There are many questions that injured victims have when hiring a personal injury attorney, and one of the most important to ask is about attorney fees. A reputable attorney will not be paid until you are. Rather than charging you a retainer or hourly rate, you should expect a predetermined percentage of your settlement to pay all associated legal fees. This particular payment structure is called a contingency fee, because the lawyer’s fee is contingent upon the client receiving a recovery amount. This guarantee protects you as a client and helps ensure that you receive the best representation possible.
The standard personal injury attorney contingency fee is 1/3 of the total amount recovered for the client. Contingency fees are not set by law, so firms are free to charge any agreed upon rate. In a city like Baton Rouge, there are hundreds of personal injury attorneys to choose from. However, clients should beware. As in most instances, you get what you pay for.
When some Baton Rouge personal injury attorneys fail to generate enough clients to sustain their practice in a competitive market, they resort to offering a reduced fee to attract clients that otherwise would not hire their firm. On the surface, this may seem like a good deal for the client, but pay close attention to the “small print”. Accompanying most discount lawyer contracts is “small print” that actually EXCLUDES the discounted attorney fee in an overwhelming majority of all personal injury claims. This type of misleading advertising often leads to disappointment, frustration and the feeling by the client that now they have been a victim twice. Before hiring a discounted personal injury attorney in Baton Rouge, read the small print.
Also, ask yourself, “Do I want the best lawyer or the cheapest?” The best lawyers will usually get you the biggest recovery. Lawyers are professionals, just like doctors; would you want the cheapest surgeon operating on you? The discount lawyers often are volume based and focus on small recoveries in a short period. If an attorney advertises a 25% fee, instead of the industry standard fee (33%), it is important to consider whether this attorney is qualified to get the results you are entitled to. If a settlement is small, your recovery is small, despite the reduced attorney fee. Here is a quick example that breaks out the difference between the two rates:
25% Discount lawyer: May recover only $5,000 for a particular claim, resulting in $3,750 to the client after attorney fee.
A qualified lawyer: Using the industry standard 1/3 contingency fee may be able to settle the same claim for $50,000 if documented properly, resulting in a net recovery of $33,335 after attorney fee.
If you have questions on attorney fees or would like to learn more about how we can help with your case, contact Spencer Calahan Injury Lawyers to request a free, no obligation consultation today. Simply click here to submit our contact form, of call us directly at (225) 387-2323.