After someone has been involved in a legal dispute or after they have been charged or arrested criminally, it is common for them to think, “there is no way I could ever afford a lawyer.” This is an unfortunate thing because it can cause individuals to miss out of the legal representation they deserve. Often, individuals just think lawyers are too expensive and that only wealthy people can afford legal representation. This could not be further from the truth! There are several different methods in which attorneys may charge for their services. Today, we are going to spend some time learning about attorney’s fees.
As with many other professions, some attorneys charge an hourly rate for their services. In many fields of law, this is the standard fee structure. Every attorney will have a different hourly rate. It is important to negotiate and discuss this rate before retaining their services. Some lawyers will charge a different hourly rate depending on what they are doing. For example, legal research may be $100 per hour while a court appearance is $175 per hour.
In a contingency fee arrangement, the attorney is paid based on a percentage of what is awarded in the case. This is the standard fee structure used in personal injury cases. Some attorney’s will not charge anything if no money is awarded. In a contingency fee situation, clients do not have to pay any money upfront making representation highly affordable. Once a case is settled or once a judgment has been awarded, the attorney will take a portion of what the liable party owes you. A fee of one-third or 33 percent is common. This rate varies so it is important to understand what percentage the attorney will take before agreeing to retain their services. Under some agreements, this fee may increase if a settlement is not reached because the case would then go to court. Most personal injury cases settle out of court but it is important to be ready for this in case you and the other party cannot come to an agreement.