Those who have sustained injuries because of another person’s carelessness may feel lost and confused when trying to find compensation; these people must talk to a personal injury lawyer. Minnesota lawyers who specialize in personal injury cases are available to help local clients who have been hurt due to the negligence of another individual, business, or service.
Personal injury claims include vehicular accidents, workplace injuries, slips and falls, assaults, and medical malpractice, and more. For locals who want more information on lawyer fees for those claims, top personal injury firms in Minnesota can provide you with more in-depth details about such payments.
How do Contingency Fees Work in Minnesota?
Minnesota’s personal injury lawyers usually take what is called a contingency fee. In this arrangement, the lawyer will not request any payment until the case has been resolved. If the case was a success, then the lawyer will ask for their payment, which is usually acquired from the settlement.
In the top personal injury firms, Minneapolis lawyers who operate using a contingency fee arrangement will guarantee that they work hard to win a settlement for their clients. This type of arrangement suits both client and lawyer, since the latter will make sure that their team will close the case with an agreeable settlement. A larger settlement also means a greater percentage for the lawyer, after all.
The contingency fee arrangement is also beneficial for clients, since they aren’t required to reimburse their lawyers until the case is settled.
What Percentage Do Most Personal Injury Lawyers Take in Minnesota?
In the state of Minnesota, the majority of personal injury attorneys charge a one-third contingency fee. This arrangement means that the lawyers’ fee is 1/3 of the overall settlement awarded, while the client keeps the remaining 2/3.
For instance, if an attorney reaches a settlement of $75,000, they will get $25,000 from the settlement while the rest is taken by the client. While some clients believe that a one-third contingency fee is too steep, remember that this fee motivates the lawyer to work hard to guarantee that they’ll get the largest settlement for their client that they possibly can.
The one-third contingency fee arrangement is the industry standard. If you settle for a lawyer who readily agrees to a smaller percentage, they might not have the capability or experience needed to win the case and acquire a sizable settlement for you. Working with a personal injury lawyer who can surely award you a bigger settlement is still better than one who can’t deliver such amounts.
What Makes a Contingency Fee Reasonable?
A reasonable contingency fee is determined by the kind of case being handled, the circumstances surrounding the case, and the capabilities required to win the settlement. These factors, in combination with the lawyers’ years of study and experience, all come together to provide ample reason for their contingency fees.
Are Expenses Prepaid in Contingency Fee Arrangements?
The contingency fee agreement may or may not include the prepayment of expenses. Most arrangements state that the lawyer must advance all the expenses; the client and lawyer should agree whether those expenses will be deducted from the settlement before or after the computation of the contingency fee. In case the contingency fee agreement states that expenses and costs will be paid from the settlement, then the clients’ responsibility to reimburse isn’t set until the settlement has been awarded.
The costs and expenses involved in a personal injury case typically involve the following:
- Medical records
- Police reports
- Witness fees
- Filing fees
- Private investigators
- Deposition fees
- Transcript fees
- Trial exhibit expenses
The costs and expenses of a personal injury case add up quickly, especially if the settlement doesn’t come about until the case is near trial.
Late fees aren’t applicable until the client’s responsibility to pay is established. If the attorney doesn’t want to advance the expenses and the written agreement states that the expenses must be paid once they are charged, then the client’s responsibility to settle the payment is set once the fee is charged. Late fees can accumulate starting from the date due, as should be acknowledged in the written agreement.
Prepayment is not illegal, but a majority of contingency fee agreements don’t include this type of payment as part of the settlement percentage that is provided to the lawyer. Lawyers get their percentage from the settlement, but prepaid costs and expenses will be deducted from that portion.
Do I Need to Pay if I Lose a Personal Injury Case in Minnesota?
The general rule in the American system is that regardless of who wins the case, every party embroiled in a legal case should pay its own lawyer’s fees. In cases where the client loses, they still need to pay non-legal fees; the client will have to pay court filing charges and other similar costs and expenses.
In many top personal injury firms, Minneapolis attorneys say that in the majority of personal injury lawsuits, the party who loses is usually obligated to pay the fees of the winning party’s lawyer. This is not always the case, though; it is up to the court to decide whether the lawyer’s fees are included in the damages.
If you lose the case, there are also non-legal fees that require payment. Lawyers often handle those costs and expenses. Some firms might expect their client to pay the costs and expenses irrespective of the lawsuit’s results, while others will take in the costs and include them in the contingency fee calculation.
What If I Change Lawyers or Represent Myself Before the Case Ends?
If you decide to change lawyers or represent yourself in court instead, your original attorney will present a lien for the fees and expenses that were acquired during the case before the change. Your former lawyer might also sue not only you, but the personal injury defendant, as well, for failure to honor and safeguard the lien of the lawyer.
If you feel like there is a need for you to switch to another lawyer, it is recommended that you and your lawyer settle in writing to disregard fees and expenses related to the case. The written agreement must be advanced to the defendant prior to the settlement to prevent lien delays.
Get In Touch with Us if You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer
It is crucial that all specifics in a contingency fee agreement are cleared. Clients and lawyers alike want to avoid disagreements over the settlement after winning a case. Make sure that you have addressed all of your concerns with your personal injury lawyer and settled all of the essential details when coming up with an agreement on the fee.
Osterbauer Law Firm is a top personal injury firm in Minnesota. We have lawyers who are ready to work with clients who need our help. Contact us today for information and advice on your situation.