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How Much Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Cost?

In the aftermath of a motor vehicle accident, premises liability (slip & fall) accident, or another type of personal injury, the injured party has a legal right to pursue compensation. The harms and losses from the underlying injury or accident, including medical bills, lost wages, and legal costs, can often seem daunting and difficult to quantify. If you or a loved one has been injured, the last thing you should worry about is how to pay for an attorney who will fight to protect your rights and interests. Read on to explore typical costs associated with legal representation and find resources to aid in your search for an experienced personal injury lawyer.

personal injury lawyer cost

How much do personal injury lawyers charge per hour?

Our approach to representation varies from that of a traditional law firm. Our clients receive prompt, professional service from experienced lawyers who do not bill by the hour. Rather, our attorneys are compensated directly by the insurance company after winning your case.

Each client can expect regular communication with their attorney with no associated costs. As a result, we can establish trusted attorney-client relationships that allow for the best possible outcomes.


How and when does a personal injury lawyer get paid?

The at-fault party's insurance company is typically responsible for paying out your settlement or judgment. When a settlement or judgment is obtained in your favor, the agreed-upon fee is deducted from that payment after any outstanding liens or other debts are paid. You are not responsible for any payments before a settlement or judgment, nor will you be expected to pay for services beyond what was agreed to at the time you retained our firm to represent you.


How much does a personal injury lawyer get paid?

The percentage that a personal injury lawyer can receive through a contingency fee agreement typically ranges between 25 and 40 percent, with 33.3 percent being the most widely accepted rate. In other words, the legal representation fee depends on the amount received through settlement or judgment and is not a fixed cost. 


What is a contingency fee?

Muller Brazil utilizes contingency fees rather than standard hourly rates. Our firm will not receive attorney's fees unless the client receives monetary recovery through a settlement or judgment. Our team of professionals agrees to work on your case and pursue compensation for your injuries and losses for a portion of any potential recovery.


How most contingency fees are calculated

In most contingency fee agreements, your lawyer will agree to pay all expenses that he or she feels are necessary to assure that your lawsuit will be decided in your favor, with the expectation that these expenses will be repaid once the claim has been settled. These expenses include items such as (1) filing fees; (2) deposition costs; (3) locating and retaining expert witnesses; and (4) obtaining copies of accident reports and medical records.

As an example, suppose you were involved in a car accident claim. You may be wondering how much to expect from your car accident after fees. Your lawyer sends a demand letter to the other driver's insurance company, and a settlement of $90,000 is reached. Assuming a 33.3% contingency fee, your attorney will receive approximately $30,000. It is important to carefully review your contract for legal services and speak with your attorney about any confusion regarding contingency fees.


What happens if I don't win my case?

Our clients never receive bills and do not pay anything before obtaining a favorable settlement or judgment. The client is not responsible for any fees if no favorable outcome is reached. This arrangement allows for no risk on the client's part and removes the burden of an upfront retainer fee.

When our firm agrees to represent a client in a particular matter, we believe that a positive result is likely and invest our time and resources to help the client recover. Our human-centered approach prevents wasteful billable hours and yields personal and honest representation.



The sliding scale contingency fee agreement is an alternate option to the standard 33.3 percent agreement in which the lawyer's percentage of compensation decreases as the number of recoveries increases. This type of agreement benefits clients with a higher potential for large recoveries because it allows them to take home more money than with a standard fee. It is important to discuss any potential sliding scale contingency agreements with our firm before signing a contract so that you are comfortable with the rate of compensation that your legal representative will receive.



A few other types of fee structures are commonly used, including a flat fee and an hourly rate.

Flat Fees

A flat fee is a set amount that is billed regardless of the outcome of your case and the extent to which legal services were provided.


Hourly Rates

An hourly rate agreement requires the client to pay for all time and resources incurred during representation at an agreed-upon hourly rate.


Combination Fees

Some law firms offer a combination of the above fee structures, depending on the case. A combination fee structure combines a flat fee for certain services with an hourly rate for other services.



It is important to note that legal fees and costs are not the same. Costs refer to out-of-pocket expenses such as filing fees, court reporter fees, expert witness fees, etc. In most cases, the client will pay these costs in addition to the attorney's fee.


Costs for lawyers and attorneys:

  • copying fees for medical records and police reports
  • expert witness fees
  • postage
  • court filing fees
  • investigators
  • depositions
  • transcripts, and
  • trial exhibits.


Costs that you may have to cover until the trial has ended:

  • Medical Expenses
  • Lost Wages
  • Property Damage




Who receives the settlement check?

Typically, the settlement check is written out to both you and your lawyer.


Do I have to pay upfront for a personal injury lawyer?

No. When a personal injury attorney works on a contingency fee basis, they do not charge any fees until a successful case outcome has been obtained.


How much will I have to pay in legal fees?

The cost of a personal injury lawyer will vary depending on the nature of the case and your circumstances. In many cases, most attorneys charge a contingency fee of around 33.3 percent of any settlement or award amount.


How are costs handled when a case is settled?

In most cases, the attorney will cover all costs and expenses incurred during the case. When the case is settled, those costs are deducted from the settlement or award amount before it is distributed to the client.


What if I fire my lawyer before the case finishes?

In most cases, the attorney will still be entitled to compensation for any services provided before the termination. This amount is usually calculated based on the time spent working on the case and is agreed upon between both parties before terminating representation.


Can I get the other party to pay for my lawyer?

Yes, however, this is not common. In some cases, the court may order that the other party reimburse you for your legal fees and costs. It is possible to seek reimbursement for legal fees from the other party if you successfully take legal action. However, this depends on several factors and should be discussed with an attorney before taking any legal action.



The cost of a personal injury lawyer depends on the nature of your case, the fee structure you choose, and any additional costs associated with your legal representation. Understanding these fees and costs is important before hiring an attorney to ensure you get the best possible outcome for your case.  Additionally, always be sure to ask questions about legal fees upfront, so you understand what to expect. Muller Brazil is committed to providing the highest quality legal services at an affordable rate. We offer various fee structures and are here to answer any questions. Contact us today for more information if you need a personal injury lawyer in Philadelphia.

personal injury lawyer costs

Find out what your claim is worth.

How much should you seek in economic damages, emotional distress, and physical pain? Find out in this article: How Much to Ask for in a Personal Injury Settlement.




Meet the Author

Laura Levenberg - Associate Attorney

Laura J. Levenberg is a vaccine injury lawyer at My Vaccine Lawyer. Prior to joining My Vaccine Lawyer, Ms. Levenberg worked as a trial attorney at a litigation firm specializing in personal injury matters, primarily arising from motor vehicle accidents and slip/trip and fall incidents. Laura has successfully represented clients in all stages of litigation, including depositions, negotiations, motion practice, oral arguments, arbitrations, and trial. Laura also serves as a certified arbitrator in Philadelphia County.

Learn more about Laura J. Levenberg