A standard contingency is 33% plus expenses before filing a lawsuit. If a lawsuit is filed, the contingency often goes to 40% plus expenses. However, there is no absolute. Make sure you get a fee agreement in writing from whatever attorney you retain.
You need a lawyer.
A very solid approach is to talk to friends and trusted persons in your community who have experienced a similar problem you face to get ideas about lawyers. Ask them who their lawyers were and how they rated the lawyer.
Lawyer referral services are another source of information. Many quality lawyer referral services exist to help you sort through all the basics about the lawyer. Those with the highest ratings that are offered can be a good place to start your specific search.
The best way to decide is by talking to the lawyer. The insight into the lawyer's approach can help you decide if the lawyer is right for you. Whether the lawyer is willing to spend a few hours to be your advisor may show you the lawyer will be aggressive in your case later on. Finally, don't make up your mind about hiring a lawyer until you've met him or her.
Click the Lawyer Search tab on Avvo and look for an attorney in your area.
Finally, you might find my Legal Guide helpful "What Do I Tell My Lawyer"?
Generally, attorneys take 33% plus expenses before filing a lawsuit, or 40% plus expenses after filing a lawsuit. However, there is no hard fast rule. It depends on the difficulty of the case and the attorney involved. An attorney and client can reach their own agreement. Good Luck.
The Florida Supreme Court has established guidelines and limits of attorney's fee in contingency fee cases filed in Florida, which generally are 33 1/3% of any recovery up to $1M prior to a lawsuit being filed and answered (pre-suit) or 40% of any recovery up to $ 1M if settled after a lawsuit is filed and answered (litigation). This is in addition to the litigation costs of pursuing the case, such as costs for filing a lawsuit with the court, costs of service of process, costs of medical records, experts, etc.
These guidelines and limits are only in general terms. Please consult with an attorney in Houston for any such guidelines and limits in Texas.
Based on what you have written, generally contingency fee agreements for personal injury cases are 33.33% prior to a suit being filed and 40.00%+ after the suit has been filed in the appropriate court.
Remember that you may always negotiate with law firm you choose to represent you as to the fees earned by the firm.
There is no "standard" fee, because any agreement as to a "standard fee" between lawyers not at the same law firm would likely violate federal law. Lawyers, like many other professionals and businesses, cannot legally "price fix."
So what does this mean to the person needing legal services? The fee is negotiable. Some lawyers will never negotiate from what they typically charge clients, while others will negotiate based on the type of case. For example, if a lawyer believes that he or she has a high likelihood of winning a case, and the dollar amount of damages are high, then the lawyer might charge a lower percentage than the lawyer would otherwise charge. I have seen rates advertised in Texas of between 33 and 45 percent of a gross recovery (depending on the amount of work to be done and the type of case).