How Much Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Cost?
Everything You Need to Know About Personal Injury Attorney Fees in Los Angeles
There’s a large misconception that the average person cannot afford a lawyer in Los Angeles, but the anticipated costs shouldn’t stand in the way of receiving the compensation and justice you’re owed.
Personal Injury lawyers typically only charge you if they recover money for you.
After an accident, you may face several obstacles as you fight to get back on your feet: Medical bills can add up quickly; Damage costs aren’t cheap; You may even have to take time off from work to recover.
All of these factors, and more, can put you in a very difficult, stressful financial position.
Is someone else responsible for your injuries? You may have the right to obtain compensation, and hiring an attorney will help you maximize your financial award.
Are Personal Injury Attorneys Expensive?
Most personal injury attorneys will handle cases on a contingency fee basis – meaning rather than paying up front, you simply agree to giving them a percentage of your financial settlement or award; in other words – you pay nothing until you recover something (“No Win, No Fee”).
What Is a Contingency Fee Basis?
Most personal injury lawyers work with contingency fee agreements, which are legal documents that state that the attorney will provide you with their legal services, including litigation or a trial, and you don’t need to pay anything unless you get your settlement in writing.
A contingency fee agreement protects both clients and lawyers, and guarantees that the professional will fight for you no matter what, while also allowing you some financial flexibility (in case you can’t pay for the services once you start filing your lawsuit).
Personal injury lawyers understand that it’s tough enough taking care of your day-to-day expenses, let alone the costs generated by your accident.
How Much of My Award Will My Attorney Take?
Nearly all personal injury attorneys charge a contingency fee ranging between 33.3% – 40% of your total recovery. If you’ve been injured because of someone else’s negligence, it’s likely you’ll not have to pay a dime of up-front money.
Contingency fees are structured so that your lawyer receives a percentage of your financial recovery. Many factors can guide and impact your attorney as they determine their fee:
- How complex/difficult is your case?
- Does the attorney believe that your case will be successful?
- Do they have experience and success in handling similar cases?
- How many years has the attorney been practicing law?
Is Compensation Calculated Using Gross or Net Award?
Attorney fees are calculated in two ways:
- Gross Award, refers to the full amount of compensation you receive.
- Net Award, refers to the compensation you receive after costs and expenses are deducted.
Why does it matter if your attorney’s fee is calculated using the gross award vs. the net award?
The option that’s chosen will impact how much money you’ll walk away with when your case is complete.
Here’s how the calculations work out when the fee is calculated using the gross and net awards:
- Gross Award: Your attorney receives $30,000. (30% of $90,000); This leaves $70,000 left over.
- Net Award: Your attorney receives $24,000. ($30% of $80,000). This leaves $56,000 left over.
With a gross award calculation, you’ll still need to figure out how costs and fees related to your case will be paid; In most situations, those costs will be deducted from the remainder of your award.
With a net award calculation, costs and fees are taken care of at the beginning, and are deducted from your award before your attorney’s fee is calculated.
Ask About Any Expenses and Fees
Always ask your attorney how expenses and fees will be handled during your case, with questions like,
- Will you be responsible for covering any case-related costs?
- Will your attorney cover those costs and then reimburse themselves after securing an award on your behalf?
- Who is responsible for costs if your case isn’t a success?
The answers to these questions will help you to understand your attorney’s compensation scheme, and also to identify how much of your award you’ll actually walk away with when your case is resolved.
Get a Free Case Consultation
You can discuss attorney fees, potential monetary compensation, instances in which they may get a higher contingency fee, and whether or not you need to pay any money upfront.
Practicing attorneys with years of experience will do everything they can to get you fair compensation, whether working with contingency fee rates or charging an hourly fee.
Receive Full Potential Value of Your Compensation
During your consultation, make sure to ask multiple questions about your case relating to how much compensation you can get.
After your free consultation, you’ll have a clear idea of how much you may receive as a settlement for the pain and suffering you’re going through.
Gather Evidence to Best Support Your Case
An essential part of every personal injury case is that the more evidence you can gather, the better chances you have at achieving favorable results.
Most lawyers help you gather evidence and suggest the best alternatives while ensuring you have time to recover from any severe injury you sustained; therefore, when you hire a personal injury attorney, you’re relying on an empathetic human who understands what you’re going through and wants to help you.
Receive Your Fair Settlement Check
If your lawyer works on a contingency basis, they are most likely the ones receiving your settlement check. Some people don’t like this, but it’s important to understand why this is so before making a decision and when considering other factors.
Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys
Most who suffer from injuries downplay the necessity of hiring a personal injury attorney without realizing the advantages they can bring to their claim.
Our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys will:
- Calculate how much your injuries or damages are worth
- Help receive the full amount of compensation you’re entitled (not just based on the severity of your injuries/damages)
- Protect you against claims, counterclaims, and any issues related to other parties involved
- Fight to secure your fair settlement through negotiations or trial
Top Personal Injury Lawyers in Los Angeles
Our dedicated attorneys at Gutierrez Law Firm have 40+ years of combined litigation experience in handling all levels of personal injury cases for our clients across California.
We're fully equipped to fight aggressively and passionately by your side during each step of the legal process – to help you receive the full compensation you deserve, so you can you focus on what matters: recovering.