Our personal injury lawyers have a robust personal injury practice. In our personal injury mass actions, we have served in leading roles, helping achieve over $4.5 billion in total settlements.
Personal Injury Attorney FAQs
- How much does a personal injury attorney charge?
- Do I need an attorney for a personal injury case?
- How do I settle a personal injury case without an attorney?
(1) How much does a personal injury attorney charge?
Most personal injury lawyers take cases on contingency, which means that they agree to furnish the costs of filing suit (such as filing fees) and will spend their valuable hours preparing and litigating your case without you paying them an hourly rate. Hourly rates are common at defense law firms.
The typical contingency fee in a personal injury case is between 33 and 40 percent, with many standard contingency-fee agreements being closer to 40%. But many state’s attorney-ethics rules require that contingency fees be subject to negotiation, so you may be able to negotiate a lower attorneys’ fee than the one you’re initially presented. That said, the law firm could simply decline to take your case. The better the law firm, the more options they generally have in what cases they take on.
(2) Do I need a personal injury lawyer?
Unlike in False Claims Act lawsuits, there is no requirement in personal injury lawsuits that you be represented by an attorney. You could represent yourself, which would require filing the necessary court documents (using the proper forms and formatting, and filing in the correct courthouse). Representing yourself is known as litigating “pro se.” Judges sometimes take pro se litigants less seriously than those represented by a personal injury attorney, not because judges are elitist about the law, but because plaintiffs with stronger cases are generally able to find a good personal injury lawyer, whereas those with weak cases are more often forced to litigate pro se if no lawyer will take their case.
Although it looks easy on television to represent yourself in front of a judge, the realities of litigation are much different. Lawyers train for three years in law school just to learn the basics of civil procedure, the claims that are available under personal injury law, the elements needed to prove those claims, and the rules of evidence (which determines what evidence is not admissible and what objections you can properly make in court). Even with that three years of training, novice attorneys are usually not entrusted with representing their firm’s clients at trial. There are many important factors in putting together the best trial strategy, getting a good jury, and presenting your case in court. There’s often no replacement for litigation experience.
(3) How do I settle a personal injury claim without an attorney?
Although it’s generally inadvisable to represent yourself at trial, it may be less high-risk to represent yourself in an initial attempt to settle your personal injury claim without needing to pay a contingency fee to a personal injury attorney. Typically, you would start with a “demand letter” to the person or company that injured you, explaining what happened to cause your injury; why you think the person or company is liable (such as that they were negligent); and the amount of damages you are demanding to settle the case.
If the demand letter doesn’t work, you may have to actually litigate the case. The only thing that will bring a stubborn defendant to the bargaining table is the threat of a protracted and difficult litigation battle, or the risk that they will lose way more money if they take the case all the way through trial.
If your injury was from a car accident, it’s possible that your insurance company can help negotiate a settlement with the other driver’s insurance company.