How much does a personal injury lawyer charge for personal injury cases?
You’re going to have some fairly quantifiable numbers like past medical bills, lost past wages. Those are simple to calculate. It gets dicier when calculating future medical bills and future lost wages. often you have an economist work out the numbers.
Then, there are non-economic damages like pain and suffering. A lot of people think that type of damage is BS but that’s until they see someone in continual pain from an injury or someone unable to walk or hold his baby.
Those are real damages, just hard to quantify. But, the only thing we can do to compensate someone for those damages is to give them money.
A lot of states as part of “tort reform” have limited noneconomic damages to a top number like $250,000. That saves insurance companies a lot of money but how many people would take $250,000 for their ability to walk?
So, the numbers aren’t picked out of the air but some are hard to quantify. Others are simply a matter of adding up the medical bills.
If you are the plaintiff – most personal injury lawyers charge a percentage of settlement or jury verdict ranging from 15% to 40% depending on who the lawyer is.
Many lawyers also agree to front you money for expenses ranging from $ 1000 a month to $ 100000 upfront plus $ 5000 a month depending on the case and the lawyer.
If you are the defense – you will be charged between $ 400 – $ 2400 per hour for consulting and $ 800 – $ 6000 per hour in court depending on who the lawyer is. This is in addition to a retainer ranging from $ 25000 to $ 2.5 Million depending on the case and the lawyer and the defendant.
You can’t just pull numbers out of the air. If it’s a personal injury then there’s a database of how much similar injuries were valued at trial or in settlements.
If it’s something unique to the person then you can hire experts to provide some way to value the injury (loss of livelihood, quality of life, etc.). The bottom line is that you have to tie it into something factual or supportable, otherwise it’s just wishful thinking.
It’s a mixture of what are the civil damages permitted under the applicable statutes and/or laws and how effectively they can present evidence of damages to persuade a jury to award.
Oftentimes, some or all of the damages are formulaic and are based on lost earnings and future earnings. Every lawyer brings with him or her their own personal belief system that values things like mental anguish differently.
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