How Do Personal Injury Lawyers Make Money?

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    How Do Personal Injury Lawyers Make Money?
    October 9 2019

    Thinking about hiring a personal injury lawyer in Nevada? Find out how Las Vegas area personal injury attorneys make money – discover what’s involved with fees and expenses and then get in touch with Anthem Injury Lawyers today. Call us at (702) 857-6000 now for a free initial consultation.

    The majority of personal injury lawyers make money by winning their client’s case in court or by settling the case out of court.  When they do this, they often receive a percentage of the money that their clients receive.  This is known as a contingency basis.  However, this is not the only way that personal injury lawyers make money.

    There are a few different ways that personal injury lawyers charge their clients.  These include:

    • Contingency Fee Basis
    • Flat Fee
    • Hourly Fee

    Even though personal injury lawyers can charge their clients via any of these methods, the vast majority of them use the contingency fee model.

    What is a Contingency Fee Agreement?

    A contingency fee agreement is an agreement that is “contingent” upon the outcome.  In the legal world, this means that a client is not responsible for paying anything upfront.

    In this type of arrangement, the lawyer will ask the client to sign a contingency fee agreement.  This is a contract that outlines the terms of the contingency fee arrangement.

    Typically, if no money is recovered from a judgment or settlement, the client will not owe any attorney’s fees.  However, the client may be responsible for expenses if they do not win the case.

    “Expenses” are different from “fees.”  Attorney fees refers to the money that goes to the attorney.  Expenses include things like court costs, filing fees, expert witness fees, copies, faxes, postage, legal research fees, the cost of obtaining medical records and police reports, the cost of preparing trial exhibits, depositions, and court reporters.  Lawyers generally expect to be reimbursed for the expenses that they pay out-of-pocket to develop a case.

    Be sure to ask your lawyer about fees and expenses during your initial consultation.  For other tips on your initial consultation with a personal injury lawyer, see our article: “How to Prepare for Your First Meeting With a Lawyer.”

    Typical Contingency Fees Percentages

    In Nevada, personal injury lawyers typically receive around 1/3 of any amount that is recovered for a settlement that takes place prior to filing a civil lawsuit.  Most cases settle during this “pre-litigation” phase.

    However, if the lawyer has to file a civil lawsuit, most attorneys charge a higher contingency fee.  If your personal injury lawyer has to litigate your case, the percentage that an attorney will receive generally rises to around 40 percent.

    Regulating Contingency Fees

    In general, lawyers are free to set whatever fee arrangement they choose.  However, contingency fees are regulated by your state bar association.

    For example, Nevada Rule of Professional Conduct 1.5 states that “[a] lawyer shall not make an agreement for, charge, or collect an unreasonable fee or an unreasonable amount for expenses. The factors to be considered in determining the reasonableness of a fee include the following:

    (1) The time and labor required, the novelty and difficulty of the questions involved, and the skill requisite to perform the legal service properly;

    (2) The likelihood, if apparent to the client, that the acceptance of the particular employment will preclude other employment by the lawyer;

    (3) The fee customarily charged in the locality for similar legal services;

    (4) The amount involved and the results obtained;

    (5) The time limitations imposed by the client or by the circumstances;

    (6) The nature and length of the professional relationship with the client;

    (7) The experience, reputation, and ability of the lawyer or lawyers performing the services; and

    (8) Whether the fee is fixed or contingent.”

    Additionally, the rule requires contingent fee agreements to be in writing and signed by the client.  The agreement must also state the method by which the fee is to be determined, including the percentage of the recovery and whether expenses are to be deducted before or after the contingent fee is calculated, and whether the client is liable for expenses, regardless of the outcome.

    Get our experienced Las Vegas personal injury lawyers to handle your case when you or someone you love has been the victim of someone else’s negligence: auto accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, boat accidents, drunk driver accidents and more – call (702) 857-6000 today.

    Why Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer is a Good Idea

    When you or someone that you love has been injured, it’s important to speak to a personal injury lawyer who has experience dealing with that particular type of personal injury case.

    “Personal Injury Law” covers a wide variety of cases.  There are different laws and rules to follow for different types of cases:

    • If you were, or a loved one was in a bus accident, there might be a few different parties that could potentially be held responsible for the accident.  For example, a bus driver may be held responsible if the accident was caused by driver error or negligence such as driving under the influence, driver fatigue, or traffic violations.  A bus company might be held accountable for an accident if it was caused by improper vehicle maintenance, mechanical failure, or inexperienced or poorly trained drivers.  A city or state agency may be held liable if the vehicle is owned or operated by a city, county or state government agency such as an RTC bus.  There are also special timelines that may apply.  Claims against government agencies may be subject to additional rules and a shorter statute of limitations during which a claim can be filed.
    • If you’ve been in a medical malpractice case, then you will need to retain the proper types of expert witnesses to testify on your behalf.  There are also special rules that dictate how and when to present an expert witness for consideration.  You should work with an experienced lawyer who knows the right expert to contact and how to correctly submit the expert’s proposed testimony so that the expert is allowed to testify at your trial if necessary.
    • If you’ve been in an Uber/Lyft/or other Rideshare Accident, your lawyer will need to know how to deal with multiple types of insurance companies and policies.  For example, Uber drivers carry their own personal insurance policy; Uber provides $1 million in liability coverage for accidents and collisions, and Uber provides $1 million in uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.  You should work with an experienced rideshare accident lawyer who knows when Uber’s insurance policy kicks in.

    A personal injury lawyer is also invaluable to help guide you through the legal process, help obtain evidence that supports your version of the events that occurred leading up to the accident, and help you prove what really happened.

    Don’t just settle with an insurance company without first speaking to an experienced personal injury attorney.

    Experienced Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorneys

    If you or a loved one has been injured by another party, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney who can give you legal advice, help you protect your rights, and let you know if you have a valid personal injury claim.

    Our personal injury lawyers are experienced at handling all types of motor vehicle accident cases, including car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, bus accidents, and accidents involving pedestrians and bicyclists.

    If you are looking for a law firm with experienced personal injury attorneys, contact Anthem Injury Lawyers today for a free evaluation.  Anything that you discuss with us will be protected by the attorney-client relationship. Our phone number is (702) 857-6000. We offer Free Consultations.

    Our law office is located in Henderson, but we work with clients all over the Las Vegas Valley.

    Published by Anthony Golden

    Attorney Anthony B. Golden (“Tony”) is one of the founding partners of Anthem Injury Lawyers. Tony represents clients in all aspects of personal injury cases, from pre-litigation through jury trials and appeals. Tony has a proven track record of successfully representing clients in trials, arbitration, and appeals, as well as assisting clients in resolving high-value cases in mediation.

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