When you’re injured on the job, you want to know about lawyers who will fight for you. You want to know about lawyers who specialize in work injury cases. And most of all, you want to know whether or not those lawyers take a percentage. A San Antonio’s top reputable work injury lawyer will most likely take a contingency-fee structure of between 33% and 40% of the total settlement. A smaller number of San Antonio injury lawyers take a contingency fee of 50% to 55%. A few take “flat fee” or “fixed fee” cases, which means these lawyers charge a flat fee for a flat settlement amount or case value.
How Much Will My Lawyer Charge Me?
Working with a personal injury attorney is a major decision that can greatly affect your family’s future. Since it can be hard to predict the outcome of your case, it’s important to consider a few things before choosing a lawyer. The main thing you need to ask yourself is this: what percentage does the attorney take? If you don’t ask about the fee structure upfront, you could end up paying a large amount of money for legal representation in the middle of your case.
Most injury attorneys take a contingency fee, which means their clients pay nothing unless they win the case. Contingency fees range from 25% to 40% of a judgment or settlement. However, some costs are passed on to clients, like expert witness fees and fees associated with obtaining records.
According to the American Bar Association, most lawyers take somewhere between 25 and 33 percent of their clients’ injury settlements. However, some outliers take a higher percentage— sometimes as high as 40 percent. And some take as little as 10 percent.
Factors Influencing Injury Attorney Rates
Under most circumstances, 33% is the most they’re allowed to take by law in most states. So what factors influence the lawyer’s rate?
- How experienced the lawyer is
- Where the lawyer is located geographically
- What type of law do they practice
- Whether or not the lawyer works for a firm or is self-employed
- How much work is involved in your particular case
What’s behind the fee, or is it a big scam used by lawyers to make money on top of their consultation fees and retainers?
If you’re injured and need medical care in the rest of the world (i.e. medical and auto accident cases), your doctor will bill your insurance company for their services. They do it all the time—it’s part of their job to get you reimbursed for what you’ve already paid out of pocket over and above your monthly premium payments. The same process happens with auto accident cases, except that instead of an insurance company paying out on behalf of someone who was hurt in a car wreck, it’s usually an insurance adjuster who decides whether or not to pay out on behalf of someone whose car was damaged in an accident.
At this point is where an injury lawyer comes in: they negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and get them to pay for more than they would have otherwise offered (if anything). The difference between what they originally offered and what they ultimately paid, called “damages,” gets split between the client and the lawyer. The lawyer gets 1/3rd (or whatever percentage), and you get 2/3rds. That sounds like a lot, right? It is a lot, but it’s not as excessive as you think once you have all the facts.
When you’re injured seriously in an accident and have missed work, there are dozens upon dozens of things to take care of in addition to your medical needs, such as:
- Your car may need to be fixed or replaced.
- You may need someone to do odd jobs around the house while you recover.
- You may be facing expensive medical bills that aren’t covered by insurance.
- You may need transportation for medical appointments or running errands because you can’t drive yourself.
- There are also legal fees and court costs to consider (which vary from state to state).
Most injury lawyers take a contingency fee, which is a percentage of compensation won for the client. Some firms have a sliding scale in which the lawyer gets more if he can recover more for his clients. In most cases, there is a 33% or one-third of the total settlement for their services; this stands until a settlement or judgment is reached, at which time the law firm will receive a predetermined amount (possibly several thousand dollars) from the settlement or judgment.