California Personal Injury Lawyer Advice Am I Paying Too Much To My Personal Injury Attorney

Injury accidents happen to everyone. Whether you were involved in a car, truck, motorcycle, bicycle, recreational vehicle or public transportation accident, or whether your personal injuries resulted from a slip and fall, dog bite or any accident caused by the negligence of another, you are entitled to compensation and you should be represented by a lawyer specializing in personal injury accident cases.

In California, virtually all personal injury attorneys accept bodily injury cases on a contingency fee basis. The personal injury attorney charges nothing in advance but takes a percentage of the personal injury settlement, award or verdict when the personal injury accident case is concluded through settlement or litigation. The standard personal injury attorney fee is one third (1/3rd) of any personal injury settlement or forty (40%) percent of any arbitration award or trial verdict. In some cases, the personal injury attorney fee can even be higher.

Most accident victims do not realize that California personal injury attorney fees are not set by law but are negotiable. In fact, the State Bar of California requires that all California personal injury attorneys advise their accident clients that personal injury attorney fees are negotiable and that advice must be in writing and included in the lawyer’s retainer(hiring) agreement that every new personal injury client signs.

The problem is that many personal attorneys do not discuss the negotiability of their fees before presenting their personal injury clients with retainer agreements, knowing that most clients are unlikely to raise the subject of a reduced personal injury attorney fee. What usually occurs is that injury accident client either does not carefully read the retainer agreement before signing or is too embarrassed to ask the attorney for a discounted fee. As a result, many personal injury clients pay more than they should.

There is no question that in complex or disputed cases the personal injury lawyer is entitled to the full asking attorney fee, sometimes even more. Certain accident cases may even be handled at a financial loss for the personal injury attorney. But the majority of cases are neither disputed nor overly complex, and fees earned on these “bread and butter” cases often pay for time and effort spent by the personal injury attorney on more difficult bodily injury accident cases. That may be good for the personal injury lawyer’s bottom line, but it is at the expense of the injured accident victim whose personal injury case presents no unusual difficulties for that personal injury attorney.

Knowledge is a key to achieving the best result in any endeavor. Whenever possible, it is important that every accident victim have at lease a minimal appreciation of his or her personal injury accident case before hiring a personal injury attorney. If there is no question that another party was at fault for the accident, if there are favorable witnesses and/or a favorable police report, if the other party was insured or the accident victim has insurance that covers personal injuries, loss of income and pain and suffering, it would be wise to negotiate the attorney fees with the personal injury lawyer before signing any retainer agreement. Many experienced and qualified personal injury lawyers will reduce their attorney fees rather than lose a good case over a few percentage points. is a personal injury law firm based in Los Angeles California.
For more information about our legal fees for California personal injury cases please visit Frequent Questions
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