the way to a court trial. This means that if you as the client don’t end up with a favorable verdict, then your lawyer will collect no fees.
Most contingency fee agreements allow lawyers to collect anywhere from 33.33%-40% of the overall monetary recovery, although you should be sure to speak with your attorney to learn the normal rate for their specific practice.
Also, don’t be afraid to discuss fees with your legal team – depending on how good your case is, you may be able to negotiate a smaller fee percentage.
Typical Personal Injury Lawyer Costs
Although they mean the same in common parlance, the terms “cost” and “fee” mean very different things in the legal sphere – the term “cost” accounts for everything else in litigation. Along with the contingency fee you’ll likely be responsible for if you win your case, there are other costs you’ll need to be aware of.
Below are some of the most common personal injury lawyer costs you’ll encounter.
Investigation & Information Gathering:
Depending on your personal injury case, you may need to collect medical records or police reports for a fee. And, if any special investigation or research is required for your case, like hiring a private investigator, those information-gathering costs can add up.
There are several court costs your personal injury case could incur, but some of the most common include the filing fee of the complaint, a daily stipend for jurors (should your case go to a jury trial), and transcripts of the in-court testimony. All in all, these costs could range upwards of $500.
Most personal injury lawsuits that end up going to trial will need at least one expert witness – which can often be one of the largest charges aside from your contingency fee. As their name implies, expert witnesses review your case, prepare an expert report, and will testify at your trial in order to produce a better outcome for you. For their services, one expert witness for a small-scale trial can end up setting you back a few thousand dollars.
Deposition simply means the taking of sworn, non-trial testimony on the record. This involves asking witnesses questions with the help of a stenographer recording what’s said. Whichever party requests the deposition will front the cost, which can be about $500 for a few hours.
Lastly, all personal injury court cases will incur some degree of administrative expenses, such as postage, trial research, travel, etc. For most cases, admin cost is usually a few hundred dollars.
At the end of the day, personal injury lawyer costs / fees can end up being a heavy financial burden for many people. This is why it’s so crucial to take your time when researching representation, and not be afraid to have candid financial discussions with your legal team.
At Porcaro Law, we operate on a contingent attorney’s fee, meaning that we are only entitled to a fee and reimbursement of costs if we make a financial recovery on your behalf.
Concerned about fees?
At Porcaro Law in Florida, we will ensure you’re putting your best foot forward to get the settlement you deserve. A car accident or any other type of serious accident can be a frightening experience. Most people do not know how much, if any compensation they are entitled to after they have been in an accident. With Porcaro Law Group by your side, you will feel confident knowing that your rights are protected and the responsible parties are held liable for their actions. You will also feel comfortable knowing our exact cost and fee schedule upfront.
If you’ve been injured in an auto accident or want to speak with a personal injury attorney, contact us today for a free consultation.