If you or a loved one suffered a personal injury, the potential costs of hiring an attorney could weigh heavily on your mind. Victims often face steep medical bills, property damage, and other expenses related to their injury and, understandably, are hesitant to incur additional costs.
Understanding lawyers fees for personal injury cases is critical if you want to protect yourself from astronomical legal expenses. Hourly fees, retainers, and court costs can mount up quickly. Fighting a lawsuit can get costly, particularly if your case goes to trial. Moreover, it could be months or even years before you receive a settlement check.
However, when you are working with America’s largest personal injury firm, you can rest assured that there are no out-of-pocket fees or hidden costs for you. Morgan & Morgan has the resources to handle your case without charging you a dime upfront. Our attorneys get paid when you get paid. Fill in our online form now, or call us at (877) 794-4256 to find out if we can help you.
Lawyers Fees for Personal Injury Cases
Generally, each law firm sets its own fees and decides how they charge clients. The most common ways of paying personal injury lawyers include:
Attorneys working with a contingency fee agreement do not charge their clients upfront fees. The attorney only gets paid if and when they reach a favorable outcome in your case. If they win, they will receive a percentage of the final settlement amount. The standard contingency fee percentage is usually around a third of the settlement, according to the American Bar Association (ABA). However, the final fee will depend on the law firm. A contingency agreement can be advantageous for an injured individual. It allows them to get legal representation even if they do not have the funds to pay an attorney upfront. Moreover, if you lose your case, you do not have to pay any attorney’s fees.
You Could Be Responsible for Upfront Costs
A contingency agreement does not generally include expenses such as court filing fees. You could be responsible for miscellaneous costs that arise when filing a lawsuit. Some attorneys require a so-called “cost deposit” from clients to cover these expenses. Costs you could end up paying upfront include:
- Court filing fee and other legal expenses
- Witness preparation costs
- Pulling and copying official documents
- Expert witness fees
- Mailing costs
- Discovery and deposition costs
Costs can quickly spiral out of control. Filing a lawsuit alone can cost several hundred dollars. Discovery and deposition costs can amount to $1000 and much more, depending on the complexity and length of your case. Fees to obtain official records, such as medical reports, legal documents, and others, can be several hundred dollars. Expert witness fees can reach tens of thousands of dollars if several expert witnesses are required, as is often the case in medical malpractice cases.
Some personal injury attorneys charge their clients upfront retainers. They will then deduct an hourly wage from the retainer when working on the case. In addition to a retainer, which could be several thousand dollars, an attorney may also charge clients legal expenses. When fees and costs start to exceed the retainer, you will be on the hook for another payment.
It is critical to note that your costs can easily double or treble if your case goes to trial. In most cases, clients will be asked to front another retainer due before trial, which could be another several thousand dollars.
Hourly fees can be a common way to pay attorneys. When you agree to an hourly fee, your attorney will bill you for the time they spend on working on the case, including:
- Preparing paperwork
- Filing the lawsuit
- Making phone calls
- Sending emails and written correspondence
- Time spent at depositions and hearings
- Preparing for the trial
- Legal research expenses
The Disadvantages of Hourly Fees
One of the disadvantages of hourly fees is that they can become astronomical in lengthy and complicated lawsuits. Other negatives include:
- Clients may worry about adding to the bill and hesitate to contact the attorney for advice
- It can be impossible to predict your final costs
- Attorney’s hourly charges can vary widely from one firm to another
- Successful lawyers may charge a higher hourly rate
The Problem With Paying Lawyers Fees Upfront
Many injured individuals can simply not afford to shell out hundreds or even thousands of dollars for lawyers’ fees for a personal injury case without knowing whether they will win. Moreover, paying fees out of pocket could leave you with your injury costs and the lawyer’s fees if you lose your case.
On the other hand, with a contingency agreement, a law firm places its fee on the line to help you. Your attorney risks not receiving any payment at all for their work. Therefore, when an attorney accepts your case on a contingency fee, you can rest assured that:
- You have a reasonable chance to win
- You have no financial risks
- If you lose your case, you can simply walk away
Attorneys working on contingency fees generally only take cases that have a good chance of winning. Moreover, an attorney who gets paid a retainer or hourly fee regardless of the outcome of a case may lack motivation and determination.
How Attorneys Fees Can Eat Into Your Settlement Check
Victims who pay upfront fees may not be aware that attorney’s fees can completely swallow the settlement they receive. Let’s suppose you received a $25,000 settlement check for your injury but already paid two retainers worth $5,000 each plus court costs, fees for expert witnesses, and other expenses. You may be left with precious little or nothing to pay your medical bills and future health care expenses or to compensate you for income loss or other costs.
With a contingency agreement, your attorney receives the check and deducts their fee as a percentage of the settlement. You will receive the remainder. Attorneys will also normally provide an itemized list of deductions from your settlement check. At Morgan & Morgan, we don’t want you to walk away empty-handed or with a settlement that is nowhere near enough to cover your damages. That is why we do not charge upfront fees.
Morgan & Morgan Won’t Charge You a Dime Upfront
Lawyers fees for personal injury cases can be complicated and misleading. Clients may not even be aware of the costs they incur when hiring a lawyer. Morgan & Morgan is different from other law firms. We think of you first and not our bottom line. When America’s largest personal injury firm takes your case, there are no nasty surprises or hidden fees. You pay nothing upfront: no hourly fees, no retainers, and no court filing expenses. Our fee is free unless and until we win and successfully recover compensation for you. This sets us apart from many other personal injury law firms.
We Only Win When You Win
Since our attorneys don’t get paid unless you get paid, they are highly motivated to fight for the best possible outcome in your case. Contrast this with other law firms where attorneys collect their fees whether they win or lose.
We Fight for the People
We are here to help the people and not the powerful. John Morgan’s biggest motivation behind starting America’s largest law firm was helping people like his brother Tim, who was injured and paralyzed during a work accident. Tim never received what he deserved. We don’t want this to happen to you. Morgan & Morgan wants you to have the best chance of winning and the best chance of receiving the compensation you need to put your life back together.
Not All Personal Injury Law Firms Are the Same
Other law firms can be quick to take clients’ money but unmotivated to fight for adequate compensation. Some law firms never even go to trial. They prefer to settle and take the best offer even if a case is worth much more. We don’t work that way and never settle for less. Morgan & Morgan try more cases than other law firms because we want our clients to receive what they deserve and need.
We know that money cannot make up for losing a loved one, experiencing the pain of a severe injury, or having to deal with emotional distress. However, we will fight vigorously for full and fair compensation so you can pay your bills and live with the dignity and comfort you deserve.
Our Specialized Attorneys Know How to Handle Your Case
Many law firms employ generalist personal injury attorneys that handle all types of personal injury cases. Not us. Our attorneys focus on a specific area of the law. If you have a medical malpractice case, Morgan & Morgan ensures that your case is handled by a lawyer experienced in medical malpractice cases rather than car accidents or slips and falls. We want you to have the best possible chance for recovery.
Morgan & Morgan Cares About You
We are still a family law firm, despite our size, and believe that family comes first. We treat our clients like family and offer them the personal attention and time they deserve. Over the last three decades, Morgan & Morgan’s determined attorneys have recovered more than $15 billion in damages, helping thousands of satisfied clients put their lives back together. We could fight for you, too.