A personal injury lawyer in Minnesota typically gets paid on a contingency fee basis. They only apply a fee if you win your case. If you don’t win your case, then you do not owe any attorney’s fees. If you do win your case, you pay the lawyer a percentage of your award. A contingency fee is designed to keep you from paying out-of-pocket fees up front.
The fee percentage usually ranges between 30 and 40 percent. The percentage can be less or more depending on when a settlement is reached, or whether a settlement is never reached but an award is won at trial.
How much you pay the attorney depends on the circumstances of your case, the value of your case, and the attorney you hire. Not all law firms work on a contingency fee basis.
What Does ‘Winning a Case’ Mean in a Personal Injury Claim?
Winning your case usually means one of two things:
1. Negotiating a Settlement
You negotiate a settlement with the at-fault party. Their insurance company may be liable for your medical expenses, lost wages, or non-economic damages such as extensive pain and suffering, loss of consortium, or emotional distress.
If the at-fault party is uninsured or underinsured, you may file a claim directly against the liable party.
2. Filing a Lawsuit in Court
If the liable party does not admit fault or the insurance company denies your claim, you may file a lawsuit against the liable parties and pursue your case in court. You may also file a lawsuit if you are not satisfied with the insurance company’s settlement offer.
In either case, a lawyer who applies a contingency-based fee only gets paid when you win your case.
Personal Injury Expenses While Pursuing a Case
Although a lawyer does not charge fees when losing a case, they almost always charge for expenses they incurred while pursuing a case. The expenses vary depending on your case.
Examples of expenses a personal injury attorney may charge you for include:
● Filing fees
● Serving the parties
● Court reporter fees
● Transcript fees
● Expert witness fees
● Copying costs
● Police reports
● Medical records
● Investigator fees and expenses
● Postage costs
● Trial exhibits
Fees in the Attorney-Client Agreement
Before your lawyer represents you in a personal injury case, you will both enter into a written agreement. Among other items, the agreement will include charges that you can expect for services rendered.
Some fees outlined in the agreement may include:
The attorney may charge you a fixed amount for a particular type of personal injury case. An attorney who takes on the same type of case multiple times may assign a fixed fee to your case if it is similar.
This type of fee arrangement is often used in personal injury cases. The contingency fee also includes the percentage that the attorney receives if you win your case.
The agreement also includes costs and fees associated with your case. Your representation agreement should specify the purpose of the fee.
Changing Personal Injury Lawyers During Litigation
If you decide to change lawyers during a case or drop your lawsuit, your original lawyer may charge you for the time they put into the case as well as any expenses for pursuing your case.
If you are current with any payments you owe to your current lawyer, then switching lawyers may not be an issue. You will need to finalize what you owe the lawyer according to your attorney-client agreement.
You may not be able to switch lawyers in a lawsuit depending on how far along the case is. A judge may overturn your decision if the court case is too far along in the litigation process.
Make sure you understand the legal process and the attorney-client agreement before you switch to a new lawyer.
Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer in Minnesota Today
If you or a loved one were recently injured in an accident, you may want to explore your legal options and file a case against the at-fault party. JD Haas & Associates, PLLC offers legal assistance for victims of personal injury accidents in Minnesota.
If you need answers to your questions, then call us at 952-345-1025 to schedule a free case review.