The most common reasons that I hear people choosing not to hire a lawyer involve worries about the cost. People worry that legal fees can be high and many people who have been injured already are facing medical bills and a loss of income due to time taken off to recover.
Luckily, most personal injury lawyers in California charge “contingency fees,” or a percent of the settlement after you are awarded money. This way you get the legal help you need and only pay them if they win. So how much does a lawyer get out of a personal injury settlement in that case? Just how high are contingency fees?
In California, personal injury lawyers can legally charge any percentage they choose. Exactly how much depends on the skill of your lawyer, the costs incurred during the case, and whether or not you go to trial. As a general rule, most personal injury lawyers get one-third (33.33%) of the final award and most charge more if the case goes to trial, usually forty percent (40%).
How much will I Get After Attorney’s Fees?
For many people, contingency fees can seem high. After all, it’s easy to underestimate how much time and effort your personal injury lawyer spends on your case for you when you aren’t around to see them work. Still, even if the cost of a lawyer seems high, it’s always better to get the higher settlement you truly deserve than to get the very little– or nothing!– that many clients end up with when trying to settle on their own. Your lawyer may get something out of your settlement, but you will almost certainly get more than if you go without a lawyer even after accounting for their fees.
More importantly, any settlements negotiated by your personal injury lawyer will take these contingency fees into account. They always keep in mind the percent that you will be paying them when negotiating a final agreement, so you will still come away with enough to cover your expenses, pain, and suffering. If you have to go to court, the rate charged by your lawyer will likely be higher, but you will still be taken care of. In some cases you may be awarded a certain amount of money plus legal fees, which means that your lawyer is paid by the person who did you harm or their insurance, not you.
If you have been hurt, the last thing you want to worry about is the cost of a lawyer. We understand that. Don’t let worries about legal fees keep you from getting the settlement you need and deserve, however. At Wakeford Gelini, we are always upfront about our fees, and we will work hard to maximize the settlement you get. Come talk to us today to find out how we may be able to help you. We will walk you through what to expect and answer any questions you may have. It’s time to let us worry about the settlement so you can worry about getting better.