Understanding How a Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney Gets Paid

If you have been hurt in a Las Vegas accident due to the fault of another, you may think you have a valid personal injury case. As a result, you may have considered suing the at-fault party for monetary compensation for harm suffered. You might be concerned about your ability to afford a lawyer, particularly with all of the medical bills piling up and lost wages you are experiencing. There are, however, many different ways in which an attorney may be paid. Below is an explanation of some of these payment arrangements, so that you can make an informed decision when it comes to hiring a Las Vegas personal injury attorney.

Initial, Free Case Evaluation

Virtually all personal injury attorneys offer free initial case consultations. This allows the potential client to speak with several lawyers before settling on the right one for him or her. Because a personal injury case can take a long time to come to a resolution, it is critical that you hire an attorney you trust, respect, and like on a personal level. While technically a client can change attorneys in the middle of a case, it is often complicated and sometimes difficult to find one who will step in midway through your legal matter. For this reason, you should take full advantage of the opportunity to meet with attorneys at no cost before deciding on one.

Contingency Fee Structure

You have probably heard it on TV or seen it in advertisements “if you don’t get paid, we don’t get paid.” But what does that mean? While all attorneys charge fees, personal injury lawyers typically charge on a contingency fee basis. This means that the attorney fees collected for the work performed dependent upon the outcome of your matter. Should the case result in a favorable judgment or amicable settlement, the attorney will receive a percentage of the fee awarded. This percentage should be thoroughly discussed and be put in writing before legal work is started - it typically ranges between 33% and 40% depending on the type of case.

Other Fee Structures

While it is true that a contingency fee is the most typical payment method for personal injury lawsuits, it is not the only option available to those seeking legal representation. Lawyers sometimes offer other fee schedules to potential clients based on their financial circumstances and what is agreed upon by the parties. These different fee arrangements may include:

  • Flat fee: A client pays an agreed-upon flat rate, typically a non-refundable fee, for work performed on a case;

  • Hourly fees: A rare fee setup in personal injury cases, in this scenario the lawyer charges an hourly rate that is paid out-of-pocket by the client;

  • Mixed Contingent/Hourly: In this situation the client pays a reduced hourly rate as the work is done and the attorney receives a reduced percentage from a settlement or favorable judgment at the close of the case;

  • Contingency Hourly: While the fee is dependent upon the success of the case, it is paid for the hours worked on the matter and not as a percentage of the gross recovery;

  • Sliding scale contingency: This scenario includes an increase in the fee percentage as the case progresses and the fee for settling the matter is generally lower than if a judgment is won.

Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorneys

Many Las Vegas personal injury attorneys are careful about the cases they take on because there is no guarantee of payment. The skilled attorneys at Parry & Pfau have years of experience handling these types of cases across Nevada. Contact us today to learn how we can help you.

(image courtesy of Dylan Gillis)