What Does it Cost to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?

If you were injured in an accident, you may have unplanned costs like medical expenses, time off work, and property damage. These extra expenses can cause a lot of stress. Don’t despair.

If someone else’s negligent actions caused the accident, they may be financially responsible for your injuries and other losses. You’ll need to initiate a personal injury claim or lawsuit to recover compensation. An experienced Chicago personal injury lawyer can help.

If you’re wondering how you’ll pay for a personal injury attorney, the good news is that most of them work for a contingency fee.  That means you don’t need to pay any upfront legal fees and can hire an attorney regardless of your financial situation. 

What Are Contingency Fees?

What Are Contingency Fees?

Contingency fees are only collected if the client wins a settlement or financial award. Put differently, the attorney only gets paid if their client does. A contingency fee is collected at the end of the case and is usually based on a percentage of the client’s financial award.  

Most contingency fees are between 33% and 40%. The percentage charged depends on factors such as the difficulty or complexity of the case, whether it settles or goes to court, and the attorney’s years of experience. 

The percentage of your settlement or verdict award that the attorney will receive is agreed upon and specified before legal representation begins. You can gain additional clarity regarding the attorney’s contingency fee arrangement during a free consultation. You should only agree to hire an attorney after you fully understand their fee arrangement. 

What Are Other Fee Arrangements? 

In addition to contingency fees, there are other fee arrangements that are used by different types of lawyers. Lawyers who are working on a specific task may charge a flat fee. This is common in situations where a will or other legal document is drafted. Flat fees allow clients to know exactly what they’re financial responsibilities are upfront. 

Some attorneys also bill hourly for their time. This arrangement can be costly for accident victims who are already dealing with the financial burden of their injuries, property damage, and emotional suffering.

What Damages Are Available in a Personal Injury Case?

Contingency fees are calculated as a percentage of your overall compensation, which will be based on the amount of your damages.

Damages are intended to compensate injured victims for the costs associated with the accident. The two main categories of damages are economic damages and non-economic damages.

Economic Damages

Economic damages refer to the financial losses caused by an accident or injury. They are often related to specific transactions and will have documentation, like a receipt or invoice, associated with them. They are tangible, which is why they are sometimes called tangible damages.

Examples of economic damages include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Diminished earning capacity
  • Property damage

It’s fairly simple to calculate the economic damages you’ve already incurred. However, anticipated costs, such as future rehabilitation, are more difficult and vulnerable to challenges from the opposing party. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you assess your economic damages. 

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages refer to the other costs of an accident. They are mostly intangible costs and may be psychological or emotional in nature. Thus, they are sometimes called intangible damages. 

Examples of non-economic damages include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional anguish
  • Disfigurement or disability and associated impacts
  • Diminished quality of life

Non-economic damages don’t directly relate to a transaction, which makes them less straightforward to calculate. An experienced personal injury lawyer can be very helpful in assessing your non-economic damages. 

Are There Other Costs Associated With a Personal Injury Case?

In addition to paying the attorney’s legal fees at the end of the case, if successful, you may be responsible for other costs associated with your personal injury case. These could include the court’s filing fees, copying costs, and other administrative costs.

In many cases, personal injury attorneys pay these costs for their client and then the client reimburses them from the financial recovery at the end of the case. Your attorney should explain this to you and include these terms in the agreement you and your attorney enter into. Ensure that you understand what additional costs you may be responsible for prior to hiring your personal injury attorney. 

While these additional costs are usually minimal, more complex cases may have larger expenses, such as hiring an expert witness.

What Types of Personal Injury Cases Charge a Contingency Fee?

Personal injury lawyers tend to charge a contingency fee in almost every type of case. 

These include cases based on the following incidents:

  • Car accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Slip and falls
  • Truck accident
  • Brain injuries
  • Bicycle injuries 
  • Catastrophic injuries 
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Workplace accidents
  • Construction accident
  • Birth injuries 
  • Boating accidents
  • Burn injuries
  • Aviation accidents
  • Product liability
  • Nursing home abuse 
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Wrongful death

If you or a loved one were injured in one of these accidents, contact an experienced Chicago personal injury lawyer. During your free consultation, you can ask about the attorney’s fee arrangements for accident and injury cases. 

Schedule a Free Consultation With an Experienced Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer

Don’t let the fear of additional costs stop you from pursuing justice in your personal injury case. If you were injured because of another person’s negligence, you can seek compensation for your injuries, lost wages, property damage, and other losses. However, you shouldn’t have to take on a financial burden as you deal with the aftermath of your injuries and losses. 

Our experienced personal injury lawyers will begin work on your case with no upfront charge. Call us at (312) 726-1616 to speak to one of our experienced attorneys from Zayed Law Offices Personal Injury Attorneys, we will discuss our contingency fee arrangements in more detail. Your initial consultation is free of charge.