A personal injury attorney can get paid in a handful of ways. You may have heard of “contingency basis.” This is when an attorney is paid if you win your case or reach a settlement. A percentage of earnings is granted to the lawyer in these cases.
There are other formats that lawyers use to obtain payment. A common approach is to charge hourly. The type of case also influences the payment approach. For example, in personal injury cases, the attorney is paid based on the side of the case they represent (the plaintiff or the defendant).
Sometimes, insurance companies pay for defendant representation. In any arrangement, the client and the attorney reach an agreement before working together on the case. For more information on what to look for when searching “personal injury lawyer near me” and how personal injury lawyers get paid, continue reading below.
Searching “Personal Injury Lawyer Near Me”
Contingency Fee Basis
Under contingency fee arrangements, the lawyer represents the plaintiff. The contingency fee agreement grants the lawyer payment for legal services if a court award or injury settlement is made. Percentages of the earnings vary but are estimated at 33% on average. While the contingency fee arrangement is simple, many variations exist.
When you search “personal injury lawyer near me,” you’ll find variations including:
Hourly Contingency Fee
Under this format, the attorney’s earnings are based on time spent on the case. This format is uncommon unless the client can recover the attorney’s fee from a defendant who loses the case.
Sliding Scale Contingency
This is a standard contingency fee basis, but the fee percentage rests on a sliding scale. The rate increases as ligation progresses. The course that takes place for the case will dictate the fee percentage. When you look online under “personal injury lawyer near me,” you can identify the sliding scale percentages that reflect how attorneys approach payment in your area.
Hourly And Contingent Pay Arrangement
This framework is a mix of hourly rate and contingency fee. The attorney is awarded a bonus if they win or settle the case; this is divided into an added hourly fee and a portion of the total recovery. The attorney is given an hourly reduced rate for the work they complete, regardless of whether the plaintiff loses. If the bonus is obtained, it is added.
Hourly Payment Arrangement
When the personal injury attorney represents the defendant, they usually charge hourly. Depending on the lawsuit, it is possible that the insurance company will pay for the defendant’s representation. Search “personal injury lawyer near me” to look into hourly payment arrangements that pertain to your case.
Hourly billing can also be broken down into various payment arrangements, such as:
Hourly Cap Arrangement
This arrangement limits the maximum earnings the attorney can bill their client for certain legal matters. Even if the attorney spends more time than anticipated on the case, the limit is still enforced. Besides this condition, the hourly cap arrangement functions like the standard hourly fee arrangement.
Retainer Lump Sum
Before getting started, the client will pay their attorney a retainer (a lump sum) amount that is stored in a bank account that is isolated from the account of the firm. Funds are withdrawn from the retainer as the casework is completed. Research “personal injury lawyer near me” to determine the fund amounts for attorneys that utilize the retainer approach for payment.
Blended Hourly Rate
If multiple attorneys are working on the case, the rate may be a mix of a lower rate (for a less experienced attorney) and a higher rate (for more experienced attorneys). The client pays a combined flat rate to account for all the work per hour. When you search options online under queries like “personal injury lawyer near me,” you can determine what specific blended hourly rates are based on the professionals you’ll work with.
Other Payment Approaches
1. If the plaintiff receives a recovery from the associated defendant, the fees for the attorney representing the plaintiff are paid for from the amount settling the case by the defendant or by the amount they are ordered to pay by the court following the trial.
2. For the defendant, if there is a liability insurance policy applied, the policy will cover the settlement or judgment that the plaintiff must receive within the constraints of the policy limits.
3. The policy will also legally defend the defendant if they are sued. When you research “personal injury lawyer near me,” you’ll discover information on the policy specifics that may reflect this approach to attorney payment.
Finalizing Your Attorney Pay Arrangement
To understand payment expectations for your claim, speak with your attorney directly. Once you’ve found a solid option by searching “personal injury lawyer near me,” you can determine the arrangement that will work for both of you.