Depending on the law firm you choose, it may cost you nothing up front to hire a personal injury lawyer. The cost of an injury lawyer will vary based on the firm’s payment structure to charge clients. Many injury lawyers work on contingency.
Under this arrangement, the law firm collects its fees for legal services only if your attorney recovers compensation on your behalf. The fee you pay depends on the case’s outcome. You don’t pay anything if the firm doesn’t win your case.
How Do Contingency Fee Arrangements Work?
The contingency fee is a percentage of the financial award or settlement you receive. The specified percentage may vary by the attorney.
Other Costs of a Personal Injury Case
The contingency fee you pay is for the attorney’s help. It is what you pay to hire a lawyer. It does not include the cost of fees and disbursements. These are the costs associated with building your injury case. As you might expect, filing a lawsuit can be expensive, especially if your case goes to trial. Preparing a personal injury case involves many costs. These often include:
- Administrative fees
- Costs of photocopies, postage, and courier
- Court costs, such as filing fees, use of the courts, and court reporter
- Deposition costs
- Costs of securing expert witnesses
- Accident reconstruction costs
- Costs of obtaining medical records, police reports, or government documents
- Costs of medical care and other services rendered to advance your case
Covering the Costs of Building Your Case
Your attorney may cover the costs for you while working on your case. The law firm may later deduct these fees from your financial award before calculating the cost of their attorney’s fees. Some firms will cover your costs and then charge you a contingency fee on the full amount of your settlement rather than deducting the costs first.
Many attorneys arrange a special fee with the medical provider or other professionals assisting you. Their payment is usually deferred until your lawyer resolves your case. The service provider holds a lien against your settlement (or court award) and receives their money when your check comes in.
Will My Personal Injury Lawyer Ask Me to Pay Up Front?
Most personal injury lawyers will not ask you for money out of pocket to pay the costs of preparing your case; however, it is possible that you may encounter some lawyers who will take your case on contingency but request that you pay for certain costs on the spot. For example, they may ask you to pay the costs of obtaining documents up front.
Any personal injury attorney you consider should be transparent about how they bill you and what costs they expect you to pay from the outset. If you meet a lawyer who tells you they expect you to pay the costs and fees throughout your case, you may want to keep looking. A lawyer who wants you to pay costs up front may come back later to ask you to pay for something else.
Other Ways of Billing for Services in Personal Injury Cases
Not all injury lawyers charge a contingency fee. Some may bill you an hourly rate. They keep track of the hours they work and tasks they perform, then provide an itemized list. Other lawyers might charge a retainer fee up front. This is a certain amount of money required to secure their services and work on your case.
A contingency pricing structure boasts obvious advantages over other types of billing for injury victims.
- Your lawyer can start work immediately on your case.
- You won’t pay any money up front or out of pocket.
- You can feel confident that the attorney will work hard to win because their compensation is tied to yours.
- There’s no financial risk (if you don’t win, you don’t pay for your lawyer’s services).
You Pay Nothing Up Front for Representation From an Injury Lawyer at Shulman & Hill
The cost of hiring a personal injury lawyer will depend on the kind of lawyer you choose. An attorney who offers a contingency fee may be the wisest choice for many injury victims. Shulman & Hill is a personal injury law firm dedicated to fighting for the rights of victims hurt due to the carelessness of others.
We work on a contingency fee basis. Call us today at 212.221.1000 for a free consultation if you suffered an injury in an accident in New York or New Jersey.