After a personal injury from a car accident, slip-and-fall, dog bite, or any other accident, people may be hesitant to employ a personal injury attorney. A major reason for this hesitancy is the fear of racking up more costs. This fear generally comes from the lack of understanding of how attorneys are paid and how that payment works.

The vast majority of personal injury attorneys are paid by what is called a contingency fee.

Contingency fee –  The attorney sets a fee and the fee is contingent on the outcome. It is only paid if the case is successful.

This fee is generally between 30%-40%. This means for example if the attorney’s fee is 33% (the most common percentage) and the client’s case is settled for $10,000.00, the attorney receives $3,333.00. On the other hand, if the attorney is unable to settle the case, the attorney receives no money.

Benefits of a Contingency Fee

The following are the benefits of a contingency fee for the client:

  • The more the case settles for the more both the client and the attorney make, thus motivating the attorney to strive for the highest settlement amount possible.
  • No money comes out of the clients pocket. The attorney is paid completely out of the final settlement.
  • If the attorney is unable to settle the case, the attorney doesn’t get paid, and the client doesn’t owe the attorney anything, generally including accrued case costs up to that point.

Other Fees

While a contingency fee is generally straightforward, other fees may be included when a client signs a contract with a personal injury attorney. Those may include paperwork, processing fees, arbitration, mediation, or court fees. 

These fees should be spelled out in the initial contract when you hire a personal injury attorney. Generally, these additional fees are also covered by the final settlement amount and don’t come out of the client’s pocket. An experienced personal injury attorney always lets a client know if any additional charges or a higher fee is required to successfully settle a personal injury case.

Why a Personal Injury Attorney is Worth It

Some people may see the 33% contingency fee as money they can keep by managing their personal injury case themselves. The statistics show that those who hire a personal injury attorney for their case average 3 times as much settlement money compared to those who try to settle their case on their own. The reality is that insurance companies try, among other things, the following tactics to eliminate or minimize the settlement amount:

  • Quick, low offers
  • Slow or non-existent communication
  • Getting the person to unwittingly admit full or partial fault for the accident

These tactics often work, especially when the insurance company is dealing with someone who doesn’t have a background in insurance or personal injury law. At Craig Swapp & Associates our attorneys have vast experience in personal injury law and dealing with insurance companies. That experience is used to maximize the settlement amounts our clients receive and prevent insurance companies from taking advantage of people who don’t understand the law.

At Craig Swapp & Associates our experienced attorneys pride themselves in their communication with their clients. Get in touch with us at 1-800-404-9000 to set up a free consultation or by filling out the online form at the bottom of this page.

Written By: Ryan Swapp     Legal Review By: Craig Swapp