How Do St. Petersburg Personal Injury Lawyers Get Paid?
November 6, 2023 | Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers | Personal Injury
People may be surprised to learn personal injury lawyers typically do not charge hourly or flat fees. This begs the question, “How do St. Petersburg personal injury lawyers get paid?”
Understanding how your lawyer gets paid is important in a personal injury case. In St. Petersburg, Florida, many personal injury lawyers get paid a contingency fee. This arrangement benefits clients who may otherwise be burdened with medical bills after an accident.
What Is The Contingency Fee?
Personal injury lawyers in St. Petersburg, and throughout the United States, generally operate on a contingency fee. This “no win, no fee” model is known for being client-friendly after an injury. Under the contingency fee model, lawyers represent clients without requiring hourly or upfront payments. Instead, a lawyer’s fees are contingent upon securing a settlement or winning in court on the client’s behalf.
This structure motivates lawyers to secure maximum compensation for their clients. A lawyer’s fee typically ranges from 33 to 40 percent of the settlement amount or court award. However, this percentage can vary.
Some personal injury lawyers charge a higher percentage depending on the complexity of the case and the stage at which the case is resolved. For example, pre-litigation settlements may be subject to a lower fee percentage than post-trial awards. Contingency fee percentages are also restricted by Florida law and Florida Bar Association ethical guidelines.
Who Covers Routine Costs and Expenses?
Out-of-pocket expenses arise when pursuing a personal injury case. These are common when investigating a case, developing a legal strategy, and filing a lawsuit. Personal injury lawyers may advance some expenses on your behalf. However, they are usually reimbursed from your portion of the settlement or court award.
Common costs include:
- Medical record fees
- Expert witness fees
- Court filing fees
- Deposition costs
- Postage and copying costs
It is important to understand what out-of-pocket costs you may be responsible for. These costs will be discussed in an initial consultation and shown in a written fee agreement. The Florida Bar requires lawyers to get a contingency fee contract signed in writing. This plays an important role in preventing fee disputes.
Why Use Contingency Fees for Personal Injury Cases?
In personal injury cases, victims often face economic strain. This can make access to legal representation challenging. The contingency model alleviates some of this stress by providing access to a lawyer without more hardship.
The fee structure also aligns the case outcomes for both the client and the lawyer. This can drive a collaborative partnership from beginning to end. In most other types of law, lawyers charge hourly rates, flat fees, or even require large upfront retainers. The client pays regardless of their case’s outcome.
Are Contingency Fees Regulated in St. Petersburg, FL?
The Florida Bar regulates lawyer compensation. There are ethical guidelines that ensure fairness for consumers. Contingency fees often have a cap to avoid unreasonable compensation. For example, lawyers who charge over 40 percent of any settlement or award over $1 million are presumed to have charged an excessive fee unless they had prior court approval.
Moreover, all contingency fee agreements in Florida must be in writing. This helps the client understand the lawyer’s obligations and the scope of representation. It also clarifies the percentage that will be paid and how out-of-pocket expenses will impact the total.
Consult a Personal Injury Lawyer in St. Petersburg, FL
The contingency fee has allowed personal injury lawyers in St. Petersburg to adopt a client-focused approach. This fee arrangement allows lawyers to get paid while recognizing the financial hardships injuries can impose. The contingency fee reflects a commitment to justice by granting individuals a fighting chance in court without the deterrent of immediate legal fees.
Contact an experienced St. Petersburg personal injury attorney for a free consultation and to learn more about fee structures.
Contact a St. Petersburg Personal Injury Lawyer from Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers for Help Today
For more information, please contact Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer in St. Petersburg today. We have five convenient locations in Florida, including Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, New Port Richey, and Lakeland.
Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – Tampa Office
601 W Swann Ave, Tampa, FL 33606
Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater Office
600 Bypass Dr Suite 224-D, Clearwater, FL 33764
Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – St. Petersburg Office
111 2nd Ave NE Suite 350, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – New Port Richey Office
5006 Trouble Creek Rd Unit #200, Port Richey, FL 34652
Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – Lakeland Office
1543 Lakeland Hills Blvd Suite 18, Lakeland, FL 33805