how am i going to pay a personal injury lawyer

Of all the questions we get, this is one of the most frequent.  And it makes sense: you want to know how you are going to afford a personal injury attorney and how the process works.  Accidents often lead to healthcare expenses, property damage losses, lost wages, and other bills.  The last thing you want to do is incur additional expenses in the form of attorney’s fees.

The good news is that our clients pay a “contingency fee.”  This means that clients only pay for our attorney’s fees if we are able to recover money for them.  If we cannot, then there is no fee or cost to hire our law firm.  This is true no matter how much time, effort, and litigation costs are spent working on your case.  If there is no recovery, then there are no fees or costs for our clients.  If a recovery is obtained, then the amount of the fee will depend on a few factors.

Contingency Fees in Florida Personal Injury Claims

Before we get into each scenario, it is important to understand what a contingency fee means. A contingency fee agreement is essentially an agreement between a client and an attorney to pay a portion of settlement proceeds from a claim or lawsuit to your attorney.  The contingency fee percentage and the amount of your recovery will ultimately determine how much you pay your attorney(s).

The fee arrangement is referred to as “contingent” because you only pay your attorney if he or she wins your personal injury case.  The “contingency,” therefore, is the recovery of money for you.

Now that you understand what a contingency fee arrangement is, here are some factors that will determine the amount you pay for attorney’s fees.

Contingency Fee Percentages

The Florida Bar website provides information about specific percentages your attorney may receive. While the percentage may vary depending on your particular type of case, the below contingency fee percentages are deemed by the Florida Bar to not be excessive:

Prior to Litigation.  If your case if resolved before the filing of an answer or the demand for appointment of arbitrators or, if no answer is filed or no demand for appointment of arbitrators is made, the expiration of the time period provided for such action:

  • 33 1/3% of any recovery up to $1 million; plus
  • 30% of any portion of the recovery between $1 million and $2 million; plus
  • 20% of any portion of the recovery exceeding $2 million.

After Litigation.  After the filing of an answer or the demand for appointment of arbitrators or, if no answer is filed or no demand for appointment of arbitrators is made, the expiration of the time period provided for such action, through the entry of judgment:

  • 40% of any recovery up to $1 million; plus
  • 30% of any portion of the recovery between $1 million and $2 million; plus
  • 20% of any portion of the recovery exceeding $2 million.

Contingency Fees in Complex Personal Injury Cases

In certain, more complex matters, such as in medical malpractice and product liability cases, the contingency fee percentage may be 40% of any recovery once a lawsuit is filed and the defendant(s) file an answer.  The reason for the increased fee is that the amount of time and money which must be invested in certain types of cases far exceeds that required in a typical personal injury case.  This results in greater risk to the law firm, more time invested in a case, and can preclude attorneys from accepting other work.  For example, the litigation costs in some medical malpractice cases might exceed $150,000.00 and require your attorney to spend hundreds or even thousands of hours working on our case.  If the case goes to trial and is lost, you (the client) pay nothing.  

At Viñas & DeLuca, we are confident that our results speak for themselves.  Contact us today and get your case started.

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With An Experienced Attorney

We offer our services on a contingency fee basis, which means that you do not have to worry about legal fees unless we win your case. That’s right. You get to focus all of your time, energy, and money on getting better while we handle your complex personal injury law case. You only have a limited amount of time to file a claim, so contact us today. We’re available to assist injury victims throughout Miami-Dade County.