How Much Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Cost in Louisiana?
Most people in life will inevitably have to seek help from an attorney. Especially when injuries are involved (such as car accidents or workers' comp) or if a significant sum of money stands to be gained in financial compensation.
Yes, many of us will need a lawyer's help at some point, and when we do, the first question that comes to mind is: How much will a personal injury lawyer cost me?
Many worry that they won't be able to afford a personal injury attorney, let alone the cost of medical bills, legal fees, possible property damage, or pain and suffering.
Thankfully, most personal injury attorneys will not charge you for any fees upfront. You can usually seek the legal advice of a Louisiana personal injury attorney without paying a dime for an initial consultation.
Talk To A Personal Injury Lawyer For Free
Nine times out of ten, a personal injury attorney will not charge you for the first consultation. You can reach out to your local personal injury law firm and talk to them about whatever legal matter you need help with — 100% free.
During an initial consultation, the potential client is encouraged to ask about anything related to their situation to evaluate whether the attorney is right for your legal representation.
Now, you might think offering free consultations makes bad business sense, but it's actually the opposite. You see, a personal injury attorney is only as good as the number of clients they can serve. And as a potential client, it's in your best interest to "interview" a lawyer to make sure they are a good match.
Bruscato Law offers a free case review to investigate your personal injury case. We can discuss your options at zero cost to you. You only pay if we get you results.
How Lawyers Charge for Their Services
Just as there is a range of doctors and medical specialists in the healthcare industry, there are many types of lawyers in the field of law — each with their own methods of charging for their services.
It used to be that the generalist lawyer could accommodate a wide range of cases and client needs, but for the most part, those times are long gone. Today, legal specialists are the new norm. Tax lawyers, immigration lawyers, criminal lawyers, business lawyers, accident lawyers, and personal injury lawyers are just a small selection of the specific practice areas.
Here are a few common ways personal injury lawyers charge for their services.
Most Personal Injury Attorneys Work on a Contingency Fee Agreement
As I mentioned in the introduction, most personal injury attorneys won't charge you for an initial consultation. You can talk to a lawyer in detail about your legal situation, get their professional advice, and see if they are a good fit for your legal interests.
If, after your initial consultation, you decide to hire the personal injury attorney, they will likely charge for their services on a contingency fee basis.
In a contingent fee agreement, the lawyer's fee will be deducted from the client's case's final settlement. The fee can also come from the damages awarded after the verdict in the event the case goes to court.
Most lawyers receive a contingency fee percentage of approximately one-third of any settlement or award (the attorney's fees typically range between 30 to 40 percent).
Contingency fee arrangements enable injury victims to seek legal representation against insurance companies without paying any fees until the case is over. According to Louisiana Revised Statute § 37:218 lawyers have to put contingency fees arrangements in writing to document what they plan to do and how they will communicate with you about it.
Hourly Fee Basis
Many lawyers still operate on an hourly fee basis. Since most lawyers charge up to several hundred dollars per hour, it's not uncommon for a client to rack up a high hourly bill in a short period of time.
In an hourly fee arrangement, the attorney will typically make the client pay a retainer fee at the beginning of the professional relationship. This is essentially a form of advance payment from the client that charges for a predetermined number of work hours per month.
Flat-fee billing is a common form of payment for more discrete, high-volume service offerings. This typically means processing formal documentation, drafting a will, patent, or copyright application. Clients may also pay a flat fee for a routine, procedural criminal matter (such as a first time DUI, for example).
That said, personal injury attorneys work on contingency, not hourly or flat-fee. In my firm, Bruscato Law, we use contingency fee arrangements with our clients, which means they pay nothing upfront. Contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced accident attorney in Monroe.
Other Costs and Expenses in a Personal Injury Claim
Ok, so now you know that personal injury lawyers operate on a contingency basis. But what are the costs and fees involved in a personal injury claim?
Before we explore the expenses that might be necessary to win your case, you need to understand the difference between legal fees and costs:
Fees are wages that are paid to the attorney for their services. As you learned, this can come in the form of an hourly rate, a flat fee, or a contingency fee percentage.
Costs are expenses required to advance the client's case. Travel expenses, court filing fees, hiring witnesses, and copy costs, to name just a few examples.
Different lawyers will charge differently for the associated costs of your case. They may charge as costs are incurred, or they might simply keep track of all expenses and deduct as part of their contingency fee from the final settlement amount.
Other examples of standard legal costs include:
- Obtaining medical records & police reports
- Expert witness fees
- Filing fees
- Hiring investigators and experts
- Trial exhibits
- Court filing fees
- Court reporters
- Court costs
Additionally, if a settlement is made with the insurance company, there will typically be medical expenses to be paid.
Personal injury lawsuits can be costly. Indeed, many of these costs are only relevant if the case is taken to court. This is actually quite unlikely in a personal injury case, as cases are typically settled out of court.
Your lawyer will receive the settlement check after the case has come to a close. At this point, they'll contact you and go over an itemized list of all costs, fees, and expenses related to your case. They'll then deduct those fees, along with the legal fee for their work, and provide you with the remaining settlement value.
Don't Let Cost Keep You From Taking Legal Action for Your Personal Injury Case
If you're an injured person, whether from a car accident, slip and fall, or a motorcycle accident, legal representation is just a phone call away. Remember, you need not pay anything for your first consultation.
Contact Bruscato Law Firm today to schedule your free case evaluation and find out how much your personal injury claim is worth.