How Do Accident Attorneys Get Paid?

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Accident attorneys or “accident lawyers” are a specific and specialized area of the law that represent individuals who been hurt in an accident because of the negligence of another. Accident attorneys work on a contingency basis and are paid from the proceeds of a settlement or verdict in your accident case. When you ask how do accident attorneys get paid, you will find that their fees are reasonable based on the amount of time, effort and risk that the accident attorney takes.

The most valuable asset that any lawyer has is there time. Lawyers typically get paid by an hourly fee or a flat fee depending on the type of case. However for accident cases, and accident claims, accident lawyers and personal injury attorneys are paid a contingency fee. Contingency fees are some of the fairest and most motivating type of fee structure for any type of legal action.

How Do Accident Attorneys Get Paid?

The reason for this is there is an incentive for the lawyer to succeed in your matter. What we mean by that is, the harder the lawyer works and the more success the lawyer has in your accident claim, the better the lawyer is paid based on the contingency fee. A contingency fee means that the attorneys fee is contingent on the success of your claim.

Therefore, if you receive nothing or a jury returns a low verdict or settlement, the lawyer receives no fee or a low fee for the time he or she spent on the case. A contingency fee in an accident case is also valuable to the client because the client does not have to pay any costs upfront. The expenses that are incurred by a lawyer while fighting for their clients can be high. This certainly covers the time that the lawyer spends working on the case, which means that the lawyer is not getting paid in any other types of cases, as well as the upfront costs that the lawyer foots while the case is ongoing.

The upfront cost of the lawyer will pay out of their pocket may also include medical records, expert opinions, investigators and litigation fees to prepare for trial. How much do accident lawyers make? In a typical contingency fee agreement, access lawyers make what percentage of the gross settlement or verdict. Typical auto accident lawyers make an agreed fee of 33% if a claim is settled prior to the lawsuit being filed in your claim.

However, the contingency fee typically increases to 40% if a lawsuit is required in your claim. The reason for the increase in fees is because of the added time and expenses that must be spent pursuing the auto accident claim.

How much does a lawyer get out of a settlement?

While each settlement agreement is different, a typical lawyer will get out of a settlement they contingency fee of 33% if the matter is settled before a lawsuit is filed.

How are personal injury lawyers paid?

The personal injury lawyers are paid from the proceeds of the settlement or verdict. After an auto accident case or any other type of injury claim settles, the insurance company for the negligent party will mail a check to the lawyer’s office. The lawyer will then place that check into their escrow account and the legal fees are paid from that account.

In addition, all other outstanding fees or expenses are paid prior to the disbursement of the settlement funds to the client. So for example, if a auto accident case settles for $100,000, then the attorney’s fees are $33,000. The  remaining settlement funds are then used to pay back any outstanding medical costs incurred during the treatment after the accident. Then from that the client is compensated for their pain and suffering as a result of the accident. It is important that when you decide to hire and accident lawyer to handle your injury claim, that you discussed the fee structure and contingency fee with the lawyer.

All lawyers are advised and required in most jurisdictions to sign a few agreement with the client specifying exactly how the lawyer will be paid and how the settlement or verdict proceeds will be distributed. If you have been injured and you have questions or want to hire a personal injury lawyer in Maryland, contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.


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