What is the going rate for personal injury attorney. Is it a percentage of what you get and how much of a percentage on say 250,

Asked over 4 years ago - Millerton, NY

I need to obtain a lawyer and have talked to one and his rate was 20% of 150,000. another 10% for 250,000 and at the end if the case is rewarded 10000000. it would be 60% of that I just don't think that sounds right to me. wow, my pain and suffering and he's gonna make more than me what are the normal rates please advise. thank you

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Theodore W. Robinson

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Normally, in NY, the rate is 1/3 of the amount recovered, plus the return of any money expended processing the case, called reimbursements for expenses.

    I think you mis-wrote the amount he will receive on $250K. Normally, he would get approximately $83,000. He/she may have used another form which uses a slilding scale instead of a straight 1/3.

    By the way, while I understand you are the one with pain and suffering for the accident you've been in, how would you go about collecting anything if a lawyer didn't do it for you?

    On the other side of the coin, as an attorney for 36 years, I've watched as I took all the risk on the case, did all the necessary work on the case, extended all the money for everything that had to be done and then the client told me she didn't want to settle in the middle of trial when I strongly recommended it because I felt she was going to lose. She lost. As a result, I walked away never getting paid anything for all my work on the case and had to sue her because she refused to pay me all the money I had extended on her behalf.

    In other words, I hope that explains why attorneys charge as they do. They take all the risk, do all the work, extend all the money for the law suit and are doing it in the hope the client will be reasonable and settle it when its suggested, because otherwise, they, and the attorney could lose everything. By the way, Suffolk County is a very conservative county and the juries don't award a great deal of money lots of times. So any attorney who takes on a case in Suffolk is courageous in my opinion. The case I just explained was in Suffolk.

    I hope that explains it a little better for you. Good luck on your case.

  2. Terrence James Cortelli

    Contributor Level 8

    Answered . In New York, attorneys who represent parties in personal injury actions generally work on a contingency fee contract, meaning they get a portion of the award if its successful. At most, an attorney can charge 33 1/3 percent of the net award. If an attorney charges more, it is an ethical violation. In addition, in medical malpractice actions, the fee that an attorney can charge is less and it depends on the total award received.

  3. Robert Edward Barry

    Contributor Level 7

    Answered . The traditional and most common contingency fee is one third or 33 1/3%. I can tell you that for personal injury cases in Arizona, I recommend that you always have a lawyer as soon as possible after the accident. It does make a difference for your net or 'in pocket' recovery. In my experience in AZ practice, not only does having legal representation maximize your in pocket recovery, but it also helps make sure that there are no problems with your case that could cause problems for you in the future. For example, if you do not have a lawyer and settle with the insurance company, your health insurance could sue you if they have a valid right to be reimbursed under the law and you do not pay them back out of settlement.

    A contingency fee is a good fit for many injury claims. It allows for the injured person to have legal representation without having to pay an attorney up front at a time when money is likely a problem due to missed work, not having a car, medical bills or co-pays, or other expenses associated with the accident. The attorney may then advance costs and be paid only out of a successful recovery and the fee is contingent upon a successful recovery.

    Although you may be able to find lawyers that offer a discounted fee, I recommend that you find a lawyerthat you feel comfortable with, that practices in the area of personal injury, or whatever the area of your claim is. When you meet or speak with the lawyer, they should also answer your questions and give you an idea of how the process works. Experience, service, comittment, and many other factors can be much more important that the percentage of the contingency fee. You may even end up with a greater in pocket settlement from an attorney with a higher fee if they deliver better results. I recommend you find a lawyer that answers all of your questions and assures you of how the process will work, and what they can do for you. That can be much more important than the percentage of the contingency fee. I would be very cautious of a lawyer that charges 10 or 20%, as this is significantly lower than the standard.

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