How Do Personal Injury Lawyers Charge?
Many different lawyers exist. There are lawyers who focus exclusively on family law, ensuring the safety of children and an amicable settlement between parents or former partners. There are lawyers who work exclusively with corporations to ensure they do not overstep their growth limits or participate in illegal activities while also handling litigation suits brought against their employer.
The way these two lawyers charge will be vastly different, as you might expect. The funds available to a large corporation are obviously more significant than a single-family unit, but the relative work involved could also be more substantial. Therefore, we should all be able to agree that how lawyers charge at least depends on what type of law they practice.
Still, as you may have guessed by the title of this article, we are not discussing family or corporate lawyers. We are looking just at personal injury lawyers like the fine folk over at Edwards Injury Law. So let’s dive into how personal injury lawyers charge their clients!
The Retainer Fee
The retainer fee is the first charge you will receive. This charge varies depending on the individual personal injury lawyer and the size of the case. But, even then, it will be just a small fraction of the potential settlement amount.
Essentially, the retainer fee is there to cover any basic expenses for your lawyer, as well as the time they may have to invest in having your claim succeed. Additionally, this fee can be waived or reduced depending on an individual’s financial situation.
The Contingency Fee
Many personal injury lawyers will only charge a contingency fee. This fee will typically be a percentage of the total claim, usually around 33% or so. Additionally, paying the fee is only a requirement if the personal injury lawyer successfully gets compensation.
There are many benefits to this payment system. For example, those with serious injuries can focus on getting better rather than getting back to work to pay for legal fees. It is also helpful for those without the ability to pay right off the bat and serves many other purposes also.
The “Catch-all” Fee
Finally, most personal injury lawyers will have an administrative fee on their bill. This fee covers the costs of printing documents, notary fees, tracking down evidence or information, and any other small costs incurred in defending your case. Usually, this fee is not very substantial, but it will be a separate cost from the contingency and retainer fees.
It is of note that personal injury lawyers are not exclusive in charging this “catch-all” fee. Most lawyers will have some variation on the charge to cover similar costs within their practice.
How to Find the Right Personal Injury Lawyer
Now that you know about the most common fees that a personal injury lawyer charges, you may be raring to go out and find legal representation. However, we do have a final note on choosing the right lawyer for your needs. First, decide if you are comfortable paying a retainer as this will be an easy way to decide for or against many lawyers.
After this initial step, it is best to look at the size of the firm. Larger firms will have higher overhead costs and will likely charge more as a result. However, that also means they can handle more cases faster, which could be beneficial depending on your unique situation.