Injuries caused by someone else’s negligent or reckless actions result in physical pain, emotional distress, and financial strain. Trying to cover your bills while missing work for recovery time and medical appointments might make you question whether you can afford to hire a personal injury lawyer.
Fortunately, attorneys offer several ways to pay for legal representation, including flat, hourly, and contingency fees. Discuss the fee structure during your initial consultation with a lawyer and ask for clarification if you have any questions.
Great West Injury Law uses a contingency fee structure so you can access the legal system, regardless of your financial situation. Our law firm believes that every victim of negligence deserves legal representation to recover damages.
Flat Legal Fees
In a flat fee structure, your attorney estimates the time and work they will put into your case and sets a flat fee. It is common for these lawyers to request the entire fee upfront, or half up front and half upon completion of the case.
You usually encounter flat fees in predictable situations like estate planning, business incorporation, or an uncontested divorce. Lawyers sometimes use this fee structure in criminal defense cases.
A flat fee means you know the cost upfront, so you’re not surprised later. However, coming up with the payment might be difficult, especially in a personal injury case. You may have already spent money on costly medical bills or lost income due to time off work, so it may be challenging to pay for legal services.
Hourly Lawyer Fees
Your attorney may charge an hourly rate for their services. Hourly rates vary based on the lawyer’s location, education, and track record. Experienced lawyers with winning records may charge a higher hourly fee than someone just starting their legal career. A lawyer from a large firm may ask for more than an attorney with a smaller practice.
Fee amounts can vary based on the attorney’s legal task that hour. For example, they may charge a higher hourly fee for lengthy case law research or a court appearance than they charge for filing paperwork for the case.
Hourly fees are the most common fee type. Attorneys typically ask for a retainer upfront and then deduct their hourly rate. If you use more services than the retainer covers, you might receive a monthly bill, or the lawyer might ask for another retainer. You’ll encounter this fee structure in the corporate world, family law, and criminal cases.
Contingency Fees for Legal Representation
Contingency fees offer clients access to legal services without having to pay upfront. With contingency fees, the attorney’s ability to collect payments is contingent, or dependent, on them winning your case.
This payment method is risky for the lawyer because they don’t collect fees if they don’t win; however, it also means your lawyer won’t take on your case unless you have an excellent chance of receiving damages for your injuries. It also ensures they will work hard to protect your rights and fight for maximum compensation.
Utah requires all terms of the contingency fee structure to be detailed in a contract and signed by the client. This contract must include the method for determining the fee, including the award percentage payable to the lawyer in the event of settlement, trial, or appeal.
The contract must indicate whether to deduct expenses from the award and whether that happens before or after calculating the contingency fee. The contract should also list any costs you will be liable for whether or not you win.
Attorneys only use contingency fees in cases where a financial award is possible, such as personal injury, wrongful death, or medical malpractice cases. Utah prevents lawyers from charging unreasonable contingency fee percentages to their clients.
Contingency Fees Protect Personal Injury Victims
Many people couldn’t access the legal system without contingency fees, even with a solid case. Contingency fees allow people harmed by someone else’s negligence to recover damages and get the justice they deserve.
Contingency fees not only eliminate monetary barriers to the legal system but also prevent frivolous lawsuits. Using contingency fees increases the quality of personal injury litigation because attorneys won’t invest hundreds or thousands of hours in a case they are unlikely to win. These fees align the lawyer’s interests with yours, increasing the quality of representation you receive.
You CAN Afford to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney
At Great West Injury Law, our Utah personal injury lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis. We will fight to get you fair compensation for your injuries and hold the responsible parties accountable.
We believe everyone deserves access to high-quality legal representation to protect their rights against negligent individuals, companies, and medical providers. We welcome the opportunity to review your claim in a complimentary consultation.
Don’t let financial worries prevent you from seeking help. Contact our law firm today to schedule a free, no-risk case evaluation.