What You Need to Know About How Much a Personal Injury Lawyer Takes From a Settlement

In California, a personal injury attorney will typically not charge an hourly rate for their services but rather charge a contingency fee. A contingency fee is a form of payment to a lawyer for their services, usually following a final settlement. Here’s what you need to know about how much personal injury lawyers take from a settlement.

A common contingency fee in California is 33.33% or ⅓ of the settlement amount awarded by the court. In California, the typical maximum rate is 40% if the case was settled before going to trial. However, this percentage can range from 25%-75% depending on the circumstances of a given case. Factors such as the personal injury attorney’s level of experience, whether or not the case goes to trial, and the complexity of the case can all influence the percentage of the settlement an attorney requires. However, an attorney’s rate can be negotiated. If an attorney loses or is unable to obtain money for their client, she or he will not require a contingency fee for their services.

What Circumstances Alter the Cost of a Personal Injury Attorney

While there are many attorneys that will charge 33.33% of the settlement amount awarded by the court, certain claims may alter the percentage paid to the personal injury attorney. The following are common costs associated with these claims:

  • Police reports
  • Filing and postage
  • Investigator fees
  • Expert witness fees
  • Medical records fees
  • Trial exhibits and deposition fees

If a personal injury attorney initially covered the costs needed to pursue their client’s claim, their rate percentage may increase to 45%-60% of their client’s settlement/verdict. In addition, a client’s case will be more costly if taken to trial. The longer the case is drawn out, the more likely the client will have to pay an increased percentage to their personal injury attorney after the court reaches a settlement.

Related: Should I Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?

The Maximum Rate for a Personal Injury Attorney

As mentioned above, a California personal injury attorney will typically charge a contingency fee of 33.33% of the settlement awarded, with a maximum of 40% if the claim was settled before having to go to trial.

Although some instances may influence this rate and cause it to increase, more than 55% is usually unreasonably high. However, it is important to consider that although a more experienced personal injury attorney may charge a higher contingency rate than a less experienced attorney who charges the standard 33.33%, more experienced attorneys are often able to win settlements much higher. It is important to consider one’s circumstances to evaluate which attorney is right for their specific case.

Related: How to Calculate a Personal Injury Settlement Value

Contact Us

If you have any more questions on how much personal injury lawyers take from a settlement, contact us. Get your free consultation with one of our experienced Personal Injury Attorneys in California today! We won’t charge you a dime unless you win your case!