What Does it Cost to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer in St. Petersburg, FL?

Dealing with a personal injury case can get tricky and often takes a lot of time. That’s why lots of folks decide to get help from personal injury lawyers. These lawyers are experts who know all about the legal steps and can guide you through them. 

If you’re in Florida and got hurt, you might be thinking, “How much will a personal injury lawyer cost me for my case?” Understanding how personal injury lawyers in Florida usually charge for their help is crucial.

Different Ways to Pay

Different Ways to Pay

When you hire a personal injury lawyer, they can charge you in different ways, including the following  methods: 

Hourly Rate 

The lawyer charges a set amount for every hour they work on your case. They keep track of their time, write down what they did, and then bill you regularly. 

Sometimes, they might ask for a ‘retainer fee’ upfront. A retainer acts as a deposit that the attorney uses to cover their bills until it runs out. Then, they’ll send you a bill each month. The Florida Rules say these hourly fees have to be fair.

Fixed Rate 

You and your lawyer can agree on a one-time fixed rate for all their work. This happens often when a lawyer writes a will for someone or performs a singular task for a client. 

Contingency Fees

With contingency fees, the lawyer only gets paid if you win your case or settle it. The amount they get is a percentage of what you win. You and your lawyer agree on this percentage before they start working on your case.

While hourly fees are more common in criminal and family court cases, personal injury cases often use contingency fees.

Understanding Contingency Fees in Florida Personal Injury Cases

When you hire a personal injury lawyer in Florida, they will likely work on a ‘contingency fee’ basis. This means they only get paid if you win your case or settle it. The amount they get depends on how much money you receive. 

The Rules of Professional Conduct govern contingency fees and what a lawyer can charge in the following ways before a lawsuit:  

  • 33 1/3% (about one-third) of any money up to $1 million.
  • Plus, 30% of any money between $1 million and $2 million.
  • And 20% of any money over $2 million.

If you get money after the other side answers the lawsuit or if they don’t answer on time, the fees change in the following ways during a lawsuit: 

  • 40% of any money up to $1 million.
  • Plus, 30% of any money between $1 million and $2 million.
  • And 20% of any money over $2 million.

Rule 4-1.5 of the Rules of Professional Conduct intends to make sure the fees are fair. The lawyer can’t charge more than these amounts without the court’s approval.

Besides the contingency fee, your lawyer might also have other expenses like filing fees, costs for expert witnesses, and more. Usually, the lawyer pays these costs first and then takes them out of your settlement or award. If you don’t win your case, you often don’t have to pay these expenses back.

What do Personal Injury Lawyers Do?

Personal injury attorneys work really hard to get their clients the money they deserve for their injuries by doing the following: 

  • Figuring out how the injury happened and who’s responsible.
  • Checking all the insurance details and file claims.
  • Working with experts to show how much the injury cost you, both in money and other ways.
  • Investigating whether you should get extra money (punitive damages) because someone was careless or malicious.
  • Communicating with insurance companies and the people who caused the injury to try to settle the case.
  • Complying with deadlines for filing a lawsuit.
  • If needed, represent you in court.
  • Preparing for trial

Every injury case is different, but your lawyer’s main goal is to make sure you’re treated fairly and get the money you need.

Why Do Personal Injury Lawyers Use Contingency Fees?

People who are hurt often can’t work and don’t have extra money to hire a lawyer. But everyone should be able to have a good lawyer. That’s where contingency fees come in. You don’t have to pay your lawyer until you get money for your injury.

Contingency fees mean the lawyer and client are in it together. The lawyer only gets paid if you get money. And the more money you get, the more they get. This motivates the lawyer to work hard to get the best outcome for you.

Fees and Costs

It’s important to know the difference between fees and costs. Fees are the money you pay your lawyer for helping with your case. Costs are the extra money needed for your case to move forward. 

Examples of costs you might see include:

  • Court costs: The cost of filing your case with the court. 
  • Expert witness fees: If you need an expert to help in your case, this is what you pay them.
  • Deposition costs: The cost of deposition transcripts. 
  • Administrative expenses: These are everyday costs like making copies and sending mail.
  • Investigation costs: Money spent to find important information and obtain medical records.

Even though your lawyer might pay these costs initially, you usually have to pay them back later. So, when you’re thinking about a personal injury lawsuit, it’s good to know about both the fees and costs associated with your claim.  

Why Hire a St. Petersburg Personal Injury Lawyer

If you’re looking for someone to stand up and fight for your rights after an injury, Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers are here for you. Reach out to them today to get a dedicated team that will work tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve at (727) 349-1728.