How Does a Personal Injury Attorney Get Paid?

If you’re thinking about filing a personal injury lawsuit, you’ve probably wondered how much it will cost to have an attorney handle your case. In Los Angeles, many personal injury attorneys advertise that they offer their legal services on a contingency fee basis.

While most attorneys will have their own unique pay structures, this basically means that they agree to take your case in exchange for a portion of any money that you are awarded.

Contingency Basis

Attorneys are essentially gambling whenever they agree to work on a contingency basis. They are betting that your case is a winner and that you’ll recover compensation for your injuries. Since their compensation is directly linked to how much money you are awarded, you can bet that your attorney will do everything in his or her power to get you the most amount of money that they can.

Some attorneys will agree to take almost any case that walks through the door, assuming that the more cases they handle, the more cases they’ll be able to win. Other attorneys may be more selective in the cases they handle and only choose the cases that they believe have a great chance for success.

Percentages Will Vary

In most average personal injury cases, contingent attorneys fees generally range from 30-40 percent of your award. However, every attorney you speak with will probably have a slightly different pay structure for their services.

Attorneys may request a greater percentage if they have considerable experience handling these types of cases or believe that your case is winnable but will require more of their time than is usual. Attorneys who handle a high volume of cases or who are just getting started out may be more likely to request a smaller fraction of your eventual award.

Net and Gross Calculations

So, you’ve agreed to pay an attorney 30 percent of any personal injury award that you receive. Will they be taking 30 percent of your gross or net award? This is an extremely important thing to find out. Here’s why: let’s say that you eventually recover $100,000 from your personal injury lawsuit. If your attorney’s fee is based on your gross award they’ll take $30,000 right off the top. Unless your attorney has assumed all court-related costs, this can still leave a lot of unpaid expenses at the close of your case. If you had a particularly detailed and involved lawsuit, you could have as much $10,000 in fees and costs. At the end of the day you may be left with $60,000 for yourself.

Now let’s imagine that your attorney has agreed to take 30 percent of your net award. In this scenario, your attorney makes sure that any unpaid fees and costs are taken care of before taking a piece of your award. Let’s say $10,000 were allocated to court costs, deposition fees, and an expert witness. Your attorney will now be entitled to take 30 percent of your net recovery, which is equal to $27,000. Here, you may walk away with $63,000.

As you can see, it is important to make sure that you know (1) who will be responsible for paying all court-related costs and (2) whether your attorney will expect a percent of your gross or net award. These seemingly minor details can make a world of difference.

Experienced Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorneys

Have you been injured in Los Angeles car accident? If so, you may be entitled to recover monetary damages for the harm you’ve suffered. At Citywide Law Group, our personal injury attorneys can help to hold at-fault parties responsible and get you the money you deserve after an accident.

We offer our services on a contingency fee basis so that you can focus your resources on your own personal recovery. When you come in for your free consultation we will thoroughly explain our fee structure and answer any questions that you may have. You have a limited amount of time to file a claim, so do not hesitate to call us today.