Sometimes people do not hire a lawyer because they are worried about having to pay upfront, but that is usually not the case. Personal injury lawyer fees can be structured three different ways.
- Fixed rate – This is also known as a flat fee; it is the amount the lawyer charges regardless of time spent or outcome.
- Hourly fee – The lawyer charges a rate for each hour he spends working on your case
- Contingency fee – The lawyer is paid after the outcome of the case. He collects a percentage of the settlement.
Cordisco & Saile LLC works on a contingency fee basis so you never have to pay upfront and you pay attorney fees only if we win your case.
Contingency-based plans do not require any upfront monies on the client’s part. The lawyer will provide his or her services on speculation, and will not usually bill you until your case settles. Because personal injury victims do not have to pay any out-of-pocket fees, they are always afforded an opportunity to obtain legal representation for their case.
How Contingency Fees Work
Contingency-based legal fee options, like the ones we offer at Cordisco & Saile, were created for clients who, like most people, don’t have thousands of dollars at their disposal to spend on upfront legal fees. When a lawyer works on a contingency basis, he will not get paid unless you get paid and only recovers a percentage of your recovery.
Here is how things work at our offices.
- Your initial consultation is free. We encourage everyone who has been in an accident in Bucks County to at least run their case by a lawyer. You may have options for additional compensation that you aren’t aware of and that you’ll have no way of knowing without insight from a legal professional.
- If, after we assess your case, determine that it’s compensable, and you decide to hire us as your counsel, we will set to work on your case with no upfront costs to you. We continue diligently working on your case and, naturally, negotiating for the highest settlement possible.
- When your case concludes and you are awarded your settlement, it is then and not until then that we recover our fees from you. We will charge a certain percentage of your settlement award, and provide you with a detailed list of the work we accomplished during your case. If, for some reason, you wind up not recovering, we will not charge you. That is it; that is how contingency fees work. It is that simple.
Services, Costs, and Expenses in Personal Injury Cases
Not many people realize the enormity of the work that goes into each personal injury case. It takes time, money, and discernment to investigate an accident, research case law, determine liability, speak with experts, and collect evidence. There are calls to make, documents to draft and file, letters to send, and strategies to consider. Lawyers and their support staff will also have to take the time to delve into the specifics of your injury and damages to ensure they can fully articulate and account the full value of your claim. Negotiations can be ongoing and time-consuming too, as can preparing for trial.
Other directives, costs, and expenses that go into personal injury cases include the following.
- Obtaining medical records and police reports
- Consulting field expert witnesses and calling eye witnesses
- Hiring investigators
- Attending negotiation meetings
- Evaluating settlement offers
- Meeting with you, keeping you updated, and giving legal advice
- Postage and court filing fees
- Conducting depositions
- Preparing trial exhibits
And with contingency-based fees, a personal injury lawyer does all of this on speculation – that is, without any guarantee of payment. However, be sure to remember that even if you do not win your case, you are still obligated to pay some of the expenses listed above, such as deposition fees, filing fees, medical record request fees, etc.
More Details about Lawyer Fees at Cordisco & Saile
In some states, like New Jersey, the contingency fee percentage is limited. In Pennsylvania, attorneys are unlimited when it comes to contingent fees, and could charge up to 100% of the case recovery, which is very rare. Most personal injury lawyers charge an average of 33 to 45 percent or more of the case recovery for their legal fees. The majority of lawyers receive one-third of their clients’ settlements as payments. So, if your case settles for $30,000, you would receive $20,000 and the lawyer would receive $10,000.
This can still be unfair to the client if the case settles early. Lawyers should only be paid for the extent of the services they perform, but if their cases settle early, they will often be paid much more than they have actually earned.
The contingent fee schedule we have at our firm, which we call the Client First Fee Agreement, is unique and provides a lot of advantages for our clients over traditional flat or fixed percentage standard contingent fees. It is hallmarked by discounts. We believe that a lawyer should only get paid for the work he actually performs. If your case concludes early, we do not think you should have to pay the same amount as a case that lasted much longer and went through litigation.
Our Client First Fee Agreement provides that you will be charged a lower percentage fee if your case is relatively simple and resolves swiftly. We have ethical qualms with attorneys getting windfalls on easy and quick personal injury settlements. So, it is our promise that we will provide you with top quality counsel and services and only charge you a fair percentage of your recovery.
Maximizing Your Personal Injury Settlement
Obviously, with contingency fees, it is in both your and our best interest to maximize your personal injury settlement. We will do our best to be cost efficient and timely to facilitate a quicker resolution.
The sooner you enlist in our help, the more time we will have to collect information and the better we will be able to build a strong claim. The more detailed we can be when proving fault and listing your damages, the higher the chances are that you will receive a larger settlement. There are several things you can do to maximize your settlement, too. Download our free eBook, Don’t Crash Again! A Car Accident Victim’s Guide To Maximizing Recovery to learn more.
Personal injury victims represented by attorneys often obtain larger settlements than victims who try to file on their own. A lot of personal injury victims think they cannot afford a lawyer, but that is simply not the case. Because we do not require any upfront money with our contingency fees and Client First Fee Agreement, you do not have to worry about how to come up with funds for a lawyer. You already have full access to a qualified attorney who will fight for your best interests.