What Percentage Do Lawyers Take for a Personal Injury Case?

What Percentage Do Lawyers Take for a Personal Injury Case?

When you file a personal injury lawsuit and your case is complete, you understandably want to receive your compensation as swiftly as possible. However, before you receive your award, your personal injury lawyer will be paid a percentage of it. 

How large a percentage your attorney keeps will depend on your contingency fee arrangement. With a contingency fee, your lawyer only gets paid if you do.

Before you consider forgoing legal counsel, learn how these fees are calculated and the limitations that control how large these fees can be. You will discover that having a skilled personal injury attorney’s assistance can be immensely valuable, even if their fees do reduce your overall compensation award.

Contingency Fee Arrangements: What You Need To Know

Although exact numbers are hard to come by, contingency fee arrangements are a popular method for personal injury lawyers to charge clients. This fee structure makes the attorney’s fee for their services contingent on the lawsuit’s outcome. 

This arrangement allows you to retain an attorney’s services without putting any money down for a retainer. Your attorney will continue to work on your case until there is a settlement or a verdict. If you reach a settlement or receive a favorable judgment, your lawyer will retain a portion of that amount to cover their fees before returning the remainder to you.

Be Aware: Costs Are Different Than Fees

Just because an attorney offers a contingency fee structure does not mean they work for free. Some attorneys will require you to pay certain litigation costs. These costs can include:

  • The filing fee for your case
  • Costs for copying documents, videos, and photographs
  • A court reporter’s fee for a deposition or other hearing

The Texas personal injury attorney you are considering hiring should disclose whether there are any such costs you must pay. This disclosure should be made in writing before you retain their services.

How Much Can an Attorney in Texas Take for Your Case?

In Texas, state statute generally limits the percentage that a personal injury attorney can take for their fees to no more than 35% of the total recovery. Suppose your case settles for $500,000, and your contingency fee agreement says your attorney gets 35% of your damages award. In this case, your attorney could keep $175,000 as fees.

This general rule has several caveats that you should be aware of. As one example, your attorney can set different percentage rates based on the circumstances of your case, including the stage at which your case is resolved. For instance, your contingency fee agreement could charge 25% of your recovery if your case settles but charge 35% if your recovery comes after a jury trial.

When You Disagree With A Contingency Fee Amount

Once you sign your contingency fee agreement, you will generally be bound to the terms of that agreement. Unless a court finds that the attorney deceived you or that the terms of the agreement are illegal or unethical, you will be held to those terms. This is the reason why it is crucial you read your retainer agreement before signing and hiring an attorney.

If you are concerned that the attorney’s contingency fee percentage is too high, but you still want to retain that attorney’s services, consider asking the attorney to revisit their percentage. Under basic contracting principles, you and your attorney can craft an agreement that meets both of your needs.

When asking your lawyer to consider a lower contingency fee percentage, it is helpful to have additional information available for comparison. 

For example, if your lawyer wants to charge a 35% contingency fee no matter how the case is resolved, they may be inclined to change their position if you point out that similar attorneys use a lower percentage when a case settles.

Ultimately, if you are not happy with the percentage that will be withheld for your attorney’s services, do not hire that attorney. Instead, find one whose skills, experience, and fees more closely match your needs and expectations.

Under Texas Law, your lawyer generally cannot keep more than 35% of your recovery under a contingency fee arrangement. In some cases, the actual percentage may be lower than this. 

Talk with an attorney before you hire them about contingency fee structures and what percentage they intend to retain. Do not be surprised to hear several percentages or to learn of costs you may bear regardless of the outcome of the case.

Armed with this information, you can make a more informed decision about your case’s worth and whether to retain a specific attorney.

Contact the Texas Personal Injury Lawyers of The Law Firm of Alton C. Todd Personal Injury Lawyers for Help Today

Please contact an experienced personal injury lawyer at The Law Firm of Alton C. Todd Personal Injury Lawyers to get a free initial consultation today. We have offices in Friendswood and Galveston, Texas. Call us at (281) 992-8633.

The Law Firm of Alton C. Todd Personal Injury Lawyers – Galveston
2101 Mechanic St. Suite 253
Galveston, TX 77550

The Law Firm of Alton C. Todd Personal Injury Lawyers
312 S. Friendswood Dr.
Friendswood, TX 77546