What Percentage Do Lawyers Take for Personal Injury Cases in Florida?
Bill Allen | January 4, 2023 | Florida Law
Contingency fee arrangements have made legal services accessible to countless personal injury victims.
In years past, lawyers routinely required the deposit of large retainers and the payment of hourly fees to represent injury victims. Those who did not have these financial resources may have been unable to secure legal representation and get the compensation they deserved.
In a contingency fee agreement, however, the attorney agrees to collect their fee from the judgment the attorney secures for you. If the attorney cannot obtain any compensation for you, then you do not owe any attorneys’ fees.
However, if you do receive compensation, your attorney will take a percentage of the award to cover their fees.
Advantages of Contingency Fee Arrangements in Florida
Contingency fee arrangements shift the financial risk of a loss at trial or in negotiations away from you and onto your attorney. While a loss in court means you would not receive any compensation, it also means you are not saddled with the fees associated with the time your attorney spent on the case.
Additionally, a contingency fee agreement gives your attorney an incentive to secure the highest compensation award possible as quickly as possible. If your compensation award is great, then your attorney will also recover a greater amount of fees. And the sooner they resolve your case, the sooner they will get paid.
Limits on Contingency Fee Agreements
Florida law places restrictions on contingency fee agreements. Contingency fees that exceed these limits can be considered excessive and may result in disciplinary action against the attorney. You and your attorney must always agree to a contingency fee that is less than these limits.
Personal Injury Lawsuits
In most personal injury cases, your lawyer is allowed to collect up to one-third of any compensation award you receive that is $1 million or less. This limit applies if your attorney resolves your case before the defendant in your case files an answer or a demand for arbitration.
If the defendant in your case files an answer, then your attorney can collect up to 40 percent of any compensation award you receive up to $1 million. If your compensation award is between $1 million and $2 million, your attorney may collect up to 30 percent. An award over $2 million gives the attorney the ability to take up to 20 percent as fees.
The law permits an attorney to seek the court’s approval to charge a higher percentage of fees.
Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
In medical malpractice cases, the Florida Constitution spells out the limits on contingency fee agreements. These limits can be waived, however, and you and your attorney can agree to give your attorney a greater share of any compensation recovered.
Otherwise, the Florida Constitution allows your attorney to recover a maximum of 30 percent of the first $250,000 recovered and then up to 10 percent of any additional amounts recovered.
Costs of Litigation Are Not Included
A contingency fee agreement will typically cover the attorney’s fees but not the costs of your lawsuit. These costs can include travel expenses, witness fees, and other similar expenses.
Your attorney may recover these in addition to any contingency fee to which they are entitled. You may also be responsible for these litigation costs even if your case is not successful.
Contingency Fee Agreements Are a Good Deal for Personal Injury Victims
In the end, contingency fees still offer injury victims more advantages than disadvantages. These arrangements allow you to quickly and inexpensively secure quality legal representation without assuming too much financial risk.
Contact Our Ocala Personal Injury Law Firm in North Central Florida
If you need legal assistance, contact the Ocala personal injury lawyers at Allen Law Firm at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.
We have three convenient locations in North Central Florida: