Battle Born Injury Lawyers | June 23, 2023 | Personal Injury
If you have been injured in an accident, it can be devastating for you financially. Suddenly, you may not be able to work. You may have medical bills, household expenses, and other costs that were unplanned – and not in your budget. Like a bolt of lightning, your financial world is upended without warning.
If the accident was the fault of someone else, you may be aware that you have a right to compensation – but what if the insurance company is dragging their feet? What if they are not paying fair compensation?
You will need a lawyer for your personal injury case in Nevada if the insurance company is not treating your case fairly, and you may be concerned how much it is going to cost.
Thankfully, most lawyers will be willing to take on a personal injury case on a contingency fee – meaning, you owe nothing up front, and instead, your lawyer’s fee will be paid out of any settlement or verdict they obtain for you. That way, you can focus on your recovery without the added financial stress of paying out of pocket for legal services. You may now wonder: what is the percentage Nevada lawyers charge for a contingency fee?
What is a Contingency Fee?
A contingency fee is an arrangement with your lawyer to pay a fixed percentage of your personal injury settlement or verdict only if you are able to settle or win your case. In other words, the fee is “contingent” – it depends – on the amount your lawyer is able to secure for you from insurance or in court.
Nevada does not place any caps on contingency fees. It allows for flexibility in lawyer-client agreements. The percentage may be lower (25%) if the case is settled prior to filing suit; higher (33%) if the case is litigated but settled prior to trial; and, higher still (40% or more) if the case is complex, such as medical malpractice or products liability. Your contingency fee will be documented in a signed fee agreement with your lawyer.
How does it work in a Personal Injury Case?
Take for example a motor vehicle accident, and you have hired a Nevada personal injury lawyer to pursue the claim on your behalf against the insurance company. Your lawyer diligently gathers medical records, accident reports, speaks with witnesses, and negotiates with insurance. She agrees to handle your personal injury case on a 1/3 contingency fee (33.33%), meaning you owe nothing unless you win.
The case settles for $300,000. In that scenario, your lawyer’s fee for representation and the risk they took on in agreeing to represent you without upfront payment would be $100,000. The balance of the settlement, less any applicable advanced costs and liens for your medical bills, would be $200,000 payable to you.
Under this scenario, a contingency fee perfectly aligns your best interests with your lawyer’s own interests – your lawyer gets paid more the higher your settlement or verdict, thus motivating your attorney to work as hard as possible to get you the highest settlement. Further, it helps you avoid the burden, stress, and expense of paying for legal expenses while you are injured and potentially out of work.
Shared Risk: The Flip Side of Contingency Fees
Lawyers take a risk when they agree to represent you on a contingency fee. Not all personal injury cases result in a settlement or verdict. The insurance company may refuse to settle. The case may go to trial and the jury may decide the defendant was not at fault and find against you. In that scenario, your lawyer is paid nothing under a contingency fee agreement, and their labor – which may be hundreds of hours – is uncompensated.
The client also risks the uncertainty of a case outcome under a contingency fee agreement, at the same time that the lawyer risks spending their time and resources on the case, without the guarantee of payment. The contingency fee accounts for all these risks by compensating the parties for the assumption of these risks.
What About Costs and Expenses?
Aside from the contingency fee for legal services, your personal injury case may require other costs to be advanced on your behalf, which are separate from the legal fee. These costs often include filing fees, court costs, photocopying costs from your health care providers to retrieve your medical records, and expenses from any expert witnesses hired to bolster your case. Your fee agreement will define how the costs are paid from any settlement or verdict. The law firm may advance these costs on your behalf while the case is pending.
The Bottom Line
A personal injury case can seem overwhelming. The last thing you need to worry about is paying a lawyer to handle your claim. You have to be focused on your recovery and getting well. Your lawyer can take the case on a contingency fee, which will alleviate the stress of an upfront financial cost. It will also align your interests with your lawyer in your Nevada personal injury claim. The greater the settlement, the greater the fee.
The exact percentage that a Nevada personal injury lawyer charges depends on the nature of the case and its complexity. Typically, the contingency fee will range from 25% to 40%, depending on how complex the case is to take on, the level of risk, and the cost of pursuing it. More complex cases require a greater number of hours and risk to resolve for your lawyer, and thus the fee may be higher. The goal is always to secure the best possible outcome for you in your recovery and getting you the compensation you deserve.
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.