Hiring an attorney to handle your personal injury claim will help to maximize the compensation you receive. Once you have decided that you want the assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer you will have to find the best attorney for your case. While there are many important factors that should go into your decision, price is likely near the top of your list.
Most personal injury attorneys in Los Angeles work on a contingency fee basis. What this means is that their fee is contingent on the success of your personal injury claim.When you hire an attorney to represent you, it is important to understand what this fee will be and whether there are any hidden costs that you will be expected to pay.
What Percentage Will a Personal Injury Lawyer Take?
While there is no standard rate, most Los Angeles personal injury lawyers will take anywhere between 30 and 40 percent of the compensation you receive. The exact percentage will depend on a variety of factors, including:
- How long the attorney has been practicing law;
- The attorney’s caseload and demand;
- The specific type of personal injury claim you have;
- The projected amount of the settlement or award;
- How difficult the case will be; and
- The amount of work that will be required to get a positive outcome.
Attorneys who are just starting out or who handle fairly-simple personal injury claims may be more likely to offer their services for a smaller percentage of your financial recovery. Attorneys who handle complex or extremely specialized cases, or who are in popular demand in the city, may only agree to work for a greater percentage of your compensation.
How is the Percentage Calculated?
Some attorneys may take a 40 percent of your gross award while others may take 30 percent of your net award? Does it matter if your attorney’s fee is based on the gross or net compensation you receive? Absolutely. Let’s say your attorney successfully recovers $100,000 for injuries you sustained in a Los Angeles car accident. If your attorney was working in exchange for 40 percent of your gross award they would recover a fee of $40,000.
If your attorney was working in exchange for 30 percent of your net award, the fee would be calculated after court costs and case-related expenses were factored in. Let’s say that your attorney needed to spend $10,000 to pay for filing fees, hire expert witnesses, and depose involved parties. Your net recovery, after these expenses were paid for, would be $90,000. Your attorney would then recover a fee of $30,000 (or 30 percent of $90,000).
Attorneys may structure their fee arrangements differently depending on how they want to pay for your case-related expenses. Attorneys who think that case-related expenses may be small will be more likely to ask for a percentage of your gross award. They will recover a greater amount and use a portion of that to cover the fees. If an attorney does not want to be responsible for paying case-related costs, they may request a percentage of your net recovery. This way they can take their fee and walk away without having to allocate anything to court costs, depositions, and expert witnesses.
Questions to Ask About an Attorney’s Fees
Personal injury lawyers in Los Angeles generally offer a free consultation for prospective clients. This is a great way for lawyers to learn about potential cases and for injured accident victims to find the best attorney for their case. This time offers you a great opportunity to learn about the attorney’s experience, strengths, weaknesses, and fees. It is important to ask the following questions when you are meeting with an attorney to discuss a potential personal injury claim:
- How long have you been practicing this particular type of law?
- What other legal experience do you have?
- How many other cases like mine have you handled?
- How many of those cases have been successful?
- Do you have experience trying cases in front of a jury?
- Will you be handling my case personally or will some work be delegated to others in the firm?
- What is your fee structure?
- Are there any hidden costs that I should expect to pay?
- Do I have to pay anything if we don’t win?
Have you been injured in a Los Angeles accident and are thinking about filing a personal injury claim for damages? Call the Citywide Law Group today to schedule a free consultation with our experienced legal team. We know that the money you receive after your accident may be crucial for your physical, emotional, and psychological recovery, so we will fight to make sure you are fairly compensated. When we meet during your free consultation we will thoroughly review our fee structure and answer any questions you have. You have a limited amount of time to file a claim in Los Angeles, so do not hesitate to call us today.