- How Much Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Cost?
- May 14, 2013
- Law Firm: The Law Office of Kevin P. Landry P.C. - Falmouth Office
One of the biggest questions we get as personal injury attorneys in Rhode Island and Massachusetts is: "How much does a personal injury lawyer cost?"
It's a fair question, because when you're considering hiring the services of a Massachusetts or Rhode Island based personal injury lawyer, doesn't it make sense to know what you're going to pay ahead of time?
Whether you're hiring a carpenter to put an addition on your house or you're buying a new car, the "how much will it cost question" is probably the biggest one that's weighing on your mind before you make any kind of buying decision.
So here we explain in simple terms how much a personal injury lawyer charges and the differences between the two most common ways in which personal injury lawyers are paid, as well as which type of financial arrangement is the best one for you.
MA and Rhode Island Personal Injury Lawyer: How Attorney Fees Work
If you're involved in an accident whether its a slip and fall, an automobile accident or an accident on a construction site or any other kind of personal injury that wasn't your fault, it's likely you'll be looking for compensation from whoever was to blame. If this happens to you, the first thing you should do after you get treated for your injuries is hire a personal injury lawyer who will look out for your best interests.
But at the same time, in your rush to get help, you don't want to get ripped off simply because you don't understand all that "personal injury law" jargon.
As Massachusetts and Rhode Island Injury attorneys with a wealth of experience in dealing with these types of cases, there are two basic ways that personal injury lawyers get paid.
By understanding the difference between the two main ways personal injury lawyers charge will not only help you to get the best lawyer for your case but will help you to make an educated decision on which personal injury law firm you should choose to represent you.
Understanding How Much Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Cost Means Understanding Contingency Fees
The most common way that personal injury lawyers charge their clients is through what's known as a contingency fee. Even if you aren't familiar with the terminology, you'll undoubtedly recognize the description.
What contingency amounts to is a percentage of the compensation you receive when your case is successful. When a Massachusetts or Rhode Island personal injury lawyer charges a contingency fee, you are hiring them at no cost unless your case is successfully settled.
This means that if for whatever reason, your case doesn't go your way and you receive no compensation from those responsible for your injuries, the personal injury attorney does not collect a fee.
How Much Do Injury Lawyers Charge for Contingency Fees?
In the personal injury world, contingency fees vary from country to country, state to state and from lawyer to lawyer. But in most cases, this works out at around one-third of the sum recovered. Although some law firms and attorneys will try to charge more, 33 1/3% is what is most commonly used. As a consumer, there may be room to negotiate a lower percentage, but in most cases, the personal injury law firm has a standard fee they don't deviate from.
In the case of our personal injury law firm, we charge a standard 33 1/3 % contingency fee.
Before you hire a personal injury lawyer for your Massachusetts or Rhode Island personal injury case, don't just assume all personal injury law firms charge the same fee. Instead, make sure you discuss this extensively before signing any agreement because some firms charge a higher percentage than others.
Why Contingency Fees Benefit Both Parties
When you think about it, both you and your attorney benefit from a contingency arrangement. You don't have to pay your lawyer a dime if they don't win the case. So for you as the personal injury client, you're in an ideal situation. Likewise, because of the contingency arrangement, you'll feel confident that your MA or RI personal injury lawyer will do all he can to get you the compensation you deserve, largely because the attorney is highly incentivized to get paid for his efforts.
When you do hire a personal injury lawyer, you should double-check to make certain that your lawyer is charging you a fee based on the net judgment (the fee will be taken from the award after the expenses have been taken) or the gross award (your award before the lawyer's fees have been taken).
Although I have never seen a case of a lawyer charging based on net, this is something to discuss prior to making your decision. It lets him know that you know the rules of the game.
Hourly Billing Rates - An Alternative Answer to What Is the Amount Charged By a Personal Injury Attorney
Although far less common, hourly fees or hourly billing rates are charged by some personal injury lawyers. This kind of financial arrangement is different from contingency fees because whether you win or lose, you will have to pay your personal injury lawyer either way. Typically, the hourly billing rate does not normally include the lawyer’s expenses and any legal fees that you incur.
The reason this kind of personal injury law billing arrangement is less popular because there are major downsides to hourly billing rates on both your side as well as on your lawyer’s side of the agreement.
For you it means that you have to pay out money up front to your Massachusetts or Rhode Island based personal injury lawyer - even if they don't win you the case. This is obviously not a great deal for you.
Another negative aspect of hourly billing rates is if your personal injury lawyer offers one to you, it's probably because he or she believes that you do not have a reasonable chance of winning the case and wants to make sure they get paid regardless of the outcome.
In this situation, ask why he isn't interested in representing you on contingency. Overall, contingency is a far smarter way to go to be assured that you not only get the compensation you are owed but also you'll be assured that your personal injury lawyer will do all he or she can do to work on your behalf to get that settlement.
Conclusion - Contact a Contingency Personal Injury Lawyer to Represent You
When it comes to how much a personal injury lawyer costs, it;s fair to say that contingency is the best way to go. Not only the most common way in which personal injury lawyers charge, but it makes the most sense for you as well.
Remember, that any personal injury claim hinges on proving negligence by another party and to do that, you want to hire someone who is incentivized to help you. As a contingency personal injury law firm, we do just that for you.
Call us at 1 800-220-7752 or fill out our contact form.