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How Much Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Charge?

June 15, 2024 Legal Team

Navigating the aftermath of a personal injury can be daunting. In addition to physical and emotional recovery, there’s the complex realm of legal proceedings to consider. One question that often arises is, “How much does a personal injury lawyer charge?” Understanding the fee structure of legal representation is crucial for anyone seeking justice and compensation after an injury. Let’s delve into the details.

Contingency Fees: The Standard Practice

In the realm of personal injury law, the most common fee arrangement is the contingency fee. This means that instead of paying a fixed hourly rate, the client agrees to pay the attorney a percentage of the compensation received from the case. The key advantage of this arrangement is that clients do not need to pay anything upfront, making legal representation accessible to those who might otherwise be unable to afford it.

The Standard Rate: 1/3

Typically, personal injury lawyers charge a contingency fee of one-third (33.33%) of the final settlement or court award. This percentage may vary slightly depending on the attorney and the specifics of the case, but it’s a widely accepted industry standard.

Exceptions: Going Lower

In certain exceptional cases, particularly those with a high likelihood of success and significant potential compensation, attorneys may be willing to negotiate a lower contingency fee. This could mean reducing the fee to 25% or even lower, depending on the circumstances. Such adjustments are usually made on a case-by-case basis and are subject to the attorney’s discretion.

When Litigation Arises: Increased Fees

The contingency fee structure can change if the case progresses to litigation, meaning a lawsuit is filed and the matter goes to court. In these instances, the attorney’s workload and the complexity of the case typically increase significantly. As a result, the contingency fee may rise to 40% of the final settlement or court award.

Understanding the Increase

The reason for this increase in fees when litigation arises is simple: more work equals more time and resources expended by the attorney and their legal team. Litigation involves various additional tasks such as preparing and filing legal documents, conducting depositions, engaging in discovery (the exchange of information between parties), and representing the client in court hearings and trials.


When considering hiring a personal injury lawyer, understanding the fee structure is essential. The contingency fee arrangement, where the attorney’s payment is contingent upon the outcome of the case, is designed to make legal representation accessible to those in need. While the standard rate is typically one-third of the final settlement or court award, attorneys may be open to negotiating lower fees in exceptional cases. However, it’s important to be aware that fees may increase to 40% if the case progresses to litigation due to the additional work involved. By having a clear understanding of these fee arrangements, individuals can make informed decisions when seeking legal assistance after sustaining a personal injury.