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What should I look for in contingency fees for a personal injury claim?

Tucson, AZ |

I've seen attorney's percentages around here range from 30 to almost 50%. What is average, and what should I be looking for to know that I'll be getting a good deal?


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Attorney answers 3


The first thing you should know is that these fees are negotiable. That being said, typical fees hover around 33% if the case settles before trial. If it goes to trial, it's not uncommon for a fee of 45%. One thing to keep in mind is this: if you have a good case that any attorney would love to take, you have good leverage to negotiate.

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The "industry standard" for most PI cases is 33 1/3 %. In medical malpractice cases the standard is higher - generally 40%. The difference between the discount fees and the standard fees is generally that the discount fees go up as more work is required, whereas the standard fees generally don't. This can create conflicts. If your fee goes from 25% to 30% as soon as suit is filed, you have a major disincentive to filing suit.

If you have a serious case, shopping for price is not the best approach. Find the best lawyer you can, and more often than not it will pay dividends. The best way to find a lawyer is by referral from a satisfied client or another lawyer. In picking a lawyer look for professional credentials and experience: Martindale-Hubbell rating, certification as a specialist, Avvo rating, listings in Best Lawyers in America, and lectures to continuing legal education seminars.


I agree with the above answers. Like many thngs in life you get what you pay for. When it comes time to legal matters and important things in life shopping for the best deal or for the cheapest is rarely a good thing to do. Look for an attorney that you feel good to have represent you and one that you can trust. Most good lawyers should tell you that the fee will be a certain percentage say 33% but that the final fee should depend on the amount of time the attorney has worked and the overall result and sometimes should be adjusted down.

John M Curtin

John M Curtin


My friend Kevin Garrison makes an excellent point Ultimately, your relationship with the attorney you hire must be one of trust and confidence. Advice that your don't trust is worthless, no matter how much of a discount your purchased it for.

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