When someone is involved in an accident, there are many issues to consider. In most instances, injured parties may be overwhelmed with their inability to work, bills piling up, and trying to recover from injuries. On top of all that, they desperately need to seek the advice of an attorney. Personal injury attorneys have made it much more convenient for injured parties to seek advice by offering their fees on a contingency basis. With contingency fees, clients do not pay attorneys until a settlement is reached. Such fees vary by state so it is important to seek an attorney for your case as soon as possible, get recommendations, and to visit several attorneys before deciding on a particular fee structure. In Illinois, most personal injury attorneys will take from thirty percent to one-third of the total settlement amount. In cases that are more complex, an attorney may get permission from a judge to take as much as forty percent of the total recovery. There are also costs associated with the case that are separate from the attorney fee. These will be taken out separately and will be itemized on the final bill. In New York, for example, contingency fees must be on the net recovery for the client. Fees must be taken out first and then the percentage of the final award will be taken from what is left. The fees an attorney will charge will be in the retention agreement that you sign. Be sure to read it carefully to be aware of what an attorney will charge.
In some instances, an attorney will ask for money up front before taking your case. This may be a bad sign. It may be the attorney is not established enough to have the money to front the costs of the case. It may also mean that the client’s case is questionable and the attorney wants to mitigate risk by requiring the client to show that they are serious by fronting some of the costs. The client will need to discuss with the attorney the reservations they may have with the case. For some clients, paying may be the only way to keep their case alive.
If you get injured at work, your case will be through the workers’ compensation system in your state. It is essentially a personal injury action and some attorneys who pursue personal injury claims may also handle workers’ compensation matters. The fees are also typically contingency-based. In Illinois, the fee structure is set by statute such that no attorney fee can exceed twenty percent of the total recovery, not including fees.
This article is for general informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice. Do not rely on the above information as all cases are different and different laws apply to different cases. Consult an attorney in your area for further guidance.