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How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?

The personal injury lawyer industry is valued at around $36.9 billion, but how much would a personal injury attorney cost you?

After having to pay a lot in medical bills, many people don’t want to spend extra on an attorney, especially if they are tired and worn down.

However, you may be surprised to find out a lawyer is actually very affordable in some cases. Keep reading to find out the cost of a personal injury lawyer!

Assess if You Need a Lawyer

First, you should assess if you need a lawyer for your personal injuries. 

How severe was the accident? Do you think it’s a winnable case? What injuries did you suffer, and do you have documentation of all of them?

In most cases, the answer is yes, you should have a personal injury lawyer. They will help to fight for you and claim your justice to help get your life back on track after the accident. 

If you got injured in an accident in Cleveland, you should get a reputable lawyer who knows everything about the laws in Ohio. Most especially the rules about the statute of limitations that many people overlook.

States have various rulings on this matter. In Ohio, a plaintiff for a personal injury case may file within two years, while in California, Kentucky, and Louisiana, there’s only one year of filing. There’s also a different ruling on premise liability and wrongful death, so all these should be considered.

If you’ve decided that you want to hire one, make sure you do it as soon as possible so they can begin working and advising you on how to win your case. 

Contingency Fees

Most personal injury lawyers will take on each case, but you won’t have to pay them out of your own pocket. They take it on a contingency basis. This way you don’t have to pay them, but their payment will come at a percentage of your settlement cost.

This works for you because if your lawyer doesn’t end up winning your case, you won’t have to pay them anything. This helps to motivate them to win your case. 

This also makes it easy for people who normally wouldn’t be able to afford a lawyer. 

However, the contingency percentage will depend on the lawyer you hire, so make sure that you ask them before they take on your case. It may also depend on when you settle your case.

For example, some lawyers will take a third of your settlement if you settle before you file a lawsuit. That means that if you get $120,000 in a settlement, they’ll walk away with $40,000. 

However, if you settle after filing the lawsuit, the lawyer will often get about 40% since they had to do more work to win your case. 

Although it may be clear that you only pay your lawyer if you win the case, you need to be aware of other expenses you need to shoulder. This may include filing fees, police reports, medical records, expert witness fees, court reporters and postage, and copying charges.

Ask About the Fees

While most lawyers work on a contingency basis, there may also be some other personal injury attorney fees that they could charge you outside of the contingency fees. 

Before you sign any contracts, ask the lawyer if there are any hidden fees and arrange in writing what you will do about those. They should be honest about how they charge you, and if they’re avoiding answering the questions, you should make sure that you find a new lawyer. 

When you get the service of a lawyer, it would be best to have everything in writing. And before you sign any document, make sure that you read what’s stipulated carefully. Understand your obligations and the date you’re supposed to pay the cost of the lawsuit.

Hourly Rates

While the contingency basis is great, some lawyers charge an hourly rate as well. The rate should be reasonable, and if it’s too high, they may be subject to ethical violations and could lose their state license.

However, it’s hard to determine what a reasonable fee is. Something that’s reasonable should be in regards to how much time or work is put into it and what the issue is that they’re representing you on. 

To get an average idea of what lawyers in your area cost per hour, make sure that you do a little bit of research before contacting some of them. 

Once you have a few quotes from lawyers who charge hourly, you can compare it to how much you’d have to pay a lawyer who works on a contingency basis. 

Some lawyers charge a flat fee instead of an hourly rate. Try to find out if this is an option you can get from your lawyer.

One of the cons of having a lawyer who charges an hourly rate is that in some cases, they may not be as motivated to help you win your case because they will get paid regardless. But that doesn’t mean that every hourly lawyer is like that. It might just be a way for them to offer you a cheaper service!

Up-Front Costs

In addition to the lawyer’s regular fees, there may be a few up-front costs that you’ll have to pay to cover parts of the lawsuits. 

Even if you don’t win and don’t have to pay your lawyer, you may have to pay for other expenses, like filing, police reports, getting expert witnesses to testify, getting medical records, creating trial exhibits, and any postage or printing fees. 

Most of these are costs are generally standard, and you should be able o find them in the contract that you sign. If they’re not in there, ask the lawyer to add them in so that they can’t try and charge you more later on. Some of these costs may not end up being too expensive, but you’ll have to factor them in any way. 

While this may seem like a lot of money and a lot of work to find a lawyer and hire them, you’ll definitely win more money in the long run.

Learn More About How Much Does a Personal Injury Attorney Cost

These are only a few factors that go into figuring out how much a personal injury attorney costs, but there are many more factors.

The best way to get an accurate estimate is to find a few lawyers and ask them for a quote. Many of them will be willing to give you one before taking on your case.

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