If you have been injured in an accident and are now involved in a personal injury case, you may wonder how you will be able to afford a personal injury lawyer. Fortunately, personal injury lawyers are paid on a contingency fee basis. In New York State, the standard contingency retainer fee is one-third of the amount that is recovered on your case. This is true in all types of personal injury cases such as car accidents, falls, burns, dog bites, and other negligence cases. In medical malpractice, the contingency fee is even less.
This means that you never pay your lawyer out of your pocket. The lawyer only gets paid if he or she wins your case and then the legal fee comes out of the money he or she gets for you. If the lawyer does not win or settle your case for cash, you do not owe the lawyer any fee.
How exactly does a contingency fee work?
In many types of cases, when you hire a lawyer, you agree to a retainer amount and your lawyer deducts money from the retainer for the hours they spend working on your case, based on their hourly rate. In a contingency fee arrangement, your lawyer is only paid if your case is won and their payment is not based on the hours they spend working on your case. Instead, the fee is a percentage of your settlement or award.
For example, if you are injured in a car accident and suffer a neck or back injury, and you are awarded $150,000 in damages by way of a settlement or jury verdict, your personal injury lawyer will take a fee of $50,000 and you will receive $100,000.
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How does a contingency fee arrangement benefit me as a client?
As a client, there are several advantages to hiring a personal injury lawyer on a contingency fee basis. First, you can have confidence in knowing that you can afford your lawyer’s fees. The second advantage is that you know that your personal injury lawyer has a personal stake in the outcome of your case. If you lose, they lose. The more you win, the more your lawyer earns as well.
Am I Responsible to Pay Case Expenses?
Disbursements are expenses that are paid in order to pursue your case. These expenses can run hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars. You can sign a retainer that makes the law firm responsible to pay all the reasonable and necessary expenses to fund your case and also provide that the law firm only gets reimbursed those expenses if the case is won.
At Dansker& Aspromonte Associates, we take the time to explain the terms of the retainer and the options that you have at the initial meeting with our firm. If you have been injured in an accident, it is important to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer. The personal injury lawyers at our firm have handled thousands of cases successfully and would be happy to review your case and determine your best option and strategies. Call us today.