Attorney Fee Arrangements
If you need to hire an attorney, you might be concerned about being able to afford one. Depending on the type of case, the law firm involved, and other factors, the amount of money you end up paying a lawyer can vary.
That being said, you should be aware of a few common types of attorney fee arrangements if you are considering hiring a lawyer.
Types of Attorney Fee Arrangements
As the name implies, an attorney simply charges a fee upfront and collects it. The basic idea is to calculate how much time and work a certain case might take, then charge that at the outset and get paid right away.
This kind of fee arrangement is common in criminal cases. It may also be used in some other types of representation, such as for drafting a will, incorporating, or making an estate plan. Essentially, a lawyer with experience in these areas can generally guess how long these types of services might take and charge for their time accordingly.
A lawyer can also charge by the hour for their time and assistance. A case that takes longer to complete to your satisfaction may cost more money because the lawyer spends more hours on it.
Retainer fees are more of a deposit and predictor of a future need for representation. When you have an attorney on retainer, you pay them a certain amount of money beforehand and can get legal services from them when needed until that money runs out. Usually, a retainer fee will be the hourly fee multiplied by a certain number of hours. This gives you an attorney that is ready to handle any legal matter for you as soon as it comes up.
For some types of cases, a lawyer may charge a statutory fee. This is a fee that has been limited by an area’s statute or regulation. In some practice areas, a lawyer may only charge so much for their services, such as for workers’ compensation cases. The Florida Statutes § 440.34 lists approved rates for an attorney’s services for legal proceedings about workers’ compensation.
In some situations, a person does not pay their legal fees directly. Someone with insurance may be represented by that company in legal matters and may pay a reduced fee to the insurer’s lawyer. This is not to be confused with a pro bono case, where lawyers work without charging someone.
Contingency fees are a type of attorney fee arrangement that is common in personal injury cases. Essentially, the contingent factor involves whether the client wins their case or not. A lawyer may take the client’s case and pursue damages on their behalf on the premise that they will get paid if they win the case.
The client is aware that the lawyer is entitled to a portion of the damages recovered. How much the attorney charges for a contingency fee is often based on how difficult it might be to achieve the desired result. A case where it may be hard to recover damages might result in a higher percentage of the reward going to the lawyer. In cases where the attorney is not successful, and no compensation is recovered, the client owes nothing.
There is also the modified contingency fee arrangement. This combines the contingency fee and hourly fee arrangements, but it keeps charges for both lower. So, the hourly fee would be less than a normal hourly fee, the contingency fee percentage would be lower, but a client would have to pay both.
You Can Discuss Payment Arrangements with a Law Firm Representative
Knowing more about attorney fee arrangements can help you make the right decision when you need legal assistance. A lawyer is not a requirement for pursuing personal injury damages, but one can help you by handling your case and fighting for the compensation you need. Our law firm would be glad to talk to you about your legal options and our fee arrangements.
Get a Free Consultation with One of Our Team Members
If you or a loved one suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to collect damages. Call (954) 633-8270 and ask for a free consultation today. The Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato can help you learn more about your legal options, and we do not charge you any attorney’s fees unless you receive the compensation that you need. Call now.