One of the main reasons accident victims do not contact a lawyer right away is because they are afraid of paying attorney fees. However, if you hire an attorney who works on a contingency fee, you will not have to pay any upfront fees or costs for filing a claim. Instead, you will only have to pay your attorney when the lawyer recovers compensation for you.
At NordstrandBlack PC, our experienced lawyers handle all personal injury cases on a contingency-fee basis, so there is no added cost for our clients. If you were injured due to someone else’s negligence, we encourage you to contact our Santa Barbara law firm to discuss your case. We will sit down with you, listen to you, and address your questions in a free consultation. Call NordstrandBlack PC at (805) 962-2022 today.
With this fee structure, our payment is “contingent” on our ability to resolve your case. A contingency fee means that attorneys do not get paid for legal representation until and unless they recover compensation for a client. All of the upfront costs of filing a personal injury claim – including collecting evidence, hiring an accident reconstructionist, working with investigators, and legal research – are handled by the firm. When calculating the full value of your claim, your attorney will be aware of these costs when calculating your damages to ensure that you receive the full value for the damages you suffered.
An accident victim can file a claim for both economic and non-economic damages, which include medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life. Altogether, these damages make up the overall value of your claim.
Contingency fees can range from 33.3%-40% of a settlement or jury verdict, depending on what stage your case is resolved. If your claim is settled after a negotiation with insurers or you are awarded compensation in a jury trial, the attorney will receive the contracted percentage of the award for the attorney’s services.
With a contingency fee, attorneys only get paid if they win a claim or lawsuit for a client, which means that they will fight hard to get as much compensation for you as possible. This form of payment ensures that the client and the lawyer have the same interests in maximizing the value of the case.
Besides contingency fees, lawyers can also charge:
- Hourly Rate: Some attorneys work on an hourly rate, meaning that the longer the claim takes to complete, the more expensive their services will be. More experienced attorneys may charge a higher rate, but may also take less time to recover compensation for their clients.
- Flat Fee: With a flat fee, someone can pay for the attorney’s services upfront. This is common for criminal defense and bankruptcy lawyers, for example.
- Retainer Fee: A “retainer fee” or lump sum of money is used to hire an attorney and placed in an escrow account. As the attorneys work on the client’s case, they will charge hourly, billing the client and then pulling from the retainer fee. When that money runs out, the attorney may charge an hourly rate or require the client to fund the escrow account that the lawyer can pull from when the payment is due for his services.
With a contingency fee, there are no upfront costs to hiring an attorney, and an accident victim can receive immediate legal representation during their personal injury claim. Without an attorney, you will find it difficult to recover compensation from an insurance company – and they’ll offer you much less than the full value. By working with an attorney on a contingency-fee basis, you have a much better chance of receiving maximum compensation for the injuries you suffered in an accident.
It is important to discuss each attorney’s rate with them before signing a contract or agreement. Typically, attorneys with more experience and resources will be able to recover a higher award for you. Once your attorney wins your claim or lawsuit, the fee will be deducted from the gross settlement, and you will receive the rest of the award after liens and expenses are paid. You never have to directly pay for an attorney’s services out of pocket.
At NordstrandBlack PC, our Santa Barbara personal injury lawyers have more than 40 years of combined experience -- we have worked with numerous clients to recover full compensation for their injuries. We work on a contingency-fee basis and can sit down with you in a free consultation to talk about what happened and how your life has been affected. Call us today at (805) 962-2022 if you were injured due to someone else’s negligence.