Lawyers are typically paid as a percentage of the final settlement. If, for example, you’re using an insurance company and they pay out $100,000 in a settlement, that’s not the end of it. The lawyer will take their fee from that final number. In the state of Florida, lawyers cannot charge more than 33% of any gross settlement or final award. That means if you get, let’s say $100k in a settlement after all legal costs are paid, your lawyer can only take $33k from that number. This guide breaks down what different types of legal fees can look like in a personal injury claim.
The first type of legal fee you’ll see is a negotiated settlement. This type of settlement is when you and the other party agree to a number and sign an agreement saying you’ll either use a mediator or a lawyer to draw up the paperwork. Most people settle their cases this way because it’s a quick and easy way to draw up an agreement.
But, let us quickly break down the facts and figures that can come along with a negotiated settlement. First off, if your case is strong and you have a lot of evidence to work with, you may ask for more than the other party is offering.
This is because you’re not relying on a lawyer to draw up the paperwork. You can negotiate the settlement yourself and sign off on the final number. The two types of fees you can expect to see with a negotiated settlement are filing fees and disbursements.
A commission is when an agent or lawyer gets paid a percentage of the amount you get in a settlement. Commission can come in a few different ways and can be applied in many types of personal injury cases. It is most commonly used in workers’ compensation cases and car accidents or other injury cases.
There are two ways lawyers can be paid a percentage of your settlement. The first is if you have a case against your employer or another large company. In those cases, the company will usually hire an insurance company to handle the settlement. An insurance company will oftentimes offer you a percentage of the settlement as opposed to a set amount of money.
The second type of legal fee you can expect to see in a negotiated settlement is an attorney’s fee. This is a set fee that the lawyer charges for handling the paperwork and helping you get the settlement amount you deserve. If you settle your case this way, you’ll see a difference in the amount you get in the settlement compared to a percentage of the final amount. This is because an attorney’s fee is a set number of dollars. Let’s say you settle your case for $10,000 and your lawyer charges $3,000 to draw up the paperwork. Your final settlement is $7,000.
Expert Witness Fee
An expert witness fee is when someone is called upon to give their opinion or testimony on your case. This could be anything from a doctor who says you have a permanent disability or a psychologist who says you have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). An expert witness will be called upon to testify in your case and their fee will most likely be taken out of your settlement.
The final type of fee you’ll see when settling your case is recoupment. The court will take a small percentage of your settlement to pay back any money you received from social security or other government benefits. This could be SSI, SSDI, Medicaid, or any other government assistance. The court will take a small portion of your settlement to repay that money. Depending on the state, this fee could be as low as 5% or as high as 10% of the final amount.
Watch: Attorney’s Fee and Recoupment Explained
There are two main types of legal fees you can expect to see when settling a case: attorney’s fees and recoupment. Attorney’s fees are a set amount that the lawyer charges for helping you get the settlement amount you deserve. Recoupment is a fee charged by the court to repay any government benefits you received while you were injured.