How Much Lawyers Usually Take from a Settlement
Posted on Wednesday, February 15th, 2023 at 10:44 pm
When a person is injured through no fault of their own in an accident or incident caused by someone else, they can pursue compensation from the at-fault party through an insurance claim. If the injured person hires an attorney to help them with their claim, they will likely gain a larger settlement than if they try to handle the claim on their own. One of the first questions they ask is, “How much does a lawyer take from my settlement?”
Personal injury lawyers usually charge between 33 and 40 percent of your final settlement as compensation for their legal services. They typically work for their clients on the promise that you only have to pay them a fee if they secure compensation for you.
Attorney’s Fees in a Personal Injury Case
In personal injury cases, lawyers do not typically charge an hourly rate for legal assistance. Instead, personal injury attorneys often work on a contingency fee basis. A contingency fee arrangement requires a client to pay nothing upfront, thus providing an opportunity for anyone to have access to quality legal representation, regardless of the condition of their bank account.
What Is a Contingency Fee?
In Texas, attorneys may charge clients fees contingent on the outcome of a legal matter. In this kind of arrangement, the attorney will only collect a fee if they secure compensation on your behalf.
A lawyer must put the terms of a contingency fee agreement in writing. The agreement must outline the method that will be used to calculate the lawyer’s fees. An attorney may base the percentage representing their fees on the gross amount recovered or the net recovery after payment of the expenses associated with the case.
The terms of a contingency fee agreement must also state any variation in the percentage a lawyer receives in the event of settlement, trial, or appeal. A contingency fee agreement must also detail any expenses the settlement proceeds will pay and whether this deduction occurs before or after any calculation of fees.
Attorneys will likely charge you for any expenses they pay that are associated with your personal injury case. These expenses and costs typically include:
- Court filing fees
- Fees for obtaining medical and police reports
- Costs of photocopies and postage
- Fees for expert witnesses
- Fees for private investigators
- Fees for deposition transcripts
Some personal injury attorneys expect clients to pay these expenses as a case proceeds. However, most attorneys will pay these costs and charge you when the case ends. In either case, the expectations for how these expenses will be handled must be outlined in the contingency fee agreement you and your lawyer sign at the beginning of your relationship.
After the legal matter concludes, the lawyer must provide the client with a written statement describing the case’s outcome, the amount of compensation the client will receive, and the method of its determination.
Can Fees Increase If My Case Takes Longer?
Your lawyer won’t charge any additional fees just because your case takes a long time. Your contingency fee agreement will contain a list of the conditions when the lawyer’s fee increases.
A lawyer and client may agree to vary or shift the percentage of fees based on how far the case proceeds through the legal process. You’ll typically pay the lowest percentage if your case settles before your attorney files a lawsuit on your behalf in civil court. If your case settles after filing, this percentage could increase. If the case goes to trial, your attorney will likely earn a still higher percentage of fees. All these steps should be clearly spelled out in the contingency fee agreement before your attorney’s work for you begins.
Read the contingency fee agreement carefully before you sign it. If you don’t understand anything in the agreement, have your lawyer explain it to you. Don’t sign anything until you know every detail that’s in the document.
Contact a Beaumont, Texas Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you have suffered injuries in an accident that was not your fault, you can seek money in a personal injury lawsuit to cover your losses. A knowledgeable and experienced personal injury attorney working on your behalf gives you the best chance to recover compensation.
The attorneys at Portner Bond, PLLC provide tireless, aggressive representation at every stage of a personal injury case, from filing a complaint for your losses to preparing your case for mediation.
The Beaumont personal injury attorneys of Portner Bond, PLLC dedicate themselves to helping clients recover fair compensation for their losses. We handle personal injury cases on a contingency basis. You pay no fees upfront. This fee arrangement means you only pay us a fee if we successfully secure compensation for you. Call (409) 838-4444 today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how Portner Bond, PLLC can help you.