What percentage do most injury lawyers take? - Front Range Injury Attorneys

What percentage do most injury lawyers take?

Unlike in many other types of lawsuits, attorneys in personal injury cases are frequently compensated on a contingency fee basis. If you’re wondering what percentage lawyers charge for personal injury services, the answer is 33-55% of the award as payment fees. In these cases, the person filing the claim (the plaintiff) agrees to pay the costs of the suit as well as a percentage of the damages awarded to the lawyer handling the case. If the plaintiff loses, no attorneys’ fees are paid. 

What is a contingency fee?

In the so-called English system, the person who loses a lawsuit is usually required to pay all of the fees and costs incurred by both parties. This policy makes filing a lawsuit risky and restricts access to the courts. However, in American courts, this rule is not followed, and each party, barring exceptional circumstances, is required to pay their own fees regardless of who wins.

The American legal system also allows for contingency fees to increase injured parties’ access to the courts. If you’re wondering what percentage lawyers charge for personal injury cases, this is a portion of it. A contingency fee is a legal fee in which the obligation to pay is contingent on the outcome of the lawsuit and is typically a percentage of the damages awarded.

What Percentage Do Lawyers Take for Personal Injury with a  Contingency Fee Arrangement in Colorado?

A contingency fee arrangement generally requires little or nothing upfront when filing a lawsuit. Instead, the client and lawyer enter into a written agreement outlining the terms of the contingency legal fees. Usually, the agreement states the attorney receives payment if the lawsuit is successful and states the percentage that goes to the attorney.

Although some states limit the percentage an attorney can take in legal fees, Colorado does not set explicit limits. Under the Colorado Rules of Disciplinary Conduct that govern attorneys, there are ethical limits to a contingency fee. A fee must be reasonable under the circumstances of the case and the legal work performed for the client. At Front Range Injury Attorneys, our Denver personal injury attorneys represent clients under a fair and reasonable fee agreement.

Contingency fees for personal injury cases can vary across case types and states. Nationally, those fees can vary as much as 20-50%. In Colorado it is common for personal injury cases like car accidents or slip and fall accidents to take 30-50% in legal fees.

What Is a Reasonable Contingency Fee in Colorado?

A contingency fee must be reasonable in relation to the following:

  • The kind of case
  • The facts of the situation
  • The required ability
  • The work required for the case
  • Any other factors that the court considers

The attorney should also consider the policy limits of any applicable insurance policies and whether the fee will be excessive in comparison to those limits. The size of contingent fees is not limited by Colorado law, and the courts have explicitly upheld a fee of 30-50% of the award, depending on the case.

Can the Attorney Prepay the Expenses in a Contingency Case?

The contingency fee agreement must detail the financial agreement between the plaintiff and the attorney. Prepayment of expenses such as suit filing fees may or may not be covered by the agreement. The payment of such fees does not invalidate the contingent fee agreement.

Although it is not illegal for the attorney to pay your expenses in advance, most contingency agreements exclude them from the percentage due to the attorney. As a result, you will receive your specified portion, but the prepaid expenses will be deducted from it. In other words, if your award is $100,000, your fee is 35%, and your expenses are $5,000, you would receive $60,000 rather than $60,000.

Even if the plaintiff loses the lawsuit, non-legal-fee expenses must be paid. Lawyers typically handle these costs in one of two ways. Some firms absorb the costs, most likely because they factored the possibility into their overall contingency fee ranges. Others will anticipate that the plaintiff will bear the costs regardless of the outcome of the lawsuit. Sometimes the decision is based on the lawyer’s assessment of the case’s strength. In any case, the fee agreement should specify how these will be handled.

How Contingency Fee Agreements Help Personal Injury Victims

Litigation is extremely expensive when paid by the hour. Fees of several hundred dollars per hour are common, and even out-of-court settlements result in hundreds of billable hours.

Most accident victims cannot afford legal representation without contingency fee agreements. If plaintiffs do not have legal representation, insurance companies have little incentive to settle cases quickly and fairly. With the assistance of a team of attorneys, defendants can take advantage of plaintiffs’ pro se status to take advantage of them. Pro se plaintiffs, in the worst-case scenario, are unable to refute defense lawyer arguments, resulting in lost cases and no compensation.

Contingency fees also assist plaintiffs who have suffered financial hardship as a result of the injury. For example, after being hit by a vehicle, an accident victim is likely to incur significant medical expenses. Emergency room care, ambulance service, surgery, doctor visits, physical therapy, and other major expenses can easily run into the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. Few households can handle large medical or legal bills on their own, let alone simultaneously.

In addition to medical bills, injury victims frequently lose income. Broken legs, back injuries, and head wounds frequently result in prolonged disability. Disabilities become permanent in the most difficult situations.

Income loss devastates families. They may have to spend down their savings, cash out their retirement plans, and carry large credit card balances with exorbitant interest rates. Furthermore, the financial constraints preclude paying hundreds of dollars per hour in legal fees.

Many accident victims experience excruciating pain and suffering. They have chronic pain as a result of their injuries and are unable to participate in activities they enjoy. Furthermore, daily life is frequently difficult. Personal injuries, for example, can make it impossible to complete simple household chores or go grocery shopping. In many cases, victims are responsible for the cost of hiring a service to perform these functions.

With all of these difficulties, accident victims require assistance. They get it from personal injury law firms that take contingency fee cases. Clients are relieved of the stress of paying legal fees as a result of these arrangements, allowing them to focus on what is most important: getting better.

Contingency fee agreements eliminate the uncertainty surrounding legal fees

Legal fees are unpredictable when paid on an hourly basis. Some cases settle out of court in less than a year, saving the plaintiff money. Other matters drag on for years as the defense attempts to stall the case and wear down the plaintiff. As the case progresses, legal fees for time-consuming procedures such as discovery, depositions, hearings, research, and witness preparation mount. If the case goes to trial, the cost of court time alone will run into the tens of thousands of dollars.

Many plaintiffs would be unable to proceed if the out-of-pocket costs were not predictable. Personal injury cases can easily consume a family’s entire net worth if contingency fees are not used. Plaintiffs know their exact out-of-pocket costs because personal injury lawyers work on contingency: $0.

Contingency Fee Agreements Cover Expenses

Many personal injury cases necessitate costs in addition to attorneys’ fees. Private investigators, expert witnesses, and research are examples of this. The level of expenditures, like attorneys’ fees, may be difficult to estimate at first; however, expenses are covered by the contingency fee agreement. Winning a case may necessitate the acquisition of expensive evidence, and contingency fees ensure that the plaintiff’s inability to pay out-of-pocket costs never prevents them from receiving justice.

Contingency Fees Create a Level Playing Field

Insurance companies always have one significant advantage: they have a lot of money to pay lawyers. This automatically disadvantages personal injury plaintiffs. Insurance companies can afford to fight a case in court for years, and only a very few plaintiffs have the financial resources to match them.

Contingency fee agreements help to financially equalize the plaintiff and defendant. Without contingency fees, many plaintiffs with strong cases would have to accept low settlements or give up due to exorbitant legal fees. By relieving their clients of this burden, personal injury attorneys prevent insurance companies from using their deep pockets to defraud plaintiffs.

Front Range Injury Attorneys represents clients in personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis

The Denver personal injury attorneys at Front Range Injury Attorneys represent clients on a contingency fee basis. We believe clients are best served under this “no win, no fee” basis by allowing them to focus on overcoming their injuries rather than how they will pay their lawyers. In addition to working on a contingency fee basis, our personal injury attorneys also offer free case reviews for new clients. Contact our Denver law office today to discuss your case.

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