Battle Born Injury Lawyers | November 23, 2022 | Personal Injury
Most personal injury lawyers charge a contingency fee. These fees vary depending on the outcome the lawyer obtains for you. As a result, neither you nor your Las Vegas personal injury attorney can predict precisely how much you will pay for a legal fee.
But contingency fees provide significant benefits to accident victims. A contingency fee lawyer has an incentive to maximize your personal injury compensation.
To learn how much it costs to hire a Las Vegas personal injury lawyer, it helps to understand how contingency fees work and what exactly they cover.
How a Contingency Fee Works
Lawyers charge three types of fees. For a defined project with a predictable amount of work, lawyers usually charge a flat fee. For example, a lawyer might charge a flat fee to write a will or incorporate a business. A flat fee compensates the lawyer for the amount of work done.
Lawyers charge an hourly fee for projects with an unpredictable amount of work. When a business’s lawyer negotiates a contract with a supplier, the client will probably pay an hourly fee. An hourly fee compensates the lawyer for the amount of time spent.
A contingency fee is different from flat fees and hourly fees. When a lawyer charges a contingency fee, the lawyer receives a pre-agreed-upon percentage of the money recovered for the client at the end of the case.
For example, if a lawyer quotes a contingency fee of 35% and wins a judgment of $50,000, the lawyer earns a fee of $17,500.
Most injury lawyers offer a free consultation to new clients. During the initial consultation, you should ask the lawyer about their fees. You will find that different lawyers charge different fees.
Rather than going to trial, most injury cases settle. The lawyer might set a tiered rate for your injury case. If the case settles before filing a lawsuit, you might pay one fee. If your case settles after filing a lawsuit, you might pay a different, higher fee. This happens because litigation requires more work than negotiating with an insurance company.
Benefits of a Contingency Fee to Clients
A contingency fee structure helps clients in several ways, including:
You Pay No Upfront Fees
The lawyer’s fee gets calculated at the end of the case. As a result, you do not need to pay any money upfront for the lawyer to start your case. Instead, the lawyer will have you sign a contract agreeing to the fee and start working on your injury claim.
There Are No Fees for a Losing Outcome
The lawyer’s fee gets paid based on the amount of compensation the lawyer gets. This means you will pay a percentage of any settlement or damage award. If you lose your case and receive nothing, the lawyer receives no legal fee.
You Will Receive the Bulk of Your Compensation
A typical contingency fee falls between 33% and 40%. This means your share of the compensation will usually fall between 60% and 67%.
This allows you to pay for medical treatment and therapy. You can also use your compensation to pay your living expenses while you recover from your injuries. If your accident caused a permanent disability, your compensation can cover your long-term diminished earning capacity.
The Lawyer Has the Incentive to Maximize Your Compensation
The lawyer’s fee increases as your compensation increases. Your interests in maximizing your compensation align with the lawyer’s interests in maximizing the legal fee.
Lawyers have an ethical duty to put their interests second to the client’s interests. But a lawyer will have the additional incentive to push for a higher settlement or damage award for you since they will also directly benefit from that advocacy.
What a Contingency Fee Covers
A contingency fee covers all the legal work the injury lawyer performs. It also covers all the work the law firm does to support your case. Some tasks that may be covered by your contingency fee include:
- Meetings and communications with the lawyer and law firm staff
- Investigating your accident and gathering evidence
- Collecting medical records
- Preparing and filing the insurance claim
- Fighting against claim denials
- Negotiating with the claims adjuster
- Preparing and filing a lawsuit if the lawyer cannot settle the case
- Requesting discovery and conducting depositions
- Filing pre-trial motions
- Presenting your case to a jury
Over the course of your case, your lawyer will provide advice and counsel about your legal options. The lawyer will negotiate on your behalf while advocating for your interests. If the case goes to trial, the lawyer will present evidence and arguments to persuade a jury to award you damages.
What a Contingency Fee Does Not Cover
Your contingency fee may not cover everything involved in your case. Talk to your lawyer early in the representation about any costs you need to pay.
Litigation costs typically get passed on to clients. These costs are necessary to keep your claim on track. During the case, the lawyer will front the money to pay these expenses. But at the end of the case, you will need to reimburse your lawyer for the money they loaned you.
Some common litigation costs include:
- Medical record fees charged by hospitals and doctors
- Lawsuit filing fees
- Court reporter fees for depositions
- Expert witness fees
You should discuss the typical litigation costs incurred by your lawyer and the process for you to approve them. You should also discuss whether you will need to pay the litigation costs if you lose your case.
Hiring a Las Vegas Personal Injury Lawyer
You need to understand exactly what you will pay for your legal fees and costs. The Nevada Rules of Professional Conduct require lawyers to use written contingency fee agreements. When you find a lawyer you like, ask for a copy of that lawyer’s fee agreement so you can review it.
If you have any questions, ask the lawyer. You want to avoid any misunderstandings about fees or costs. Fee disputes can lead to even more delays in getting your injury compensation.
Contingency fees give accident victims their best chance to match the legal skills, experience, and knowledge available to insurers. And the quality of the lawyer you hire could make the difference between winning fair compensation or jeopardizing your financial and physical health.
Contact the Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorneys at Battle Born Injury Lawyers Today
If you or a loved one were injured in an accident in Las Vegas and you need legal assistance, contact our personal injury attorneys at Battle Born Injury Lawyers and schedule a free consultation with our legal team.