How Do Personal Injury/Auto Accident Lawyers Get Paid?
Most personal injury/auto accident lawyers get paid on a contingency fee basis. This means that the lawyer’s payment is contingent on the case recovering money either by settlement or lawsuit. If the lawyer does not recover any money then you don’t owe the lawyer any money. However, if the lawyer does recover money then the lawyer will be paid out of the amounts recovered.
Typical lawyer fees for personal injury or auto accident cases range from 25-50%. If a case is settled without having a lawsuit filed or going to trial, the fees here in Kansas City are usually around 33%. The amount of the fees depends on the type and size of the case and the amount of time and work expected to go into the claim. If the case requires a lawsuit to be filed the fees are usually between 33-40%. Even if the case doesn’t go to trial, filing a lawsuit can increase costs and require more time and paperwork. Filing a lawsuit can be strategic in settling the claim and gathering information. If the case does go to trial the fees are usually between 40-50%. In addition to lawyer’s fees, the expenses incurred can also be recovered. These expenses are for costs for ordering records and reports, copying and printing costs, court costs, etc.
The longer a case goes unresolved, the longer the lawyer goes unpaid. This means that the lawyer has fronted the money for the costs of supplies, ordering reports, and the time for work spent on your case without any compensation. If a case goes to trial this could mean that the lawyer has gone several years without having received any money for work on your claim. Personal injury and auto accident claims can be expensive and injured persons who have had to take time off work and pay for medical expenses can’t afford to pay for the cost of a lawyer up front or as expenses arise. Contingency fees are an attractive option for both the lawyer and the client.