Understanding Personal Injury Lawyer Fees

One question that a lot of people have after a serious car accident on one of Kirkland's major roadways, or after any other serious accident, is, "How am I going to afford an attorney?" Fortunately, many personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis (discussed below) so you do not have to pay anything until you reach a resolution to your case.

Understanding some basic types of attorney fees and knowing what to expect may ease your mind and give you the knowledge and confidence you need to be able to discuss fees with potential law firms.

Talk to the Attorney about Personal Injury Lawyer Fees

Be sure to ask questions when gathering information about a personal injury attorney’s fees. Don’t be shy with your inquiries because you need to be informed about what to expect financially from your attorney. Ask a potential attorney questions about any up-front fees that may be required for your lawyer to begin work on your case.

Ask whether you will be expected to pay for any court costs or other filing fees and legal costs. Ask as many questions as you need to until you feel comfortable that you understand the personal injury lawyer fees for the law firm.

Types of Personal Injury Attorney Fees

Attorneys charge for their services in a multitude of ways. Some attorneys charge different types of fees depending on the type of case they are working on. The following list includes some typical fee arrangements you can expect to encounter.

  • Contingency fee: This is a popular type of personal injury lawyer fee. The lawyer will typically work without any upfront fees in this case and will collect a percentage of your settlement after the settlement is finalized. That percentage can vary, so be sure to ask. Also ask the attorney about who pays for legal expenses and court costs or if it's included in the contingency fee.
  • Hourly rates: These fees are calculated based on the number of hours an attorney needs to spend representing you, and can vary widely depending on the type of law firm, how established and reputable it is and where it is located.
  • Flat fees: When a lawyer is performing a more predictable service, such as filing a simple bankruptcy, he or she may consider charging a flat fee. This is a one-time charge that you will be advised of prior to the commencement of work. In the case of flat fees, be sure to ask what services might not be included in that fee so you are prepared for any additional expenses that could accompany the fee.
  • Retainers: Retainers are fees paid in advance for services rendered. In this scenario, an attorney will estimate the number of hours he or she will spend on your case and will multiply that number by his or her hourly fee. You will put up the money, which will be held in a trust account and deducted as the lawyer works the hours. Ask the lawyer if your retainer will be refunded in part if the actual hours are less than predicted, and also ask what is expected of you if the hours end up being more than predicted.

As with any other contractual agreement for services, be sure to get all personal injury lawyer fee schedules in writing before proceeding with your case.

Set Up a Consultation with Max Meyers Law in Kirkland

If you need a personal injury attorney in the Kirkland, Washington area, Max Meyers Law can help. Call us today at 425-399-7000 to set up a consultation to discuss your case as well as our personal injury lawyer fees.

Max Meyers
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Max is a Kirkland personal injury attorney handling cases in Seattle, King County & surrounding in WA State.