What do lawyers charge to handle personal injury cases?

If you are considering a personal injury lawsuit, an importance question you may have is, “What do lawyers charge to handle personal injury cases?” Most lawyers who handle personal injury cases do so on a contingency fee basis. This means that the attorney will not charge an hourly rate for his services, but instead will be paid a percentage of the recovery in the event of a settlement or judgment. If no recovery is made, then the client owes the lawyer nothing.

Under Florida’s ethics rules, a lawyer and client must enter into a written fee agreement at the outset of the representation, stating what portion of the recovery the lawyer will receive. The standard contingency fee for an attorney is a percentage amount rather than a fixed amount. An additional percentage may be added if the matter is tried again or appealed to a higher court. Florida limits the amount of contingent fees that can be charged. Without prior court approval, any contingent fee that exceeds the statutory standards is presumed, unless rebutted, to be clearly excessive. Attorneys in personal injury suits in Florida are generally limited to the following fee structure:

If the case is settled before the filing of an answer or the demand for appointment of arbitrators, then the following limits apply:

33% of any recovery up to $1 million
30% of any portion of the recovery between $1 million and $2 million
20% of any portion of the recovery exceeding $2 million

If the case is settled after the filing of an answer or the demand for appointment of arbitrators (or if no answer is filed or no demand for appointment of arbitrators is made, then after the expiration of the time period provided for such filing or demand), then the following schedule applies:

40% of any recovery up to $1 million
30% of any portion of the recovery between $1 million and $2 million

What about Court Costs?
When you hire a lawyer to represent you on a contingency fee basis, your interests and those of your attorney are very much on the same page as they will only receive a fee when they are successful in recovering compensation for you. If a lawyer’s fee structure is contingency based (in which case they are paid a portion of the allotted damages if they win the case), working capital is needed to cover various expenditures. In most cases, costs are advanced on behalf of the client and are payable, at the conclusion of the case.

For example, a plaintiff and a lawyer might agree on a 33% contingency fee, with the lawyer shouldering the costs of litigation up front but in the event that the litigation is successful, the costs will come out of the award first. Assume the case settles for $100,000 and the costs of the litigation were $300. In such a case, the lawyer would be reimbursed for the costs of the litigation out of the settlement money, leaving $99,700. The lawyer would then take the contingency fee of $99,700. The plaintiff would be left with 2/3 of $99,700.

After any type of crash, you should consider talking to a car accident lawyer to learn what your rights and obligations are under the law. Let the personal injury attorneys at Suarez & Montero review the circumstances of your case and discuss your legal options. Our attorneys are ready to provide proven legal representation in pursuing your claim and stand ready to protect your rights.

Contact us today at 786 Lawyers for a free consultation!

Jaime Suarez

An experienced legal personal injury defense professional in Miami, who is dedicated to helping accident victims with personal injury cases involving automobile accidents, brain and spinal cord injuries, slip and fall accidents, prescription errors, wrongful death, and accidents at work.