How Much Does a Personal Injury Lawyer in West Palm Beach Cost?
Gregg Hollander | March 25, 2023 | Personal Injury
Private lawyers charge for the legal services they provide. You will see a wide variation in what they charge and when they get paid based on the type of case you have and the legal work you need.
West Palm Beach personal injury lawyers understand the difficulties you face. You have suffered serious, even catastrophic, injuries and need medical care. But these injuries have also disabled you, making it impossible for you to work and pay your doctors and living expenses. Law firms try to make it easy for accident victims to hire top-quality lawyers.
How Do Lawyers Charge for Legal Services?
Lawyers charge three types of fees:
Lawyers often use hourly fees for open-ended projects. Since they cannot predict the volume of work the case will require, they simply charge for the time they spend working on it. A contract lawyer might charge an hourly fee to negotiate and draft a contract. Or you might pay an hourly fee to a patent lawyer to write a patent application.
The drawback to hourly fees is that you could end up paying more money in legal fees than you receive in the case. For example, you could win $50,000 in your case but pay the lawyer $60,000 in legal fees if the lawyer charges an hourly fee. Worse yet, you could lose your case and still owe $60,000 in legal fees.
Lawyers charge fixed fees for a specified amount of work. These cases usually have a predictable beginning and end. You may pay a fixed fee to a lawyer to write a will or file articles of incorporation.
The benefit of a fixed fee is that you know exactly how much you will pay for your attorney. The drawback is that lawyers do not take big cases, like injury cases, for a fixed fee.
When a lawyer charges a contingency fee, they agree to wait until the end of the case to get paid. The fee is contingent on the amount recovered by the attorney in the case. If a lawyer quotes a 30% contingency fee, they will take a fee equal to 30% of any settlement or damage award recovered in the case.
What Is a Contingency Fee?
A contingency fee compensates a lawyer for the work and outcome they accomplish. The lawyer does not earn a fee simply by working on the case, as with an hourly or fixed fee. Instead, the lawyer earns a fee by winning or settling the personal injury case.
Lawyers quote contingency fees as percentages. A typical contingency fee in Florida will range from 25% to 40%.
Different lawyers will charge different percentages based on:
- Experience and reputation
- Legal knowledge and skill
- The complexity of the case
The lawyer might also charge more if they must turn down other cases to work for you or if your case goes to trial.
What Are the Benefits of a Contingency Fee?
Contingency fees offer many benefits to victims of accidents, including:
No Upfront Fees
Since contingency fee attorneys get paid at the completion of the case, they will start working on your claim without requiring any upfront costs. This can take a lot of financial pressure off of you. Instead of spending your money on hiring an injury attorney, you can keep it for living expenses, medical treatment, and meeting other needs.
No Fee for a Losing Outcome
You owe a legal fee only if your lawyer wins or settles your case. If your lawyer loses your case, you do not owe any legal fees. This arrangement forces West Palm Beach personal injury lawyers to select their cases carefully. If a lawyer offers to represent you on a contingency fee basis, they believe in your case and that you have a high probability of winning.
Legal Services Covered By a Contingency Fee
A contingency fee usually covers all the legal services necessary to pursue your claim.
These services include:
- Conducting an initial consultation and advising you about your legal rights and options
- Gathering evidence, including medical records, accident reports, and witness statements to support your claim
- Preparing and filing insurance claims against any policies held by the at-fault party
- Opposing any claim denials or reductions by the insurer
- Negotiating a fair and just settlement with the at-fault party and their insurers
- Preparing and filing a lawsuit in the event the insurer refuses to settle
- Filing pretrial motions to determine what evidence the jury will see
- Presenting your case to a jury and advocating for the greatest possible compensation
Some lawyers charge a tiered fee, where you pay one rate if the case settles before filing a lawsuit and a higher rate if the case settles after filing a suit. Make sure you understand the fees associated with different stages of your case before hiring an attorney.
Legal Services Not Covered By a Contingency Fee
Some services and expenses may not be covered by a contingency fee, such as:
- Medical record charges from your doctors
- Litigation costs
You should pay attention to litigation costs in particular. Litigation costs are expenses paid by the lawyer for your lawsuit. At the end of the case, you must reimburse the lawyer for those costs.
They can include:
- Court filing fees
- Stenographer fees for depositions
- Expert witness fees
Because these fees are necessary to put together a complete case, this will be money well spent if you win or settle your claim.
When Hiring a West Palm Beach Personal Injury Attorney, Be Sure You Understand Their Contingency Fee Structure
Most West Palm Beach personal injury lawyers provide free initial consultations to new clients. During your free consultation, you should ask the lawyer about the costs of hiring them. Fee misunderstandings can happen if you and the lawyer do not thoroughly discuss the charges you may incur in your case.
Florida requires contingency fee lawyers to provide a fee agreement in writing. The agreement must list the fee and explain how the lawyer will calculate it at the completion of the case.
When you choose a lawyer for your case, review your fee agreement carefully. The terms will answer most of your questions, but if you have any additional questions, ask the lawyer. Understanding exactly how much you will pay will help you choose the right attorney for your case.
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm in South Florida
If you’ve been injured in an accident, please contact our experienced personal injury lawyers in Florida at Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation today. We have three convenient locations in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach.
We proudly serve Palm Beach County, Broward County, and its surrounding areas:
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – Boca Raton Law Office
7000 W Palmetto Park Rd #500
Boca Raton, FL 33433
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – Fort Lauderdale Law Office
200 S.E. 6th Street #203
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – West Palm Beach Law Office
319 Clematis St #203
West Palm Beach, FL 33401