Francisco J. Mora
How Do Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Get Paid?
Hiring an attorney that charges on an hourly basis can be very expensive. If this were the only way to hire an attorney, most people would be denied access to the court system simply due to their inability to pay. While this would affect many, it would have the largest impact on those in most need of compensation from a lawsuit, the injured. For example, if a person is injured in a car crash and is now unable to work, that person would likely find it very difficult, if not impossible, to hire an attorney if he/she had to pay an attorney upfront or on an hourly basis. Fortunately, that is why contingency fee agreements were developed, and why they are most often used in personal injury cases.
Most, if not all, Florida personal injury attorneys handle cases on a contingency fee basis. A contingency fee agreement is an agreement whereby an attorney agrees to represent you in exchange for payment of attorneys’ fees out of any recovery in the case. It is contingent because, if you don’t recover any money, you won’t owe the attorney any fee for his/her services. This type of agreement allows those who are otherwise unable to afford the costs of pursuing a claim with an attorney to do so.
What is the Lawyer’s Fee Percentage
from a Typical Contingency Fee Agreement?
Most contingency fee agreements work on a sliding scale whereby the lawyer will receive as a fee between 33 1/3 % and 40% of any gross recovery. Typically, 33 1/3% fee will apply to any case that is able to get resolved without the need for a lawsuit. However, if a lawsuit is filed, and the defending party files an Answer to the lawsuit, then this will typically trigger the increase in fee to 40%. The 40% fee will then usually scale back to 33 1/3% upon recovery of a specified amount, for example – 40% of the first 1 million dollars recover, after which the fee reduces for any amount over 1 million.
Who Pays the Costs of the Case in a Florida
Contingency Fee Agreement?
In most cases, the costs needed to pursue an injury claim are paid upfront by the lawyer per the terms of the contingency fee agreement. This means that if you don’t recover, the attorney not only doesn’t get a fee, but he/she also cannot recover the costs fronted to pursue your claim. However, if you do recover, costs are treated separately than attorney’s fees. This means that the fee percentage does not include the costs. Typical costs can include such things as:
Obtaining medical records
Expert witness fees
Depositions and transcripts
At settlement, you should always be provided with detailed breakdown of all costs expended for your case.
Additional Benefits of a Contingency Fee Agreement
Aside from the fact that you will not have to pay any upfront attorneys’ fees and that you only pay if you recover, there are a number of other benefits to a contingency fee agreement. They are:
Contingency fee agreements shift some of the financial risks of pursuing a claim away from the client. Pursuing a personal injury claim can be risky, as there is no guarantee that you will recover. By making the attorney’s fee contingent on any recovery, this risk is shifted away from the client and onto the attorney, who will not get paid unless he/she wins your case.
Contingency fee agreements give the attorney incentive to obtain the largest amount possible for your claim. As the attorney’s fee is limited to a percentage of your recover, your attorney will want to recover the largest possible amount so that he/she can get paid more.
Contingency fee agreements give the attorney an incentive to resolve your case as quickly as possible. Many attorneys limit their practice to solely representing injury victims on a contingency fee basis. This means that the attorney does not have income coming in unless cases are getting resolved. The contingency fee agreement not only gives the attorney incentive to recover the most money for you, but also to do so as quickly as possible.
Trust SouthShore Injury Attorneys With
Your Apollo Beach Car Accident Claim
If you’ve been injured in a Florida car accident, it is important that you consult with a qualified personal injury attorney. The attorneys at SouthShore Injury Attorneys handle only personal injury claims, and are experienced in representing personal injury cases throughout the State of Florida. If you’ve suffered injuries in an Apollo Beach car accident, contact SouthShore Injury Attorneys at (813) 419-3866 for a free consultation.
If you have questions about your Florida accident case, you can download our Free Reports:
5 Medical Mistakes That Will Destroy Your Personal Injury Case
which are available at our website, or you can click the link provided. You can also contact us at (813) 419-3866 to talk directly to an Apollo Beach Accident Attorney now.