The first thing most people consider before hiring a personal injury lawyer is how much it will cost them.While each lawyer may have a slightly different fee arrangement, the general rule is that personal injury lawyers charge clients a fee only if they recover money for their client. This is called a contingency fee.
In a contingency fee agreement, the attorney does not get paid for his work unless he is able to recover (get money) for the client. Contingency fee arrangements are common in automobile accident cases and other personal injury cases.
The fee is a percentage of the total money recovery, either from a settlement or a jury verdict following a successful trial. The percentage fee for any given case is always negotiable, and will depend on the details of the case and the likely cost of pursuing it.
Most injury attorneys will pay the cost and expenses of the case up front; in serious injury cases, a lawyer may pay significant sums of his or her own money to obtain critical evidence, such as medical records, exhibits showing injuries, depositions of witnesses and expert witnesses, accident reconstructionists, scientific testing, background investigation, copy charges, and many other expenses. These case expenses must be paid back out of the recovery, if there is one. Most lawyers have a clause in their contract that waives expenses in the event that the lawyer loses the case, so that the client does not wind up owing legal fees for an unsuccessful case.