What You Should Know About Attorneys’ Fees
If you’ve never worked with a personal injury attorney before, you may be wondering how they set their fees for your case. Any reputable attorney will work on a contingency basis only, meaning they only get paid if you recover compensation in your case. Their fees will come out of your total compensation figure, so you don’t have to worry about cutting a check yourself upfront.
Practically all firms will charge a 33.3 percent base fee for personal injury cases. However, there are some attorneys who have recently started implementing 25 percent base fees in an attempt to undercut the competition.
While it is understandable to want to maximize your personal recovery and save money on attorneys’ fees, it is also important to exercise caution, and never use a low rate as your sole basis for choosing an attorney.
Avoiding the gimmicks
In many cases, a lower, 25 percent fee is nothing more than a gimmick to get the attention of people who are desperate for quick, low-price assistance. However, if you think about it, you’ve probably rarely (if ever) seen advertisements talking about a firm’s low rates as a selling point. This is because good attorneys are very wary of advertising gimmicks, and “special deals.” They are more focused on building trust and relationships with their clients and maintaining a reputation for high-quality service.
Now, there are some exceptions in which a little variety to contingency fee percentages may be appropriate. Some lawyers might charge slightly less for smaller, simpler cases, or slightly more for larger, more complex cases. There might also be slight variances based on whether the case settles or goes to trial.
But in general, most reputable attorneys will stick to the standard 33.3 percent base contingency rate.
What to look for in an attorney
Rather than focusing primarily on an attorney’s rates when you’re searching for a personal injury lawyer, here are a few of the characteristics you should prioritize:
- Reputation: Do your research into the kinds of cases the attorney has worked on and the experiences their clients have had in working with them. You should only work with attorneys who have developed a strong reputation for high-quality work and client-centric representation.
- Strong communication: You should always feel comfortable communicating with your attorney and telling them all the details of your case. In addition, you should not find it difficult to get in touch with them whenever you have questions about or issues regarding your case.
- Personal attention: When interviewing attorneys, find out who will be working on your case, and who will be your primary point of contact. It is routine practice for attorneys to work together, or for attorneys to assign paralegals and other staff to handle tasks associated with your case. Whatever the situation may be, it is important for you to at least have one go-to person who you know will be familiar with your case and capable of communicating with you when needed.
For more information about attorneys’ fees and the factors that should influence your search for a personal injury attorney, contact our team today.