If you have been injured in an accident or other situation that involves another party (dog bite, auto accident, drunk driver accident, medical malpractice & more), Anthem Injury Lawyers recommends that you contact a personal injury lawyer. You may get in touch with our Las Vegas firm by calling (702) 857-6000.
If you’ve been injured by another party, you might be considering working with a personal injury lawyer.
There is no shortage of personal injury lawyers in Las Vegas. You can’t drive down the street without seeing a personal injury billboard or turn on the TV without seeing a commercial for one.
You might be thinking about hiring one. This is a very good idea! See our article, “10 Reasons to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer,” for ten reasons why.
If you’re thinking about hiring a lawyer, it’s only natural to wonder about the lawyer’s fees. Exactly how does a personal injury lawyer in Las Vegas (or elsewhere) get paid? And if they take a percentage, what percentage of your money does that lawyer receive?
Different Types of Attorney Fees Agreements
If you are wondering how you would pay a personal injury lawyer, the information we’ve collected here can help. First, it is important to note that there are many different types of fee arrangements that lawyers use. These include:
- Flat fee – Some lawyers will charge one flat fee for a service. This type of agreement is more common for simple or routine things like a bankruptcy, will, or uncontested divorce.
- Statutory Fee – In some cases, there may be a statute or law that specifies what fee a lawyer should get for a certain type of case. In other cases, a court may set and approve a fee that you pay. These types of fees will sometimes occur in probate or bankruptcy cases..
- Hourly rate – Here a lawyer will charge you for each portion or portion of an hour that the lawyer works on your case. For example, if your attorney’s fee is $100 per hour and he or she works three and a half hours on your case, you will pay $350.
- Retainer – Here, a lawyer is paid a set fee upfront. This upfront payment is often based on the lawyer’s hourly rate and the amount of work he or she expects to do on your case. A retainer is usually placed in a special bank account. The lawyer will generally deduct the cost of services from that account as they earn that amount. Some retainer fees are non-refundable. A retainer fee may mean that your lawyer is “on-call” to handle your legal problems over a specific period of time. Since a retainer arrangement can mean several different things, make sure to have the lawyer explain the retainer fee agreement in detail.
- Contingency fee basis – In this type of payment arrangement, a lawyer will receive a percentage of the amount that is awarded in the case. If you lose the case, the lawyer does not receive a fee; however, you may be responsible for expenses, such as filing fees, court costs, and expert witness fees. This type of arrangement is often used in personal injury lawsuits or other cases where there is a large sum of money involved.
- Mixed of hourly rate and contingency fee – In this type of case, lawyers charge a reduced hourly fee in exchange for a reduced percentage of any judgment or final settlement that you receive.
- Sliding scale contingency fee – In some contingency fee arrangements, the percentage that you pay to your lawyer will depend on how far the case actually progresses. For example, you will pay one amount if your case settles out of court and a higher amount if your lawyer has to go to court on your case.
Contingency Fee Agreements
In personal injury cases, contingency fee arrangements are very common. However, the contingency fee percentage that each lawyer charges can vary a great deal.
To determine the appropriate fee, a lawyer will generally consider:
- Time – A lawyer will consider the amount of time he or she has to spend on your case.
- Office overhead – A lawyer must pay all of his or her bills and maintain a staff to work on your case.
- Ability, skills, and reputation – A lawyer can take into account the time that he or she has spent in his or her field and his or her reputation within the community.
- The Attorney-Client Relationship – If there is an ongoing relationship between the parties, the lawyer may charge less for services than he or she would for a first-time client who is only going to need legal services on a one-time basis.
The use of contingency fees is governed by your state bar association. In Nevada, the Nevada Rule of Professional Conduct 1.5 sets out the factors to be considered in determining the reasonableness of a lawyer’s fees:
- the time and labor involved, the novelty and difficulty of the questions involved, and the skill requisite to perform the legal service properly;
- the likelihood, if apparent to the client, that the acceptance of the particular employment will preclude other employment by the lawyer;
- the fee customarily charged in the locality for similar legal services;
- the dollar amount involved and the results obtained;
- the time limitations imposed by the client or by the circumstances;
- the nature and length of the professional relationship with the client;
- the experience, reputation and ability of the lawyer or lawyers performing the services; and
- whether the fee is fixed or contingent.
In Nevada, a contingent fee agreement must be in writing and signed by the client. The contingent fee 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.
Typically in Nevada, personal injury lawyers charge around 33 1/3 percent 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 typical percentage is around 40 percent.
It is important to note that these are just averages—you should speak to your individual attorney about the fee that he or she charges.
Free Personal Injury Case Consultations
No matter what method your lawyers uses to bill his or her clients, it’s highly likely that he or she offers free initial consultations. This gives you the opportunity to ask the lawyer questions about your case and the legal process and find out how it works. This is the time to figure out if the law firm you are meeting with is the right one for you. You should feel assured that anything you discuss with the attorney at the consultation will be treated as confidential information. Here are some tips for How to Prepare for Your First Meeting With a Lawyer.
Experienced Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorneys
If you or a loved one was injured by another party, you should seek legal advice from an experienced personal injury lawyer. Only an actual personal injury lawyer will know how to handle your case. He or she will know how to gather information and build your case so you have the best chance of a satisfactory outcome. It’s through extensive education and training that your personal injury lawyer can represent you in a variety of cases in the Las Vegas area. Anthem Injury lawyers provide exceptional representation because they are highly experienced at dealing with all types of personal injury claims—from car accident cases to medical malpractice, to dog bite cases, we have you covered.
Our team is ready to advise you about your legal options and fight for you to get the compensation that you deserve.
Contact us today for a Free Consultation. Our law firm is located in Henderson, but we work with clients all over the Las Vegas, Nevada area. Call us at (702) 857-6000 or fill out our online contact form to schedule your Free Evaluation.