How Do Albuquerque Personal Injury Lawyers Get Paid?
September 21, 2023 | Personal Injury
Personal injury lawyers get paid when they win cases at trial or by negotiating them out of court. Most personal injury attorneys handle cases on a contingency fee basis and are only paid if they successfully recover compensation for their clients.
When a personal injury lawyer wins a case or settles it, they take an agreed-upon percentage of the final settlement or award amount. This amount is agreed upon in writing before the attorney begins work on the case.
If the attorney is not successful, they do not get paid. A contingency fee arrangement is beneficial to both the client and the lawyer.
How Much Are Personal Injury Lawyers Paid?
Because personal injury attorneys usually work on contingency, the amount they are paid varies significantly from case to case, depending on the award or settlement amount. The percentage of damages owed to the personal injury attorney generally ranges from one-third to forty percent.
These percentages may seem high; however, personal injury lawyers take a gamble when they agree to represent a client on contingency. A personal injury attorney spends their money and time preparing their client’s case without guarantee of payment.
Some cases may settle without trial and take less time and expense. Other cases may go to trial and then be appealed multiple times. Yet, the personal injury attorney will only receive a specified percentage of the final award regardless of the time they spend trying the case.
An attorney may charge a lower percentage to handle your case. However, a lower fee may mean that you are working with a less experienced attorney.
Suppose an experienced personal injury attorney charges a larger percentage but can settle or win your case for a larger award of damages. In that case, you will likely be better off with a more experienced lawyer. You want to hire a personal injury attorney who understands and has years of experience with New Mexico personal injury laws.
Clients should understand precisely how the attorney’s fee is calculated before signing the contingency fee contract. Most attorneys also deduct their out-of-pocket expenses from the award. Clients should know whether those expenses will be deducted before or after the attorney’s percentage is calculated.
Generally, the attorney’s fee will be calculated based on the total settlement or award, and then the expenses will be deducted before the client receives their portion. However, some attorneys charge the client for out-of-pocket expenses as they become due during the case proceedings.
It is vital that you ask questions and understand how fees and expenses will be paid before you sign a contingent fee agreement.
What Costs and Expenses Do Personal Injury Lawyers Charge?
Attorney’s fees are different from the expenses and costs of a personal injury case. The lawyer’s fee is paid for their work to settle or try your case. Expenses are costs that the attorney must pay during the case proceedings to adequately prepare, negotiate, and try the case.
Personal injury case expenses may include:
- Court costs for filing pleadings
- Deposition fees
- Research service fees
- Fees paid to expert witnesses and investigators
- Copying, postage, and other office expenses
- Medical and police reports
- Travel costs
- Trial exhibit preparation
These expenses can add up quickly. Attorneys who agree to front these costs for their clients take a big risk because if they are not successful in settling or winning the case, they will not be reimbursed for these expenses. For this reason, some attorneys bill their clients for these expenses as they are incurred.
Contact an Experienced Albuquerque Personal Injury Attorney for a Free Initial Consultation
Most personal injury attorneys work with clients on a contingency fee basis. They are only paid when they successfully settle or win a personal injury case. The attorney’s fee in personal injury cases is a percentage of the total settlement or award amount.
Personal injury fees vary; however, they generally range from 33% to 40%. Personal injury attorneys gamble when they represent clients on a contingency basis because they only get paid if they successfully settle or win their client’s case.
Before signing the contingency agreement, personal injury clients should ask questions and understand how the attorney’s fee will be calculated. You should also ask and understand whether you will be billed for expenses as they accrue during your case or whether expenses will be deducted from your settlement or award.
If you have been injured in Albuquerque, NM, contact an experienced personal injury attorney for a free consultation.
Contact an Experienced Albuquerque Personal Injury Lawyer for Help With Your Claim
If you were injured in an accident in Albuquerque, NM, and need legal help, contact our Albuquerque personal injury attorneys at Curiel & Runion Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free case review today.
Curiel & Runion Personal Injury Lawyers
5151 E Broadway Blvd. Suite 1600
Tucson, AZ 85711