How Much Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Cost in California?

How Much Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Cost in California?

Certain milestones in life prompt people to save money–a down payment for a house, an engagement ring, or a European vacation. But saving up to hire a lawyer in the case of a serious accident is not one of them. 

Many personal injury lawyers recognize this reality. For that reason, most personal injury attorneys operate on a contingency fee basis, understanding the financial strain that a personal injury can bring.

There Is No Upfront Cost to Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer

The first step to hiring a California personal injury lawyer is to schedule a consultation. A consultation is a meeting between the lawyer and the prospective client to discuss the client’s situation. If you have been injured in a car accident, a lawyer will want to know details about how the accident occurred and the extent of your injuries. 

At the consultation, the lawyer will want to know everything you know about your situation and will review any documents you might bring with you. Some lawyers charge for this consultation, but many offer clients a free initial case consultation. 

California Personal Injury Lawyers Work on a  Contingency Fee Basis

After suffering an injury in an accident, you will likely be faced with mounting medical bills. Personal injury lawyers do not want to add to your financial strain. That is why they work on a contingency fee basis–they only get paid for their services if they win your case, and you do not have to pay any money upfront. They will work hard to obtain the financial recovery you deserve while you focus on recovering from your injury.

To get paid for their work, the attorney will need to win your case by reaching a fair settlement or winning the case at trial. Generally, personal injury lawyers recover 20 to 50 percent of the client’s total recovery amount. In the legal services agreement, the attorney will state the percentage they will receive from your overall compensation.

Other Lawyers Charge Hourly or a Flat Fee for Their Services

Lawyers also charge for their services by the hour or as a flat fee. A client with a lawyer who charges by the hour may receive invoices with fees that quickly pile up. These hourly fee agreements are the most common billing arrangements when working with a lawyer. 

However, personal injury lawyers typically do not charge by the hour. By charging a contingency fee, they can represent clients who may not otherwise be able to afford their hourly rates, making legal services more accessible to all.

For many clients, a flat fee is preferable to hourly rates. From the client’s perspective, a flat fee arrangement is much more predictable. Flat fee arrangements are typically seen in situations where a lawyer will complete a transaction for a client. For example, a lawyer might charge a flat fee for drafting a prenuptial agreement for a couple who plans to marry. 

Personal injury lawyers typically do not charge flat fees because they do not want to charge you any upfront fees. Most personal injury lawyers believe that a contingency fee arrangement is the best arrangement. Because they do not get paid unless they win, a personal injury lawyer will only take on those cases in which they are confident they can win. And because personal injury lawyers can only get paid if they win, a contingency fee arrangement keeps them working hard to ensure that you recover and that they do, too.

Even though you will not pay upfront fees to cover a lawyer’s work, you will still be responsible for administrative costs. For example, a lawyer must pay certain fees to file a lawsuit on behalf of a client. 

A lawyer might have to make copies of an important document. Or a lawyer might have to travel to a different city to attend a court hearing in person. All of these scenarios involve administrative expenses. As the client, you are responsible for paying them. 

Your legal services agreement will discuss how to pay administrative expenses. It might require you to pay the administrative expenses as they are incurred. Another option is that your lawyer might front the expenses and reimburse themself from the recovery later on.

It Can Cost You More Not to Hire a Lawyer

It’s understandable if you do not like the idea of giving away part of your recovery award to a lawyer. But it will cost you so much more to represent yourself–financially and mentally.

First, it takes expertise to navigate the claims process and the legal system. You have to understand what your claim is worth. Figuring out the value of your claim requires knowledge of the law and the remedies available to you. If you have suffered an injury, you may seek damages. 

Damages are an amount of money intended to compensate you for your losses. They are meant to place you in the financial position you would have been in had the accident not occurred. But you may also be entitled to non-economic damages–an example is damages for your pain and suffering. These damages are intended to compensate you for your personal losses, taking into account how your life has changed since the accident. 

For example, you may be able to recover damages to compensate you for your post-traumatic stress disorder following your accident. 

An experienced lawyer will know how to calculate the value of your claim and how to prove it. Without a personal injury lawyer, you risk dealing solo with insurance companies that minimize payouts to personal injury victims. Without legal representation, you are likely to leave money on the table. 

Most importantly, hiring a lawyer will bring you peace of mind. After an accident, you’ll have a lot on your plate as you focus on your recovery. By allowing a seasoned personal injury lawyer to focus on working to obtain the compensation you need, you will feel at ease.

Contact a California Personal Injury Lawyer to Learn More About Fee Arrangements 

A personal injury lawyer can work tirelessly to help you recover the compensation you deserve. Experienced personal injury attorneys understand the ins and outs of the law and how to navigate the legal landscape successfully. 

If you are ready to hire experienced personal injury lawyers who will work tirelessly to recover the compensation you deserve, schedule a free consultation and learn more about the fee arrangements for personal injury lawyers. 

Contact the Personal Injury Lawyers at The Simon Law Group Today

For more information, please contact an experienced personal injury lawyer at The Simon Law Group to schedule a free initial consultation today. We have three convenient locations in California, including Torrance, Hermosa Beach, and Santa Ana, CA. We also have offices in Phoenix, AZ, and Austin, TX.

We proudly serve Los Angeles County and Orange County, CA, and its surrounding areas:

The Simon Law Group – Torrance, CA Office
2916 W 164th St Second Floor, Torrance, CA 90504
(424) 622-0812 

The Simon Law Group – Hermosa Beach, CA Office
34 Hermosa Ave, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
(424) 722-3209

The Simon Law Group – Santa Ana, CA Office
1327 N Broadway, Santa Ana, CA 92706
(714) 581-8546