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How Much Do Lawyers Take From Settlements?

November 17, 2021 By Flora Templeton Stuart

When you sustain an injury due to someone else’s negligence, you should never have to pay for any of the expenses stemming from the accident. After all, it’s not your fault, so why should you lose money on top of all the pain and stress another party has caused? It seems straightforward, but it rarely is, and many people are left paying out-of-pocket for someone else’s mistake.

The truth is, getting your bills paid and being reimbursed for your losses can be a long and frustrating process. Many times, the only way to obtain fair compensation is by filing a personal injury lawsuit. At Flora Templeton Stuart Accident Injury Lawyers, you only pay if we win your case, and all expenses are taken from your recovery. You will never pay anything out of pocket, so there is no risk in hiring one of our experienced attorneys to help you.

What’s In This Guide

Personal Injury Cases and Contingency Fees

Personal injury law is a type of civil law that allows an injured party to recover damages from the person(s) or entity that caused the injury. A personal injury claim determines the total value of the damages suffered and seeks to reimburse the victim for their injuries and losses. Automobile accidents are the most common source of personal injury claims, but slips & falls, dog bites, nursing home abuse, medical malpractice, and wrongful deaths are also considered personal injury cases.

Is Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer Worth It?

Personal injury law can be extremely complex, so hiring a personal injury lawyer to help you navigate the legal system may be in your best interest. Rather than spending countless time and energy arguing with insurance adjustors and familiarizing yourself with pertinent laws, an attorney can do all the heavy lifting so that you can focus on recovering from your injuries.

A personal injury attorney also has the knowledge and expertise to negotiate a higher settlement for their clients. The Insurance Research Council found that those who hired an attorney for their personal injury claim received, on average, 3.5 times higher settlements than those without an attorney. The same study revealed that over 85% of the total amount of money paid out by insurance companies in personal injury claims were for clients who had retained an attorney.

Contingency Fees

Of course, hiring an attorney isn’t free, but most personal injury attorneys have payment options to ensure that everyone has access to legal services. One of the most common ways that personal injury attorneys get paid is through an arrangement called a contingency fee.

If you hire an attorney working on a contingency fee basis, there are no up-front fees or costs. Instead, your lawyer will provide their services free of charge until the conclusion of your case. When the case is resolved, personal injury attorneys are paid a pre-arranged percentage of the final settlement. If they do not win your case, they get nothing. This arrangement not only incentivizes the attorney to get the most money possible for their clients but prevents clients from paying even more out-of-pocket expenses after a serious accident.

What Percentage Do Lawyers Take for Personal Injury Cases?

The fee or percentage awarded to an injury attorney for their services varies. Contingency fee agreements usually range from 30% up to 40%. These fees do not include other costs like case expenses or filing fees. For example, a personal injury attorney who negotiates a $100,000 settlement for a car accident victim and charges a 40% contingency fee will take $40,000 from that settlement. If there are $10,000 in additional expenses, the client will take home a grand total of $50,000.

This may seem like a lot, but those who do not hire an attorney would likely get much less. Some insurance companies may try to pay a small fraction of what the case is worth. Our attorneys have over 45 years of experience dealing with big insurance companies and know the best ways to maximize our client’s settlements. If you have been injured, call Flora Templeton Stuart Accident Injury Lawyers today.

[LEARN MORE]: How Do I Choose a Good Personal Injury Lawyer?

How Do Personal Injury Attorneys Collect Their Share?

After negotiating with the at-fault party’s insurance company and reaching a settlement agreement, the insurance company and their attorney will send a Release. A Release is an agreement where the at-fault party and their insurance company agree to pay the value of the settlement and the injured party agrees to not bring any further claims against the responsible party.

Once the release is signed, a check will be sent to the law firm working on the case. Providing legal services through a contingency fee agreement presents certain risks, so this method ensures that the attorney is fairly compensated. The attorney will then meet with the client to go over the costs, liens, and fees that will be deducted from the total settlement. If there are no objections or outstanding liens, the law firm will issue a check for the client’s portion of the settlement.

Other Costs Related to Personal Injury Litigation

In addition to the attorney’s fee, there may be several other costs associated with the case. It

is important to note that most attorney’s cover these fees until the duration of the case, where they will then be reimbursed from the final settlement.  If suit is not filed, these expenses are very minimally and are usually related to obtaining medical records.

If suit is filed, additional costs can add up quickly and may include:

  • Filing Fees
  • Police Reports
  • Investigators/experts
  • Expert witnesses
  • Negotiating liens
  • Depositions

Flora ResultAt Flora Templeton Stuart Accident Injury Lawyers, negotiating liens is one of the most important jobs we do for clients. When medical bills are paid by your health insurance, Medicaid, or Medicare, they will need to be paid back from your settlement. We make sure that the bills are related to your accident and can negotiate to reduce liens if needed. If you need a personal injury attorney, contact us today.

Author Photo

Flora Templeton Stuart

Flora Templeton Stuart is the lead attorney and founder of the law firm Flora Templeton Stuart Accident Injury Lawyers, established in 1976. Flora goes to work every day to make a difference in her community and the lives of her clients. When you call you will get a personal representation and an attorney who truly cares.