How Much Does a Florida Injury Attorney Charge?
If you are hiring a Florida injury attorney, it is likely he or she will charge you either a contingency fee or an hourly billing rate. With a contingency fee, you pay the lawyer a percentage of any money you receive from the party responsible for your injury. With an hourly fee, you pay the attorney for the actual time worked on your case, regardless of the income.
Hiring a Florida Injury Attorney on Contingency
Contingency fees are popular in personal injury cases because the client only pays the attorney if the attorney is able to win money on the client's behalf. If the case cannot be settled or won, the lawyer is paid nothing.
Typically, contingency fees are calculated as a percentage of any monetary settlement or judgment. You would also be responsible for reimbursing the attorney for any legal expenses incurred on your behalf.
There are a few advantages to contingency fees:
- The client pays no money up front
- The client owes no money if the attorney is unable to collect money on the client's behalf
- Because the attorney also stands to benefit from any financial award, the attorney is motivated to work hard on the client's behalf
Before hiring a lawyer, you can try to negotiate the percentage that the lawyer will take as a contingency fee.
Hiring Florida Personal Injury Lawyers for an Hourly Fee
Some accident victims are unable to find a Florida personal injury attorney who will accept their case on contingency. When this occurs, lawyers may offer to take your case for an hourly rate. If you hire an attorney for an hourly rate, you'll be responsible for paying for the time the attorney actually works on your case (regardless of the outcome), as well as any legal expenses the attorney incurs while handling your case. These payments will be due periodically during the course of your case.
As a client, you should understand that hourly billing rates are rare in personal injury work although they are common in other areas of the law. If you are unable to find a Florida injury attorney who's willing to take your case on contingency, this may be a sign that your case is weak or worth very little money. Think twice before agreeing to pay for an attorney out of pocket.
Understanding the Cost of a Florida Personal Injury Lawyer
Before hiring an attorney, ask him or her to walk you through the projected legal fees and expenses. You'll want to know:
- How much does the attorney estimate your case is worth if you settle? If you go to trial?
- Approximately how much would you pay in legal fees if the case settled? If the case went to trial?
- How much would you pay in legal expenses if the case settled? If the case went to trial?
- How much money would remain after legal fees and expenses if the case settled? If it went to trial?
- What will you owe the attorney if you lose your lawsuit or are unable to settle the case?
Once you understand how much it costs to hire a Florida personal injury lawyer, you'll be in a much better position to decide whether to hire the lawyer.