Client handing over files to their lawyer

How Much Does a Lawyer Take From a Settlement?

Personal Injury Contingency Attorney Fees

Most personal injury lawyers charge contingency fees. The great thing about contingency fees is if you fail to recover any compensation for your injury, you do not owe your lawyer for the work they did. Contingency fees allow many people to hire lawyers when they otherwise could not afford to do so. The other interesting thing about contingency fees is you pay the same percentage contingency fee if you hire a lawyer who has never handled an injury case or you hire an expert in the field.

Contingency fee before a lawsuit is filed:

33 1/3% of any recovery up to $1 million

30% of any recovery between $1-2 million

20% of any recovery in excess of $2 million

Contingency fee after a lawsuit is filed:

40% of any recovery up to $1 million

30% of any recovery between $1-2 million

20% of any recovery in excess of $2 million

Contingency fee if all defendants admit liability in their answer to the complaint and request a trial on damages only:

33 1/3% of any recovery up to $1 million

20% of any recovery between $1-2 million

15% of any recovery in excess of $2 million

Additional fee for Appellate Proceedings:

An additional 5% of the total gross recovery

The contingency fee for Federal Tort Claims Acts or claims against the State and its subdivisions under Florida Statute §768.28:

25% of the total gross recovery as to those defendants

Some common questions about personal injury contingency fees:

  • Contingency fees are calculated on the gross recovery. The Gross recovery is the total recovery; the net recovery is the amount the client puts in their pocket after all fees, costs, medical bills, liens, and other deductions are taken.
  • Attorney fees go up when the answer to the lawsuit is served. The standard fee goes up from 33 1/3% to 40%.
  • Costs come out after attorney fees and are in addition to attorney fees.

Personal Injury Costs

At Dismuke Law, we only chargeback costs to clients if there is a recovery. In other words, clients never pay costs unless we recover funds on their behalf.

BEWARE - Some lawyers who work on contingency fees charge costs to their clients win or lose. Look out for that when you hire a personal injury law firm. If you can choose between two otherwise qualified lawyers and one only charge cost, if there is a recovery, it seems common sense that would be the best choice.

BEWARE - Another thing you should look out for with personal injury lawyers is lawyers who charge as “costs” items that should be considered overhead. For example, some lawyers charge clients “costs” for hiring someone to write a demand or review medical records. It doesn’t seem fair for a lawyer to charge additional “costs” for these items when the attorney fee is already so much and should cover simple things like demand writing and record review.

Categories