How Much Lawyers Usually Take from a Settlement
You might wonder how much it will cost to hire a personal injury lawyer after you get hurt in an accident somebody else caused. Some people worry about the costs associated with legal representation, insurance claims, and court cases. The thought of paying lawyers’ fees might even be a deterrent, causing accident victims to pursue action alone. However, that can lead to unfavorable results.
Here, you will find information about contingency fees, how settlements are calculated, and what you can expect from your check.
What Is a Contingency Fee?
Many personal injury attorneys take cases on contingency. A contingency fee is a fixed percentage a lawyer takes from the compensation they secure for their client. The percentage can range from 25 percent to 33 percent. Thirty-three percent is most common for insurance claims.
The contingency fee can increase if a lawsuit is necessary because litigation costs are often expensive. The fee might be around 40 or 45 percent, depending on the law firm you hire.
There are no upfront fees or costs when you hire a lawyer who works on a contingency fee basis. Instead, they take their fee and case-related expenses from the settlement check the insurance company produces at the end of the case. This process allows you to pursue a claim or lawsuit without wondering where you’ll get the money to pay your attorney.
How Settlements Are Determined
Determining the value of a personal injury case requires calculating the accident victim’s losses. Calculating medical care, lost wages, and property damage is simple. You can use invoices, billing statements, or other financial documents to total your expenses.
However, placing value on intangible losses, such as emotional distress and pain and suffering, is more challenging. Your personal injury attorney will likely use the multiplier or per diem method to decide how much money to demand from the insurance company.
The multiplier method uses a “multiplier”: a number between 1.5 and 5. You add all costs related to the accident and multiply the total by a multiplier to determine the value of pain and suffering and other noneconomic losses.
Typically, a 1.5 multiplier means the injury is minor, and the accident victim has minimal expenses. A 5 multiplier can indicate a debilitating or permanent injury with extensive medical treatment and bills.
Per Diem Method
The per diem method calculates compensation based on quantifiable daily losses. It helps determine someone’s lost wages due to their pain and suffering from the accident. You can take the number of days you can’t work due to your injury and multiply it by your unearned income each day.
However, using the per diem method for a long-term impairment or disability might not be in your best interest. Your attorney will know which method will produce the best results for your situation.
What Can I Expect for My Settlement Check?
It is crucial to understand the process lawyers who work on contingency must follow before giving their clients the final check. The settlement you and the insurance company agree to won’t be the same amount of money you receive. Your attorney must take a portion of your compensation to pay themselves, settle unpaid medical bills, and cover case-related costs.
Some personal injury attorneys negotiate with medical providers on treatment expenses. Some doctors and facilities are willing to hold the account to prevent it from going to collections. They might wait until the case is resolved. Your attorney can negotiate a lower balance than what you owe to reduce the amount taken out of your final check.
Your lawyer must take their percentage from the settlement check for their contingency fee. They can also use part of the money to cover legal costs, such as medical record requests, filing fees, copying expenses, and postage, if you’ve agreed to that in the contingency agreement you and your attorney signed.
After settling all medical bills and attorneys’ fees, you will receive your settlement check.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney in Dallas
At The Benton Law Firm, we understand the financial burden of treating an injury while pursuing a personal injury case. You can face massive debt if you can’t afford every expense.
You don’t have to worry about the financial consequences of hiring us. We take personal injury cases on contingency, so you’re not required to pay us upfront. We won’t collect our legal fees and costs unless we secure compensation for you. If we lose your case, you will never owe us any money.
If you sustained injuries in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, call the Dallas personal injury attorneys of The Benton Law Firm at (214) 777-7777 for a free consultation today. We will protect your rights and fight for maximum compensation.