How Much Do Personal Injury Lawyers in Florida Charge?
All personal injury lawyers in Florida handle injury and accident cases on a contingent basis. That means that the lawyer does not get paid unless and until the lawyer has recovered money for your accident or injury claim. Florida lawyers are governed by the Florida Bar, and the Florida Bar allows accident and injury lawyers to work for a contingency fee. Florida Rule of Professional Responsibility 4-1.5 controls the amounts a Florida personal injury lawyer can charge. That said, the best personal injury lawyer are sure to fully explain the costs of their services. This post was created to give you an idea of what to expect.
What is the amount a Florida personal injury lawyer can charge?
Most accident injury lawyers charge 33 1/3% of any amount that is recovered on your claim if the claim is settled before an answer is filed by the defendant in your lawsuit. Keep in mind that most personal injury accident claims in Florida do not have lawsuits filed. The overwhelming majority of claims get settled before a lawsuit is filed. For all cases that settle before a lawsuit is filed, the Florida Bar limits the amount a lawyer can charge to 33 1/3%
If settlement negotiations on your accident or injury claim do not get the claim resolved, an attorney can file a lawsuit. Even if the attorney files a lawsuit, the amount a lawyer can charge will still only be 33 1/3% as long as the defendant, the party being sued, has not filed an answer to the lawsuit. Once the defendant files a response to the lawsuit, the amount a personal injury lawyer can charge increases to 40%.
What if your injury or accident claim is worth more than $1 million?
Florida Rule of Professional Responsibility also has guidelines for personal injury lawyer charges on claims with values above $1 million. If your claim settles for anywhere between $1 million and $2 million, the attorney’s fee percentage is reduced to 30% for that amount of the settlement between $1 million and $2 million.
For example, if your settlement is $1.25 million, and your claim settles after a lawsuit is filed and the defendant has answered the lawsuit, the attorneys fee would be 40% of the first $ 1 million, and 30% of $250,000, or $475,000.
If your accident or injury settlement goes above $2 million, the attorney’s fee charged is reduced to 20% for that amount of the settlement that exceeds $2 million.
Can a Florida personal injury lawyer charge more than 33 1/3 or 40%?
Usually, the answer is no. A lawyer can petition the Court to exceed these guidelines, but any personal injury lawyer contract that exceeds the limits above is presumed to be “clearly excessive,” and it is unlikely to be approved without the attorney showing exceptional circumstances.
What if my claim is against a city, county, or governmental agency?
If you were injured through the negligence of a city, county, or governmental agency, including schools, the amount you can recover in Florida is limited by Fla. Stat. §768.28. Because the amount you can recover is limited, the statute also limits the amount your attorney can charge to 25% of any judgment or settlement. This 25% cap applies to all Florida injury and accident claims and the attorney’s fees whether a lawsuit is file or not.
Don’t Assume You Know the Costs. Talk to the Maus Law Firm Today
We hope the above was a good reference for you, but it’s important to realize that you won’t really know how much your case is worth until you talk to an attorney and have your case evaluated. We offer free case evaluations, so schedule a meeting with us today.