Legal fees can be expensive; you may be surprised if you go for a free consultation with an attorney and find out how much you will have to pay if you continue working with him or her on your case. It is because of the expense of paying for professional legal representation that businesses, and even individuals in certain high legal risk fields like medicine, are required to buy insurance that will cover the costs of their legal fees if they become involved in legal action. Where exactly does the money go? When you are paying a lawyer in a personal injury lawsuit or other legal case, you are paying for the lawyer’s time. Of course, there is more to it than just paying by the hour, just like when you undergo medical treatment, you are paying for more than just the doctor’s time. In personal injury cases, plaintiffs who win their cases must pay contingency fees to the lawyers who represent them.
What are Contingency Fees?
Contingency fees are money paid to a lawyer by his or her client after the client wins his or her case. They apply only in civil cases; the State Bar of Arizona considers it unethical for lawyers to collect contingency fees in exchange for representation in criminal cases. The purpose of the contingency fees is to compensate lawyers for things that cannot be figured into an hourly rate. These are some of the factors that make contingency fees necessary.
- Hourly rates cannot account for the time crunch involved in preparing a case for trial. 100 hours of work in two weeks is the busy end of a normal full-time job, but 100 hours of work in five days, as lawyers sometimes have to do during litigation, is another matter entirely.
- Any time a lawyer takes on a case, the lawyer is risking his or her professional reputation. The lawyer might be winning your case at the risk of other clients hiring him or her in the future.
- If your case involves matters for which there is little legal precedent, then building successful arguments related to your case may require a lot of work (under extreme time pressure) and expense (in the form of consulting experts) on the part of the law firm that represents you.
How Much are Contingency Fees?
The attorney and client often agree on the contingency fees at the beginning of their working relationship. The industry standard is that the lawyer will take 33% for a pre-litigation settlement and 40% if there is litigation. This industry standard has not changed in at least 26 years.
Contact Eric Schmidt About Personal Injury Cases
Eric Schmidt has experience representing plaintiffs in many kinds of personal injury lawsuits, including vehicular accidents, slip and fall, dog bites, and nursing home abuse. If you have been injured in an accident, trustworthy legal representation can help you get your life back on track. Contact Eric Schmidt in Phoenix, Arizona to discuss your case.