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Attorney Fees in Personal Injury Cases in Oregon

What Every Client Wanted To Know First

It is very important to know that the majority of car accident, pedestrian accident, wrongful death attorneys as well as other personal injury attorneys in Oregon charge their clients contingency fees, unlike most attorneys in other fields like criminal defense, tax or immigration law. 

Why this is done: This type of compensation system allows the injured person to hire a skilled attorney without having to pay upfront fees, costs, as well as an hourly rate. It also allowed injured client to treat, heal and recover from their injuries without worrying about financials. 

Attorney Fees in Legal Cases

How Does This All Work

In a contingency fee arrangement, the legal firm will deduct attorney’s fees from your final settlement. If you went to trial and won, from the final verdict. All personal injury, car accident, wrongful death accident attorneys deduct case related advanced expenses paid in your case. 

Therefore, at Herron Law Firm car accident attorney will be paid after he recovers money for you.  Your attorney at our firm will be paid a percentage of what you win. Most Oregon personal injury attorneys will charge 1/3 total sum recovered.

Contingency Fee Percentages

According to most state statutes, personal injury attorneys can charge a contingency fee between 33% and 40%. But in most cases, the personal injury lawyer will receive approximately 1/3 of your settlement. For instance, if you get an offer of a $30,000 settlement from the defendant’s insurance company, you will get $20,000 and your lawyer will get $10,000.

Settlement and Legal Fees Before Court Filing

Your attorney should issue a demand letter to the person that caused you injury. The letter will detail your injuries and make a demand for payment. If you have a strong case, the defendant will often make a counteroffer and further negotiations will follow. All of this occurs before you file the lawsuit. If you settle before the lawsuit was filed, it is likely that your attorney cannot receive more than 1/3.

Settlement and Legal Fees After Court Filing

The defendant may not take negotiations for a settlement serious; they may fail to answer your demand letter entirely. At this point, if the case is strong, you will file suit. If the settlement happens after you file the lawsuit, your attorney may receive a higher contingency fee – usually 40%. If the case settles for $30,000 after you file suit, your attorney may receive $12,000. Also, before you decide to reject a settlement before the lawsuit is filed, consider the ongoing expenses of the lawsuit. As the weeks drag on, the case will get more expensive.

Costs and Expenses

Most personal injury attorneys cover costs and fees to develop the case and then deduct them from your settlement. We certainly do that for our clients. Be aware there are some lawyers who would charge you along the way for costs and expenses as they are due.

Some of the common expenses in a personal injury case are:

  • Police reports
  • Medical records
  • Expert witness fees
  • Postage
  • Filing fees
  • Investigators
  • Depositions
  • Trial exhibits

Note that costs and expenses can be substantial if the settlement does not happen close to trial. If you car accident, pedestrian accident, wrongful death attorney believes in you and your case, he would invest every penny he has to help you recover what is right. Therefore, your attorney’s final percentage with all fees, expenses, and costs could be high.

Your Final Settlement Checks

At the end of the case, the settlement checks arrive at your attorney’s office. The attorney has to deposit funds in his trust account. Allow 2-3 weeks for the check to go through the bank system. Once the check has cleared you will receive in writing the explanation of the case accounting and the instructions for you to pick up your check.

Worried about hidden fees? Good, make sure to check everything, ask questions before you sign anything!

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