How Are Personal Injury Lawyers Paid?

How Are Personal Injury Lawyers Paid?

When you see the enormous photo of a personal injury traffic accident attorney on a big, flashy billboard, do you ever wonder how they get paid? Many of them have silly slogans like, “NO WIN, NO FEE,” but what does that actually mean?

At Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, we don’t waste money on crazy advertisements and we don’t waste your time with goofy mottos. Instead, we invest our time in helping people like you understand how the law works so you can make smart choices.

 In that spirit, let’s take a look at how most personal injury lawyers’ fees work. This will help you make an educated choice when you need to select a lawyer for a personal injury claim

Working on a Contingency Fee Basis

Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means their payment is contingent upon the outcome of the case. Whatever award you receive, they will take a percentage of it.

If you only win $100 in your case, the attorney will only get a small sum of money - maybe 30% to 50%, meaning $30 to $50. Of course, this low amount isn’t optimal for either you or your attorney.

So a good attorney will boldly fight for much more than that, which benefits you both. They’ll investigate multiple avenues for compensation and help you seek the option that’s most likely to bring a high-value outcome.

How Do I Know How Much My Attorney Will Take?

You’re probably wondering how much your case will bring in and how much your attorney will charge. Although it’s hard to say exactly how much your settlement or judgment will be, it’s a well-known fact that many attorneys start at 40% to 50% in contingency fees and go up, up, up from there.

This means at the conclusion of your case, your attorney could walk away with a large percentage - perhaps a larger percentage than you do. Of course, if it’s half a million dollars and covers all your bills, you might be just fine with that.

At Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, our fee starts at about 33.3% of the settlement or judgment that you receive in your case. It could reach into the 40% range if the case has to go to court for a trial, which is more labor-intensive.

The only way to know for sure how much you might pay in contingency fees is to ask an attorney how their fees are structured. It depends on which lawyer you're working with and how far the case goes in the process. 

A good legal firm is upfront about their fees and can spell out exactly how your agreement will break down financially, depending on how things play out. Don’t be afraid to ask about the fees. An experienced attorney is comfortable explaining their fee structure.

Why Do Personal Injury Lawyers Use Contingency Fees?

Contingency fees are a good thing. A contingency fee means your personal injury attorney is financially and professionally invested in a high-value outcome to your case.

When your lawyer gets paid on contingency, they’re strongly motivated to work diligently to secure the high compensation you deserve. As your lawyer puts in the hard work of pursuing your legal case, you can rest and recover from your injuries.

This is tremendously valuable at a challenging time in your life. When you’re injured, you’re already in a vulnerable spot. You’re struggling financially, physically, and emotionally, and you may not have the resources to fight a legal battle. Instead of pulling cash out of your pocket, you can agree to a fee that’s paid at the end of your case.

This also means your attorney can get to work right away, without waiting for payment. The faster you can pursue a settlement or judgment, the faster you both get paid, making it easier to move forward with your life. During a difficult time, that’s a huge relief.

If you’d like to learn more about how fees work in a personal injury case, we invite you to contact Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We have a stellar reputation for securing fair, fast, and full compensation, without any silly swagger. We’re here to handle your personal injury claim with skill and care.


Cam M.

"I was involved in a car accident that left me with a broken leg, thanks to someone running a red light! It was my first time being involved in something like this (totaled car, surgery, and 4 days in the hospital). So I started shopping around and came across Sally Morin. Even though the other parties insurance was useless the team here was able to get the full settlement amount... allowing me to completely focus on my physical recovery! A big shout out to Rebecca and Carmen!"

Experience a serious personal injury accident in California?

Check out our Personal Injury FAQ Page to learn more about how the process works.

We Handle Your Accident Claim So You Can Focus on Your Life

After an accident, contact the attorneys at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many types of personal injury claims. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering from your accident while we handle the legal details.

We truly care about the people of California. Contact us today for a free online case evaluation.

Video Transcript
How are personal injury attorneys paid? Well, everybody wants to know that, but oftentimes you'll see it on billboards, no win, no fee, silly slogans like that. But what they're basically trying to say is that personal injury attorneys are paid on a contingency fee basis. What that means is that the fee is contingent upon the outcome of the case. So if you only get a $100 for your case, well, the attorney gets a very small amount for their fee because they a get a percentage of that $100. For instance, at our firm the fee starts at about one-third of the settlement or the judgment that you receive in your case, and it can go up to somewhere in the 40% range if the case has to go all the way to a trial.

Some attorneys start at 40% and go up to more than 50%. It really depends on which lawyer you're working with and how far the case goes in the process. With the contingency fee, the reason we do that is so that somebody who is injured and in a vulnerable place, already struggling financially, physically, doesn't have to come up with cash out of their pocket to pay a lawyer to get working on their case. So you can get a personal injury attorney on your case right away, not have to pay anything up front, and then they receive payment out of the proceeds that you receive at the end of your case. 

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