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Homepage >> Injuries >> How Much Does A Personal Injury Lawyer Cost?

How Much Does A Personal Injury Lawyer Cost?

Most personal injury lawyers represent clients on a contingency fee. A contingency fee is basically what the term indicates. It is contingent on the lawyer obtaining a successful result for the personal injury client. If the lawyer is unable to collect money for the personal injury client the contingency agreement provides the lawyer will not receive a fee.

Most people with personal injury claims like hiring a lawyer on a contingency fee basis because they are without a financial obligation in the event the case is unsuccessful. Some people and insurance companies claim this invites personal injury lawsuits. In the 1990s there was an effort by insurance companies to bring an end to contingency fee agreements. Insurance companies argued contingency fee agreements produced unnecessary and “frivolous” lawsuits. Efforts made to try and outlaw contingency fee agreements failed.

Many people with personal injury claims lack the ability to obtain legal representation if it were not for contingency fee agreements. People who suffer personal injury are frequently out of work and incurring various expenses such as medical, automobile repair and the expense of employing others to do things they once did themselves. They are not in a financial position to pay cash to a lawyer for legal services needed for a personal injury claim.

The actual percentage of a contingency fee agreement varies. In the past a contingency fee for personal injury was generally 1/3 of the personal injury settlement or verdict the attorney obtained. Today there is more variation. Some contingency fees are regulated by statute. Medical malpractice contingency fees in California must conform to the medical malpractice contingency fee stated in California statute. Social security legal representation, while not technically a personal injury, is a legal service provided to disabled and injured people seeking social security disability benefits. The contingency fee is set by Social Security regulation. It is 25% of past due benefits.

Local custom and practice will also determine the amount of a personal injury contingency fee. In many areas of the country attorneys who represent people under 18 years of age for personal injury will do so in exchange for a fee of 25% of the personal injury recovery.

Many people sometimes fail to realize a contingency fee agreement for personal injury only governs the attorney fee. The fee is separate and distinct from other costs and expenses. Typical costs and expenses for a personal injury action include obtaining medical records, medical billings, police reports, other investigative reports, filing fees paid to the court, costs for serving the legal complaint, costs for bringing motions, as well as expenses for phone calls, faxes, photocopying and overnight mail. The longer the case goes on and the harder the lawyers on the other side fight, the more the costs and expenses for a personal injury case.

Under the tactical wording of most personal injury contingency fee agreements the client owes the costs and expenses even if the case is unsuccessful. For this reason, it is necessary to make sure you reach a good understanding with the attorney you hire for a personal injury case as to whether or not the costs and expenses will be to be paid even if the case is not successful.

Contingency fee agreements are written in different ways. There are almost as many contingency fee agreements as there are lawyers. If you are at all uncomfortable with, or fail to understand, the agreement make that clear to the lawyer. Make sure you obtain a full and complete explanation of the contingency fee agreement before you sign it. You do possess the right to have the agreement reviewed by another lawyer of your choice if you choose to do so. A lot of time effort and energy will go into pursuing a personal injury claim. It is not only the time and energy of your lawyer but also the time and energy you will need to invest in a personal injury claim. Make sure you understand a contingency fee agreement so there is no misunderstanding after all the time effort and energy is invested in your personal injury case.

The various costs and expenses for a personal injury case are normally deducted from the personal injury settlement or verdict a lawyer gets after the lawyer’s fees are deducted. The costs and expenses can be substantial. An experienced law firm, however, will usually advise a personal injury client of the approximate cost before going forward. Sometimes the costs anticipated in a personal injury claim will be so high it is not worth going forward. The costs and attorney’s fees can exceed the amount recovered in a personal injury case. This is why it is best to hire a law firm with extensive experience. The more experience a personal injury law firm possesses the better the personal injury attorney will be in determining whether it is good to go forward with a personal injury case. Sometimes whether or not to go forward with a personal injury action is going to be an economic determination.

David Allen & Associates possesses over 40 years of personal injury representation experience. With over 40 years of experience the law firm knows how to most effectively and efficiently represent someone with a personal injury claim. How to get them the maximum in pocket recovery.

David Allen & Associates has offices located throughout California and Nevada

Sacramento Office
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5230 Folsom Boulevard
Sacramento, CA 95819

Phone: (916) 455-4800
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Sherwood Executive Center
5250 Claremont Avenue
Stockton, CA 95207

Phone: (209) 473-4800
Fremont Office
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3900 Newpark Mall Rd., 3rd Floor
Newark, CA 94560

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1300 Clay Street, Ste 600
Oakland, CA 94612

Phone: (510) 663-4600
Fax: (510) 663-4660

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