There are many ways in which a lawyer can get paid for their services. Sometimes that means getting paid no matter what. Other times, they only get paid if they win a case. Keep reading to find out what your options are.
How Much Do Lawyers Get Paid if I Lose My Case?
Some attorneys bill their clients per hour, as well as expenses. Expenses can include postage for documents shipped, printing fees, and court fees. If this is the case, you will likely receive weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly statements. If you lose your case, you still have to pay legal fees, as stated in your contract.
Per Hour Billing
Some attorneys might wait to bill you until the end of the case, and this will not change your fees, whether you win or lose. This situation usually occurs when defending a large corporation or working on a criminal case.
If you have a personal injury case, your lawyer doesn’t usually charge you per hour. These cases often involve regular citizens who can’t afford the high costs of a lawyer. Instead of charging per hour, your lawyer will likely offer a contingency fee agreement.
While contingency fees often benefit the client, not all contingency fee agreements work the same. Some charge a flat rate, meaning the client pays a percentage of the final settlement. A tiered contingency fee means the percentage changes, based on the final settlement. The client might pay 20% of the first $200,000 and 30% of anything higher.
Most contingency plans involve the client paying legal fees only if they win their case. In some cases, the client might have to pay out-of-pocket expenses, as stated above.
What are the Benefits of Contingency Fees?
Contingencies are helpful because it gives your lawyer the incentive to win. They get paid if they win your case. If not, they lose out on everything but their personal expenses. It’s literally a win-win situation.
Knowing Your Options
When you sit down with your lawyer, have them explain their process. Before they get started on your case, they should explain the terms of the contract. You need to know the difference between costs, fees, and expenses. You don’t want any surprises at the end of your case.
Carefully review the retainer agreement before you sign it. Most contingency fees will be in your favor, but make sure before moving forward.
When Would You Need to Pay Attorney Fees?
You may have to pay attorney fees if your contract calls for it. Another situation that calls for payment depends on your state. Your state may have a statute or law requiring the payment of fees by the losing side. If you don’t know what those laws might be, make sure you learn them.
Some federal laws call for the losing side to pay. If you have violated federal law, you may have to pay the other side’s fees. You also have to pay if your attorney filed a lawsuit, knowing there were no grounds. This means that the lawyer filed even though there was no reason to.
What Can I Do to Lower My Legal Costs?
There are a few things you can do to cut your legal costs. First, answer all of your lawyer’s questions honestly and in detail. This helps your lawyer do a better job, which raises the chance of you winning.
Second, make sure you include all information, even if it reflects poorly on you. This information will likely come out in the trial, anyway. If your lawyer knows about it upfront, they can mount a better defense.
We Can Help
If you or a loved one has recently been arrested, contact Blackman Bail Bonds. We can get you out of jail to wait for your trial from home.