Personal injury lawyers typically get paid on a contingency fee basis in Texas. This means that a fee is only applied if you win your case. So, you do not have to pay any out-of-pocket expenses upfront. The fee will constitute a percentage of your award.
The fee percentage is usually one-third, but the percentage can be more or less, depending on when or whether a trial or other work is needed.
How much you pay the attorney depends on the circumstances of your case, the value of your case, and the attorney you hire. Not every law firm works on a contingency fee basis. Be sure to check before hiring the attorney.
What Does ‘Winning a Case’ Mean in a Personal Injury Claim?
Winning your case usually means one of two things:
- Negotiating a Settlement
You negotiate a settlement with the at-fault party, whose insurance company may be liable for your medical expenses, lost wages, and non-economic damages. The latter includes pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and emotional distress.
- Filing a Lawsuit in Court
If the liable party does not admit fault or the insurance company denies your claim, you may file a lawsuit against them in court. You may also file a lawsuit if you are not satisfied with the insurance company’s settlement offer.
In either case, a lawyer who applies a contingency-based fee only gets paid when you win your case.
Personal Injury Expenses While Pursuing a Case
Lawyers may not charge fees, whether a case is won or lost. However, they almost always charge for expenses incurred while pursuing a case. The expenses vary depending on the case.
Examples of expenses a personal injury attorney may charge you for include:
- Filing fees
- Serving the parties
- Court reporter fees
- Transcript fees
- Expert witness fees
- Copying costs
- Police reports
- Medical records
- Investigator fees and expenses
- Postage costs
- Trial exhibits
Fees in the Attorney-Client Agreement
Before your lawyer represents you in a personal injury case, you will both enter into a written agreement. The agreement will include charges that you can expect for services rendered.
Some fees outlined in the agreement may include:
The attorney may charge you a fixed amount for a particular type of personal injury case.
This type of fee arrangement is common in personal injury cases. The contingency fee also includes the percentage that the attorney receives if you win your case.
The agreement also includes costs and fees associated with your case. Your representation agreement should specify the purpose of the fee.
Changing Personal Injury Lawyers During Litigation
If you decide to change lawyers during a case or drop your lawsuit, your original lawyer may charge you for the expenses they incurred while pursuing your case.
If you are current with any payments you owe, switching lawyers is not an issue. You will need to finalize what you owe the lawyer according to your attorney-client agreement.
You may not be able to switch lawyers in a lawsuit depending on how far along the case is.
Make sure you understand the legal process and the attorney-client agreement before you switch to a new lawyer.
Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer in Texas Today
If you or a loved one was recently injured in an accident, you may want to explore your options for compensation and file a claim against the at-fault party. D. Miller & Associates, PLLC offers legal assistance for victims of personal injury accidents in Texas.