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How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Hazleton Personal Injury Lawyer?

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Personal injury cases are growing increasingly common these days. In fact, according to recent reports from the legal sector, up to half a million personal injury lawsuits are now filed each year. From traffic accidents and medical malpractice to product liability and work-related accidents, the average person’s chances of sustaining some type of personal injury are fairly high.

People tend to face exorbitant medical expenses after falling victim to someone else’s negligence. Missed time from work and the resulting lost wages place them under even more financial strain. All the while, they’re struggling to recover from their injuries and return to their normal lives. Those who caused their injuries aren’t always willing to accept responsibility.

All that leaves many people seeking help from a Hazleton personal injury lawyer. Of course, the cost of hiring an attorney is a major concern, especially with so many other financial matters weighing on a person’s shoulders. If you’re thinking of turning to an attorney for help with a personal injury claim, the following information can help you better understand the expenses involved.

How Do Personal Injury Attorney Fees Work?

Hazleton personal injury lawyer writing down a client's caseMost personal injury lawyers handle accident cases on a contingency fee basis. That means their fees are contingent upon winning your case. If you win through a trial or a settlement, the attorney will take a percentage of your compensation. In the event you don’t win the case, the lawyer will waive his or her fee.

How Much Is a Contingency Fee?

In general, personal injury lawyers’ contingency fees for personal injury cases range from 30 to 45 percent of their clients’ total settlement amounts. On average, hiring a personal injury lawyer costs 33 percent. For example, if you’re awarded $100,000 in a personal injury settlement, your attorney would take about one-third of that, or around $33,333.

Contingency fees can vary based on several factors. Those include the type of case at hand and its complexity. How much work the attorney and his or her legal team have to do to strengthen your case will probably affect your fee as well. Whether the case actually goes to trial or is settled out of court is likely to impact the percentage, too.

A personal injury lawyer may charge you less than the norm if your case is fairly straightforward. On the other hand, if proving who is at fault for your injuries entails a great deal of research and a lengthy trial, your attorney’s fee may fall on the higher end of the spectrum.

How Are Contingency Fees Paid?

As mentioned, with a contingency fee, you don’t have to pay a Hazleton personal injury attorney upfront. Once you receive compensation for your injuries, you’ll pay your attorney a percentage of the amount you’re awarded. This percentage should be agreed upon before proceeding with your case.

After being awarded compensation, the settlement check will most likely go to your lawyer. The attorney will pay those first if there are any liens against your settlement, like unpaid medical bills.

Then, the Hazleton personal injury lawyer’s fee will be deducted. Other expenses related to your case may also be taken out of the settlement. After all applicable fees and expenses have been paid, you’ll receive the remainder of your compensation.

Other Personal Injury Case Expenses to Keep in Mind

Personal injury expenses in Hazleton, PAIt’s important to understand that attorney fees aren’t the only expenses that arise in personal injury cases. Filing fees are common additional charges. Those are the costs of filing the paperwork to get your trial underway. You may also need to pay for the cost of acquiring copies of your medical records, police reports, and other documents that are relevant to your case.

If your attorney enlists the help of investigators to prove your personal injury lawsuit, their fees will also enter the mix. Stenographer’s services for pre-trial depositions, expert witnesses’ fees, postage for mailed correspondence, and the costs of creating exhibits for trial are also common charges. Any travel expenses for research, interviews, and other matters will also be added to your bill.

In most cases, personal injury attorneys cover those expenses as they crop up. Then, they take their reimbursements out of their clients’ settlements. Remember, these charges are separate from lawyers’ basic fees. The more expenses your case incurs, the smaller your portion of the settlement will be.

Am I Responsible for Expenses If My Case is Lost?

We’ve already established that on a contingency basis, you won’t have to pay an attorney fee if you lose your case. What about those other potential expenses, though? This portion of the cost of a personal injury case can be handled in a few ways.

Your lawyer may not expect reimbursement for additional expenses if you don’t receive a settlement. That may also be true if your compensation doesn’t cover the extra expenses incurred. On the other hand, an attorney may agree to split those costs with you. Some personal injury attorneys require full payment of extra expenses regardless of whether clients win their cases. Be sure to discuss this with your lawyer in advance so you’ll know what to expect.

What Is the Average Personal Injury Settlement in Hazleton, PA?

Personal injury settlement amounts vary greatly. They can range from a few thousand dollars to millions of dollars. Several factors affect the outcomes of personal injury cases, such as the type and severity of the plaintiff’s injuries, whether they’re temporary or permanent, and the medical expenses stemming from the accident.

Additional considerations may also enter the mix. Those include how much physical pain the accident caused the plaintiff and whether he or she experienced emotional and psychological damage. The extent to which the injuries will alter the plaintiff’s life moving forward is factored into the settlement, too. Whether the plaintiff is found partially responsible for his or her injuries can likewise have an impact on the damages awarded.

Courts also look at the defendants’ roles in personal injury cases. If an insurance company is believed to have intentionally shortchanged an accident victim, the compensation may well be higher than the norm. If it’s proven that an employer knowingly placed workers in danger, the employer would likely be judged more harshly.

At the same time, the type of case can make a difference. For instance, medical malpractice settlements are often larger than those for car accidents. Product liability cases tend to settle for more than slip and fall injuries. Again, though, multiple factors are taken into account, and each personal injury case is unique.

Can the At-Fault Party Be Held Accountable for Attorney Fees and Other Costs?

In most situations, the answer here is no. If you hire a personal injury attorney and proceed with your case, all the resulting expenses will be taken out of your settlement. That being said, judges sometimes order responsible parties to pay for attorney fees and other costs. This will depend on the circumstances surrounding your case, the laws in your area, and certain other factors. It’s rare for responsible parties to be held accountable for those expenses.

Is Hiring a Hazleton Personal Injury Lawyer Worth the Cost?

On average, the cost of hiring a personal injury lawyer in Hazleton, PA, is about 33 percent of the compensation the client receives. Paying 30 percent or more of a settlement may sound a bit steep to some people. Potentially facing those other added expenses is certainly an intimidating prospect as well. Because of that, many people wonder if hiring a personal injury lawyer is truly worth the cost.

Hiring an attorney is well worth the investment for most people who’ve sustained a personal injury and faced the aftermath. Having legal representation on your side greatly improves your chances of winning your case and receiving fair compensation for your injuries. Even after factoring in legal fees and other expenses, the cost is probably far less than the medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages you’re facing.
If you were involved in an accident in Hazleton and need help with your personal injury claim, the Hazleton personal injury attorneys at Munley Law are here to help. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation. There is no fee unless we win your case.

    Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys

    197 N Cedar St,
    Hazleton, PA 18201

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