How Much Does a Lawyer Cost in Philadelphia?
Ryan Zavodnick | January 20, 2022 | Personal Injury
Unfortunately, many injury victims hesitate to contact a lawyer about their personal injury claim. They often worry about the costs of hiring a Philadelphia injury attorney to handle their case. The good news is that you may be able to hire a lawyer without paying any money upfront.
How Do Attorneys in Philadelphia Bill for Their Legal Services?
Attorneys may bill for their legal advice and services in one of three ways – flat fee, hourly fee, and contingency fee.
Flat Fee for Legal Services
With a flat fee, you know how much you owe the attorney before you hire the attorney. The lawyer provides a specific quote to handle your claim. Unless services are required outside of the services included in the flat fee agreement, you only owe the attorney the fee they quoted to you when you retained the lawyer.
Flat fee arrangements are common for specific document preparation, such as simple Wills or contracts. For example, an attorney may use a flat fee for a real estate closing or traffic ticket representation.
Hourly Attorney Fees
Lawyers commonly use hourly fees in a variety of legal cases. The attorney charges a set hourly fee for services. They bill the client for the time they spend working on the case.
For example, an attorney may bill in increments of 10 minutes. Therefore, if the attorney spends 17 minutes working on the case, they would round the time to 20 minutes to bill the client.
A contingency fee is based on the amount of money the attorney recovers for your case. Contingent fee agreements are standard in personal injury cases, including cases involving:
- Automobile accidents
- Premises liability
- Medical malpractice
- Product liability
- Construction accidents
- Wrongful death
Most Philadelphia personal injury attorneys use contingency fees. Therefore, they do not charge any upfront fees when a client hires them to handle a personal injury case.
Instead, the attorney agrees to accept a percentage of the settlement proceeds or jury verdict as payment for legal services. If they are successful, the attorney deducts the fee from the proceeds of the case. If the attorney does not recover any money for the client, the attorney is not paid for their services.
Contingency fees vary, but they typically range from 30 percent to 40 percent. Factors that may impact the amount of a contingency fee include:
- Experience and skills
- Education and special certifications
- Track record for previous cases
- The jurisdiction for the case
- Whether the case goes to trial
- The parties involved in the case
- The type of personal injury case
Some people hire an attorney solely based on how much the attorney charges. However, failing to consider all of the above factors could hurt your chance of recovering fair compensation for your case.
Instead, look for an attorney with extensive experience handling cases similar to your case. Read reviews of the lawyer from previous clients and other attorneys. Check to see what the attorney’s track record is for cases.
It does not matter how little an attorney charges for a contingency fee if that attorney is not able to recover fair compensation for your case.
What Are the Costs of a Personal Injury Case?
In addition to attorneys’ fees, you are responsible for paying the costs of pursuing the injury claim. Examples of the costs of a personal injury case include:
- Court filing fees
- The costs of investigating the claim
- Copy and postage fees
- Costs of obtaining copies of police reports, medical records, and accident reports
- Deposition fees
- Expert witness fees
- Costs of preparing for trial
Many personal injury lawyers in Philadelphia pay the case costs as they incur them. After deducting the contingency fee, the attorney deducts the costs from the settlement proceeds. However, some attorneys bill for costs as they incur the costs, so you could be responsible for paying these expenses as your case progresses.
Before retaining an attorney, ask who is responsible for paying the costs if the attorney fails to recover money for your claim. You could be responsible for reimbursing the attorney for costs even if you do not receive money for your damages.
Why Should I Pay a Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyer to Handle My Case?
Personal injury laws can be difficult to understand. However, having a thorough understanding of the law is essential for winning a case.
The court holds you to the same standard as an attorney if you represent yourself. So, if you make a legal mistake, you are not forgiven because you are not an attorney. For example, if you miss the deadline for filing a lawsuit under Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations because you did not understand the law, you lose your right to pursue a claim.
Additionally, a simple injury case could become complicated if the other party suddenly disputes fault and liability. Finally, the insurance company has an entire team of attorneys, investigators, adjusters, and other professionals protecting its best interest. You deserve to have someone working for you who has your best interest as their sole priority.
Hiring a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer can give you a better chance of recovering the money you deserve. Having an attorney handle your claim also protects you from bad faith insurance practices and the stress of handling a case.
Contact us today for a free consultation. We assist clients throughout Philadelphia including:
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm in Philadelphia Today To Get Help With Your Case
To learn more and get the help you deserve, call Zavodnick & Lasky Personal Injury Lawyers at (215) 875-7030 or contact us online.
You can also visit our law firm at 123 S Broad St #1220, Philadelphia, PA 19109.