Link to Fox 13 video: 

It’s a common question that most people have before hiring a personal injury attorney, how exactly is the attorney going to be paid? The following is a general explanation of how it all works. 

Contingency Fee

The most common method that personal injury attorneys are paid is known as a contingency fee. A contingency fee means that the attorney’s pay is contingent on the settlement amount of the client’s case. At Craig Swapp & Associates that fee is 33.3% (unless the case goes to arbitration or a jury trial, then it moves to 40%).

Simply put, the personal injury firm doesn’t make any money unless they win their client’s case and that the attorney’s pay depends on the amount the client gets. This works well for both the client and the law firm because the more the client settles for the more money they receive, and the more the law firm makes.

The Process

Compilation of Evidence – Initially the personal injury attorney is focused on compiling and understanding the evidence that an at-fault party caused the personal injury accident. During this time the client is receiving medical treatment and the attorney is working on what damages and injuries the client suffered.

Negotiation – Once the attorney has determined the extent of the compensable damages the client suffered, and once the client has finished receiving medical treatment, the negotiation begins between the at-fault party’s insurance company and the personal injury attorney.

Settlement – If the attorney is unable to reach a fair settlement amount through negotiation, further legal steps may be taken. Once a fair settlement is reached and the client decides to accept, the case is settled.

Dispersion – After the case has been settled the money is dispersed. All medical bills are covered, the attorney takes their fee, and whatever remains goes to the client’s pocket.

An Example

Let’s say, as an example, Dawn is injured in a car accident. She calls the experienced personal injury attorneys of Craig Swapp & Associates and hires an attorney to take her case. Dawn needs an ER visit and several months of chiropractic care and physical therapy. She misses a couple of weeks from work while she’s injured. Dawn previously enjoyed playing soccer and running but her injuries make it very difficult for her to enjoy those activities. Her personal injury attorney determines the following compensable items for her case:

  • Medical bills: $10,000.00
  • Lost wages: $2,000.00
  • Pain and suffering: $5,000.00
  • Loss of quality of life: $8,000.00

The attorney negotiates with the at-fault driver’s insurance company and after consulting with Dawn they settle the case for $25,000.00. The following is how the settlement funds are dispersed:

  • Dawn’s medical providers: $10,000.00
  • Dawn’s attorney (33%): $8,250.00
  • Dawn’s pocket after all medical bills are paid: $6,750.00

It’s important to note that Dawn’s case is an example. The details of each personal injury case are different and so are the amounts the attorney is paid and the client receives.

An Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

Those who hire a personal injury attorney average a settlement three times larger than those who try to settle their case on their own. If you or a loved one has been injured by the negligence of someone else, give the experienced attorneys of Craig Swapp & Associates a call at 1-800-404-9000 to set up a free consultation.

Written By: Ryan Swapp     Legal Review By: Craig Swapp