One reason many injured people do not meet with an attorney is that they are afraid of how much lawyers cost. Indeed, lawyers have a reputation for charging hundreds of dollars to do the simplest task, so someone who has been involved in a car or truck accident has a very good reason to be wary.
However, what many of our clients don’t know is that most personal injury lawyers in Daytona Beach represent clients on contingency. This means that our clients do not pay any lawyer fees upfront. If this sounds too good to be true, read on for more information.
Defining Contingency Fees
In the average divorce case, a lawyer might work 300 hours for her client and charge $300 an hour. She probably also requests some money up front in the form of a retainer. Each month, the lawyer will send a bill to her client, which the client must pay (usually within 60 days). If the client stops paying the lawyer, the lawyer might stop working for the client.
Contingency fees for personal injury cases are different. Instead, you enter into an agreement with the lawyer, agreeing that your lawyer will take a percentage of your final settlement or jury verdict.
For example, if your case settles for $100,000 and you agreed to a 40% contingency fee, then your lawyers get $40,000. If your case settles for $150,000, then your lawyers get $60,000. The percentage your lawyer gets is something you will agree to before they start working.
You might be reading this and thinking, “What happens if I lose my case? Does the lawyer get nothing?” Yes! That is exactly what it means. If you don’t get paid, your lawyer does not get paid.
Why Clients Benefit from Contingency Fees
Contingency fees have many benefits, which is why Florida allows personal injury lawyers to use them (but not other lawyers). Among the benefits are:
- A lawyer has an incentive to pick only cases that have merit. Why would a lawyer take on a frivolous case, knowing he won’t get paid unless he wins?
- A lawyer has an incentive to maximize the amount of money his client gets. The more the client takes home, the more the lawyer does.
- Contingency fees make experienced attorneys available to clients who have no money in the bank.
With these advantages, is it any wonder that so many Daytona Beach personal injury lawyers use this type of agreement?
Costs and Expenses
Every lawsuit has related costs and expenses that are in addition to attorney fees. For example:
- Mailing and photocopying costs
- Court filing fees
- Cost of court reporters
- Cost of expert witnesses
- Expenses related to depositions
Typically, the client is responsible for these costs, but lawyers have different methods for having clients pay. Some layers will ask clients to pay these expenses as they are incurred, while others will deduct the costs from the final settlement or verdict.
Contact a Daytona Beach Personal Injury Lawyer Today
At Bundza & Rodriguez in Daytona Beach, we are happy to talk about our contingency fee arrangements with you. If you have suffered a personal injury, we want to hear from you. For more information, please call us today, 386-252-5170.