When you’ve suffered a personal injury due to someone else’s negligence, working with a qualified Baton Rouge injury lawyer is crucial to receiving the compensation you deserve. However, you may be concerned about the cost of hiring an attorney, especially when dealing with medical bills and missed work.
Understanding the fees associated with personal injury legal help can provide clarity and peace of mind. Personal injury attorneys typically get paid according to a contingency fee arrangement. This means they must win your case to receive payment for their services.
Contingency fees ensure you can access the legal representation you need without worrying about upfront costs, making pursuing the compensation you deserve after a personal injury easier.
Personal injury lawyers typically charge their clients on a contingency fee basis. This means that clients do not pay upfront legal fees but instead agree to a percentage of the final settlement or court award if their case is successful. This fee usually is around 33%-40% of the final settlement.
Under a contingent arrangement, your lawyer’s fees depend on the successful outcome of your case. If you do not win your case, you do not owe your attorney any fees. This aligns the lawyer’s interests with yours, as they only get paid if you receive compensation.
The contingency fee is usually a percentage of your final settlement or court award. For example, if your lawyer’s contingency fee is 33% and your case settles for $100,000, your lawyer receives $33,000.
Each state has rules regarding legal contingency fees. Although Louisiana doesn’t place a cap on these fees, the Louisiana State Bar offers guidelines for lawyers and clients:
According to section 1.5(c) of the Rules of Professional Conduct, you must sign and receive a copy of a written agreement before working with a personal injury attorney. The contract should include:
- Fee determination. The method of determining the fee, including the percentage that goes to the lawyer upon settlement, trial, or appeal.
- Deductible expenses. The litigation and other expenses that will be subtracted from any recovery.
- Expense timing. Whether expenses are deducted before or after calculating the contingent fee.
- Client liability. Any expenses for which the client may be responsible, regardless of the case’s outcome.
After the conclusion of your case, your attorney must provide a written statement detailing the case’s outcome, your recovery amount, and an itemized breakdown of fees and expenses.
While contingency fees cover the primary legal representation costs, there may be additional fees that you are responsible for in a successful case. They may or may not be included in your contingency fee contract and can include the following:
- Court fees. You may be required to pay court filing fees, deposition fees, and other court-related expenses. These payments can vary depending on the complexity of your case and the court’s requirements.
- Expert witness fees. If your case requires expert witnesses to testify on your behalf, you may be responsible for their fees. These experts can provide valuable insights and testimony that can strengthen your case.
- Medical records and document retrieval fees. Obtaining medical records, police reports, and other documents related to your case may involve fees for copying and processing.
- Investigative costs. Your attorney may need to hire investigators to gather evidence, interview witnesses, or reconstruct the accident scene. These investigative costs can add to the overall expenses of your case.
When it comes to personal injury cases in Baton Rouge, Dudley DeBosier is a name you can trust. We offer free, no-obligation case consultations for those injured by another’s negligence.
During this free case review, you’ll learn about your case’s strengths and weaknesses, better understand potential legal fees, and decide if legal action is the right choice for you.
We believe in accessible legal representation for everyone, no matter their financial situation. Our contingency fee arrangements can help you take a step towards seeking the compensation you deserve after a personal injury. Contact our law firm today to protect your rights and interests.
Disclaimer: This content has been reviewed by Chad Lederman, Director of Legal Operations at our New Orleans office.
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