A personal injury or accident can cause severe injuries that result in financial losses, pain and suffering, etc. The party who caused your injury could be financially liable for your losses and damages.
However, pursuing a personal injury claim can be complicated, expensive, and time-consuming. Hiring a personal injury lawyer in St. Petersburg means you have someone who has the resources to get you the money you deserve.
Unfortunately, many accident victims do not have the funds to hire a personal injury attorney if they need to pay thousands of dollars upfront. Fortunately, attorneys who handle personal injury cases work on a contingency fee basis.
That means you do not pay any money upfront to hire a personal injury lawyer in St. Petersburg. Instead, the attorneys’ fees are based on a percentage of the amount recovered for your case.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a St. Petersburg Personal Injury Attorney?
A typical contingency fee for a personal injury case is 30 to 40 percent of the recovered amount. Lawyers must charge reasonable fees per the Florida Rules of Professional Conduct. Whether a fee is reasonable depends on the facts and circumstances of the case.
Factors to consider when determining a reasonable fee for a case include:
- The complexity of the case
- The lawyer’s experience and skills
- The customary fee charged by other lawyers with similar experience
- The lawyer’s reputation and track record
- The amount of work required
- The parties involved in the case
Typically, lawyers with extensive experience handling personal injury cases and courtroom experience receive a higher percentage for contingency fees. Attorneys who have minimal experience charge lower fees.
Most personal injury lawyers charge lower contingency fees if the case settles before a lawsuit is filed or the case goes to trial. The reason for increasing the contingency fee if a case goes to court is that the attorney invests more time preparing the case for trial.
What Are the Benefits of Contingency Fees?
You may wonder why a lawyer would agree to take personal injury cases on a contingency fee. Accident lawyers understand that many clients are out of work because of their injuries. As a result, they cannot afford to pay large retainer fees to hire a lawyer.
Contingency fees allow injured parties access to the legal advice and representation they need. Clients do not need to worry about how to pay for a lawyer. Since most injury attorneys offer free consultations, individuals do not need to worry about paying a fee to talk with a lawyer about their case.
If an attorney does not recover any money for the case, the client does not owe the attorney any legal fees. For this reason, lawyers honestly and carefully assess cases and only take cases they believe they can win.
Because the fee is based on the amount of the recovery, lawyers have a strong incentive to diligently and aggressively pursue the maximum value of a personal injury case. The more money the lawyer recovers for the client, the higher the contingency fee.
Other Costs of Pursuing a Personal Injury Claim
In addition to the attorneys’ fees, other costs are involved in your case. Costs associated with a personal injury case include:
- Copy and postage fees
- Fees for medical records, accident reports, and other documents
- Court reporter fees for depositions
- Travel expenses
- Expert witness fees
- Court filing fees
Most personal injury law firms pay these costs during the case. At the end of the case, the attorney reimburses the law firm for the costs of the personal injury settlement. Before hiring a lawyer, you should discuss the costs and whether you must pay these costs if the attorney does not recover money for your case.
Not Hiring a St. Petersburg Personal Injury Lawyer Can Cost More Money
When considering whether to hire a lawyer, you need to consider the cost of not hiring an attorney. Potential consequences of not hiring a personal injury lawyer include:
- You accept a lower settlement offer than your case is worth
- You do not know how to protect your rights
- The insurance company denies your claim because you cannot provide evidence proving liability
- You miss a filing deadline that bars you from filing a claim or lawsuit
- You realize you have more expenses, but you have already settled your claim
The claims adjuster’s job is to protect the insurance company from liability. The insurance company has a team of people working for them who have years of experience handling claims. You need a legal team with years of experience and considerable resources to protect your right to fair and just compensation after an accident or personal injury.