How Much Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Cost?

How Much Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Cost?

An accident can leave you with physical and psychological scars, as well as significant financial damage. You could end up with substantial hospital bills, property damage you have to repair, and a variety of other expenses that can make your life much harder. The last thing you need to add to all that is lawyer fees.

Often, people don’t reach out for help from personal injury attorneys because they worry that the fees will be impossible to handle. That’s why it’s so crucial to know about how personal injury lawyers charge and what you can expect.

How much does a personal injury lawyer cost? Let’s take a look at fee structures and what “contingency fee” really means.

Understanding Contingency Fees

Personal injury lawyers like those at Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq work on a contingency fee basis. This means that receiving payment is contingent, or dependent, on us winning a settlement for our client. Contingency fees also mean there are no upfront costs or fees you have to worry about.

This type of payment structure works fully in favor of the client. Not only do you not have to worry about paying anything throughout the claims process, but you are also assured that your lawyer’s interests align with yours.

Because contingency fees are a percentage of the compensation recovered, your lawyer will also have the incentive to maximize the settlement amount as much as possible.

Other types of lawyers would require retainers, which means the client has to pay upfront for the services the lawyer will provide, but that’s not the case with personal injury lawyers like us because we know that type of payment structure would only prevent you from getting the help you need.

Pricing Determination

It’s important to understand what you can expect from contingency fees as well. Each state has its own rules and limits, but in New Jersey, the rules are that the most a lawyer can charge in contingency fees include:

  • 3% of the first $750,000 won
  • 30% of the next $750,000 won
  • 25% of the next $750,000 won
  • 20% of the next $750,000 won

If the settlement goes above that, the lawyer can have a hearing to determine the appropriate payment. The client also has a right to a court review to assess the appropriateness of a lawyer’s fees.

If the client is underage or mentally incapacitated, the percentages would also be lower.

In some cases, there are additional legal fees that aren’t included in the contingency fee. These other costs are subtracted from the settlement before the contingency fees are paid.

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Typical Billing Framework

There are a few types of contingency fee billing. With a fixed percentage contingency fee, the lawyer receives the same percentage throughout the entire process.

There’s also a staged or graduated contingency fee, which changes depending on the stage at which the matter is resolved. For example, the percentage would change if the case was settled at trial as opposed to before.

Partial contingency is also an option in certain cases. In partial contingency, the client pays for some legal services as well as a contingency fee if the case is successfully resolved. 

Cost and Expenses in a Personal Injury Claims

Most of the time, your personal injury lawyer will cover routine costs and expenses. If you win a settlement, they’ll deduct those costs from your winnings. You shouldn’t have to pay for these fees upfront.

Some of the expenses you can expect include:

  • Court filing fees
  • Copying fees
  • Postage
  • Expert witness fees
  • Investigators
  • Trial exhibits
  • Depositions
  • Transcripts

It’s important to always make sure you know who’s going to pay for these costs if your claim isn’t successful or if the settlement you’re awarded is less than the fees. One of the options is for the lawyer to take care of all of these fees, while others involve splitting the costs or having to reimburse the lawyer for the expenses.

Why You Need To Turn to a Personal Injury Lawyer

Even if the payment process can seem complex and hiring a lawyer can appear to be a hassle, it’s the best thing you can do for your claim.

A lawyer will have the experience you don’t have in these kinds of proceedings, making sure you meet all of the requirements to prove your claim. The initial assessment a lawyer offers is crucial because it ensures you have a claim you can follow. This keeps you from wasting time.

Personal injury lawyers also know exactly the kinds of evidence that can make a difference in your type of claim. You may have a lot of information, but not all of it will be helpful.

With someone on your side who can present your evidence in the best light and create the right narrative, you have a better chance to win your claim.

Something else that personal injury lawyers can do is provide expert witness testimony. They’ll have connections in the area, so you can receive reliable evidence that can prove your claim.

Perhaps the most challenging aspect of filing a personal injury claim and trying to do so on your own is having to deal with insurance companies. These companies are out to pay you as little as possible, and that means they’ll try anything to get you to give up your claim or settle for less than you deserve.

A tactic they’ll use is to threaten to completely withhold paying you if you don’t take a low-ball offer. Because you’ll be dealing with serious injuries and other losses, you may not have the emotional bandwidth to tackle this on your own. When you turn to a lawyer, they can handle the negotiations for you.

In some instances, negotiations can fail. When that happens, your lawyer will talk you through your legal options, including filing a lawsuit and taking your case to court. If that’s what you want to do, turning to a lawyer gives you the best chance to do so.

Even if you see the process of choosing a lawyer as time-consuming, it’s a better choice for the majority of people who’ve suffered a personal injury.

Selecting a Personal Injury Lawyer in New Jersey

To have the best chance of winning your claim, you need to find an appropriate personal injury lawyer to represent you, and one of the best ways to do this is to ask for recommendations from others in the field. If you have friends who are lawyers or who know lawyers, you should reach out.

That said, you still need to do your own research. You should carefully vet each candidate, looking at the years of experience they have working in personal injury law.

Make sure to search for a candidate who has experience dealing with similar types of claims. A car or truck accident lawyer may not always be suited to product liability claims.

Look at the kinds of winnings they obtain for their clients. If you see that the lawyer has handled a lot of claims similar to yours but has not gotten clients a substantial amount of compensation, it can point to a lawyer who under-settles claims. That’s not what you want.

Read client reviews and testimonials. You can find some of these on the lawyer’s website, but there are many sites that give people a chance to read about the experiences others have had. If you notice a pattern of complaints against some aspect of the lawyer’s dealings with clients, choose someone else.

You also want to ask about the payment structure before making a decision. You want to be clear that you’ll not have to pay for anything up front.

Need a Lawyer? Reach out to Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq Today

When facing treatment bills for injuries you sustained in an accident someone else caused, the best thing you can do for yourself is to reach out to a personal injury lawyer for help. At Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq, we offer the guidance you need during this difficult time.

GGL has a team of dedicated and experienced lawyers who have worked on a variety of personal injury claims, including vehicular accidents and more. When you choose us, you’re turning to people who know how difficult it is to go through an accident, so we offer compassionate legal assistance and support. 

At GGL, we treat each of our clients like family, ensuring you feel respected and listened to from the moment you step through our doors.

Don’t wait to get the help you need to pay for hospital bills and other expenses if you’ve been in an accident that wasn’t your fault. Contact Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq today by calling 1-800-923-3456.

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