Reasonable Attorney Fees
When you hire someone to provide any kind of service for you or your family, you look for a business that is reliable and trustworthy, with a history of success. But ￼￼you don’t stop there – you also need to know how much money that business will charge for their services. Choosing a lawyer is no different. Different lawyers charge different fees. The less money your lawyer charges you to handle your injury case, the more money you will be able to keep for you and your family. Here is some basic information about attorney fees and a description of what we charge for our services.
How do Personal Injury Settlements Work?
As successful injury case ends with a settlement or a verdict from a judge or a jury. Most cases end with a settlement. The amount of money awarded by a settlement or a verdict is the total amount of money that a the person who injured you, or his or her insurance company, must pay. But the client does not get to keep all of that money–a portion of it is used to pay back medical expenses and another portion is used to pay the lawyer’s contingency fee.
What is a Contingency Fee?
Lawyers who represent injured people charge a “contingency fee.” That just means that instead of getting paid a flat or hourly fee, injury lawyers take a percentage of whatever amount of money they collect from whomever was at fault for your injury. If the lawyer is not able to collect money from the person who injured you (or, more specifically, that person’s insurance company) then the lawyer should not charge you anything. This is what lawyers mean when they say they there is “no fee if there is no recovery.” They can’t take a percentage of a recovery if there is no recovery. This is important to know because it means that when a lawyer takes your case, the lawyer is taking the financial risk instead of you. But knowing that your lawyer won’t take a fee if there is no recovery is not very helpful when you’re choosing a lawyer, because no injury lawyer should ever take a fee if there is no recovery.
Our Contingency Fee
Nowadays a lot of lawyers are charging 40% or 50% contingency fees, or they charge one fee if a case settles quickly and a higher fee if it goes to trial or takes a long time to resolve. At Fine Law Firm, we have charged the same, simple contingency fee for forty-five years: 1/3. That means that no matter what happens in your case, or how hard or long we have to fight, you will never have to pay a fee of more than 33.33% of your recovery. Another thing that we have been doing for the last forty-five years is reducing our fee below 33.33% under special circumstances. If the client is a child or a first responder, or if after paying back the medical bills the client would have too little money left over, we lower our fee.
5 Common Questions About Personal Injury Settlements
1) How much is the average personal injury settlement?
Case value depends on the total damages caused and what can be recovered. Factors such as total insurance limits, how the incident happened, and who else was at fault all affect case value.
2) What is pain and suffering worth?
There is no fixed standard for placing a value on pain and suffering. If a case goes to trial, the jury will be told to use its judgment to determine such a value.
3) What is a standard contingency fee?
Traditionally, the standard contingency fee has been 1⁄3 of the total recovery. That number has been changing over the last ten years or so, as more and more lawyers have begun to charge higher fees, or “sliding fees,” where the fee goes up if the case goes trial.
4) Is a personal injury case taxable?
Money received for medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and many other damages are generally not taxable. However, some elements of damages (such as lost earnings and punitive damages) may be taxed.
5) What happens to medical bills after a personal injury case?
Usually, whoever covered the tab for medical expenses while an injury case was pending (e.g. health insurance, medicaid) is entitled to be paid back. The obligation to pay these bills back, and in what amount, depends on how they were paid and by whom. We will negotiate to ensure that you have to pay back the least amount possible.