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How Do I Pay a Lawyer in a Personal Injury Case?

Mar 25, 2024 | Personal Injury

If you were hurt in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may have sustained serious and debilitating injuries. Whether you were involved in a car crash, a slip and fall, truck accident, or another incident, you might have suffered extensive injuries, lost time from work, and experienced significant pain and suffering. In such cases, it’s critical to have a personal injury lawyer who can assist you with filing a lawsuit to recover your damages. 

However, while you are facing the financial difficulties that often arise after an accident, you might be concerned about how you can afford a lawyer to represent you. It’s important to understand that personal injury lawyers in New York work on a contingency fee basis. This means that you don’t have to pay any counsel fees up front or while your case is ongoing — you only pay if you prevail in your lawsuit.  

What is a Contingency Fee?

There are several ways a lawyer may bill their clients for legal services. Depending on the type of case, they may charge a flat rate fee, an hourly fee, or a contingency fee. Specifically, personal injury lawyers charge based on contingency fee. When this fee structure is used, the lawyer representing you will not be paid unless they recover compensation on your behalf. In other words, you pay nothing out of pocket to retain your lawyer — they will only get paid if they secure you monetary recovery.

A contingency fee arrangement can allow you to seek justice while not having to worry about how you will pay your legal fees while you are recovering from your injuries. Under New York State law, contingency fees are capped at 33%. This means a personal injury lawyer is only permitted to deduct one-third of the amount of recovery you are awarded in your claim.  

How Do Contingency Fees Work?

Having the representation of an experienced personal injury lawyer for your accident case can make all the difference to the outcome — and paying by contingency fee means you can have quality counsel without having to worry about whether you can afford it. But it’s essential to understand how a contingency fee works. While a contingency fee is paid out of the settlement or judgment that is received, certain disbursements and expenses incurred throughout the case will be deducted before the lawyer is paid. 

Disbursements and expenses in a personal injury case can include things like:              

  • The cost of obtaining medical records
  • The cost of hiring investigators
  • The costs of using expert witnesses
  • Court filing fees
  • Discovery costs and subpoena fees
  • Other administrative expenses related to the case

While you may wonder if giving up one-third of your compensation is worthwhile, keep in mind that you are more likely to obtain a much higher settlement amount or verdict when you are represented by a skillful personal injury lawyer.             

Contact an Experienced New York Personal Injury Lawyer

If you sustained injuries in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, carelessness, or recklessness, you may be entitled to recover your damages in a personal injury lawsuit. However, it’s vital to have knowledgeable representation who knows how to maximize your compensation. Due to our experience and skill, The Edelsteins, Faegenburg & Brown, LLP regularly obtains settlements and verdicts in the millions for our clients. Located in Manhattan, our firm has been handling personal injury cases throughout New York City since 1937. Call to schedule a free consultation at (212) 425-1999 today.  




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