If someone’s carelessness caused you injury, you might wonder how best to get compensation for your pain and suffering, lost wages, property damages, and medical or hospital bills. While it is possible to file your own lawsuit for damages or negotiate without a lawyer’s help, your settlement amount may be lower. Working with an experienced personal injury attorney gives you an advantage. In addition to a higher settlement amount, you can sit back and let the lawyer handle the entire process. But how much do lawyers take from settlements?
Personal Injury Lawyers Work on Contingency
A little-known fact about personal injury lawyers is that they work on a contingency basis. Contingency means that you don’t pay a dime unless you receive a settlement.
If you’ve ever sold a home with a real estate agent, you are familiar with how real estate agents earn a commission percentage only after your home sells. Personal injury attorneys work much the same way. However, attorneys must earn a specialized Juris doctorate while keeping up with the legal landscape of your location to work your case successfully. For that reason, most personal injury lawyers will require a commission of 33 to 40 percent of your settlement or court-awarded payout. Your court fees may also come from this figure unless the court orders the defendant to pay them.
“The contingency fee will usually process through a percentage that often changes due to the complexity of the case, the length of time necessary for a resolution and other factors that may increase the work of the lawyer” (1)
Your attorney works for your best interests as your representative. As an added incentive, if you don’t get paid, they don’t get paid. A personal injury attorney does everything in their power to get you the best possible settlement for your injury.
How Much Do Lawyers Take From Settlement?
If you receive a settlement of $25,000, an attorney with a 33% commission receives $8,333 with a successful settlement of your case. You would receive $16,667. Out of your settlement amount, you may also pay court fees. However, if you do not win a settlement, your lawyer also does not get paid.
An experienced attorney will always ensure that your settlement amount will cover your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other expenses.
When Do I Pay a Personal Injury Attorney?
Personal injury attorneys do not ask for fees or payments during their work on your case. Their work only pays off if you win your case and receive a settlement.
If you don’t have a valid case, they will let you know that you do not have a successful case for settlement. Because personal injury attorneys only get paid when you do, it wouldn’t make sense for them to take on a case they can’t win.
Talking with a personal injury attorney about your case just makes sense. There is nothing to lose by setting up a consultation to see what an attorney thinks about your case.
And if you have bills that you need to pay, the sooner you build your case, the better. Every state has statute of limitations laws that prevent filing lawsuits after a certain point in time. In Texas, you have 3 years from the date of your injury to file a lawsuit. Even if you never go to a courtroom and instead take a settlement, filing a suit is sometimes the only way to get the defendant to the negotiating table.
Why Do I Need a Personal Injury Attorney?
Because the judicial process can seem daunting if you’re not an attorney, hiring one to represent you just makes sense. Personal injury attorneys work day in and day out to negotiate these types of cases. They understand the equations used by the courts to determine settlement amounts. They know when to play hardball and when to accept a settlement offer.
Attorneys see which kinds of cases receive settlements and which kind do not. In the end, personal injury cases with attorneys receive higher settlement amounts because of the attorney’s level of expertise in navigating the negotiations or handling your case in the courtroom.
In addition, representing yourself in negotiations is a long, drawn-out process in which you would need to research extensively to get a good outcome for yourself. Paying an attorney to work through these issues reduces your stress level and gives you a better payout.
We Can Help
At Jarrett Law, we bring our experience handling personal injury cases to the negotiation table for your best outcome. We understand the pain and struggle of facing injury and healing while trying to get a fair settlement. Often insurance companies and others try to pay the least even though you deserve more. You deserve compensation that covers your pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, and future care needs. Contact us today for a free initial consultation and find out how we can help you move forward.