There are many different types of personal injury cases. The common element in all cases is that someone was injured because of another person’s negligence, intentional acts, or wrongdoing. The other common element is that the injured person sustained damages because of the accident or incident.
Recovering compensation for damages begins with understanding your legal rights. A Houston personal injury law firm is the place to seek legal advice about an accident claim or claim filed with an insurance company.
However, if you are out of work or experiencing financial hardship, you may wonder how you can afford to hire a personal injury attorney. Even if you need help filing a personal injury claim, the cost of attorneys’ fees may seem overwhelming.
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What Does it Cost to Hire a Lawyer?
The good news is that you can hire a lawyer to assist you with your accident case without worrying about upfront fees. A contingency fee agreement gives you access to experienced legal counsel without worrying about paying a retainer fee. Contingency fees make the cost of hiring a lawyer affordable.
What is a Contingency Fee?
A contingency fee is a form of payment for legal services. The amount of the attorneys’ fee is based on the amount recovered for the client. The attorney is only paid if you are paid.
Most personal injury lawyers in Texas accept injury cases on a contingency fee basis. You and the attorney agree to the percentage for the fee. When the attorney recovers money for your injury claim, they deduct the agreed-upon percentage from the settlement proceeds.
A settlement agreement or jury verdict may include compensation for your:
- Medical bills
- Emotional distress
- Lost wages
- Physical pain and suffering
- Disabilities and impairments
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Other economic damages and non-economic damages
The contingency fee is based on the entire settlement proceeds or jury verdict. The fee is calculated and deducted from the proceeds before you receive any money for your claim.
The Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct permit contingency fees only in civil cases. The percentage of the contingency fee must be determined before the client hires the attorney. The fee must be clearly stated in the contingency fee agreement.
How Much Do Lawyers Charge for Contingency Fees in Texas?
Contingency fees for personal injury claims vary depending on several factors. Factors that affect the percentage for contingency fees include:
- The type of injury case
- The skills, experience, and education of the attorney
- Any special certifications held by the attorney
- The geographical location of the case
- The attorney’s success record
Attorneys with more experience and substantial resources to handle cases may charge higher contingency fees. However, hiring a law firm with a high success record can benefit your case.
Another factor is the timing of the settlement. An attorney may charge a lower percentage fee for cases that settle without filing a lawsuit.
The contingency fee may increase if a lawsuit settles before the case goes to trial. Cases that go to trial result in the highest percentage charged for a contingency fee.
Remember, you do not pay any fees unless the attorney recovers money for your claim. You can meet with several attorneys to compare their qualifications and contingency fees.
Who Pays for the Costs of the Case?
The costs of the case are expenses incurred as the attorney pursues your personal injury claim. Examples of costs include:
- Filing fees charged by the court
- Court reporter and deposition fees
- Travel expenses
- Copies and postage costs
- Investigation expenses
- Service of process fees
- Expert witness fees
- Fees for obtaining copies of medical records, police reports, and other documents
- Costs to prepare for trial
A personal injury attorney may pay all of the fees and expenses of the case and deduct those fees from the settlement proceeds after deducting the contingency fee. Other lawyers may require clients to pay the costs and fees are they are incurred.
Make sure you discuss the costs of the case with the lawyer before hiring a personal injury law firm. You should also ask about payment of costs and expenses if the attorney does not recover money for your injury case. Are you responsible for those fees?
Are Contingency Fees Used in All Personal Injury Cases?
The rules allow contingency fees for civil cases. It is up to the attorney whether to charge an hourly fee or a contingency fee. Contingency fees are often used in personal injury cases involving:
- Wrongful death claims
- Car accident cases
- Slip and fall accidents
- Dog bites and animal attack claims
- Accidents and injuries involving defective products (product liability)
- Premises liability claims
- Medical malpractice cases
- Workplace injuries
- Pedestrian and bicycle accidents
- Commercial truck accidents
In most cases, personal injury attorneys that accept cases based on a contingency fee do so in all types of injury cases they handle.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Houston Personal Injury Lawyer
If you sustained injuries because of another person’s negligence, contact our law office to discuss filing a personal injury claim. Our legal team at Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers is dedicated to helping injured victims obtain the compensation they deserve.
Contact an attorney by calling our office or contacting us online. We will schedule a free consultation to discuss your case with one of our Houston personal injury attorneys.