There are many questions surrounding legal fees. Trying to figure out how much an attorney will cost and how those costs will be determined can be stressful. Getting direct answers to your legal fee questions can be difficult because every case is different and involves different amounts of time, work, and effort.
While the topic of legal fees can seem daunting and raise feelings of uncertainty, there are many options available to suit you. Most attorneys will discuss pricing with you that will require your approval before they proceed with your case.
What Are Legal Fees?
Legal fees are payments to attorneys, which can be determined in a few ways. These payments can be for their time, advice, or their effort with your case. Attorneys may set their own legal fees depending on their level of expertise. Similarly, they may set their fees on the type of case presented or the level of difficulty of the case. Cases that require more billable hours and that require more attorneys to join the team may rack up more legal fees than other cases.
There are many different types of legal fees; however, the most common ones are:
- Consultation Fees- These are upfront fees that allow a potential client to meet with the attorney to discuss their case and see if the attorney can and will take it on. Not all attorneys have consultation fees.
- Hourly Fees- This is a more common attorney fee where the client is billed in accordance with the hours an attorney works on their case. Attorneys typically track their time in 6-minute increments. Some attorneys may redefine their hourly rates as the case progresses. For example, preparing and accumulating the case may be $150 per hour, but litigation for the case may be $300 per hour.
- Flat Fees- If the case is more cut and dry, an attorney is more likely to give a standard fee in order to settle it. An example of this might be an uncontested divorce.
- Retainer Fees- A retainer fee is an upfront fee paid to your attorney to secure them for a period of time. If you will need an attorney for an extended amount of time or for a lengthy case, giving them this down payment will provide them with the knowledge that they will be paid for their full services down the road.
- Contingency Fees- These types of fees are not paid upfront. The fees total up to a percentage of the settlement that the plaintiff secures down the road. The percentage will depend on the details of the case. This type of fee is typically used by attorneys specializing in medical malpractice and personal injury.
- Reduced Fees- This type of fee is not paid directly by the plaintiff seeking the attorney. It is paid by the plaintiff’s insurance company. There are more rules that these fees require in order to be accepted by each party respectively. Insurance companies may apply to reduced fees if they provide a surplus of cases for many attorneys at a firm.
- Statutory Fees- These fees are regulated and cannot surpass a specific amount determined by the jurisdiction. Statutory fees are reserved for specific cases where money may be tighter, for example, a bankruptcy case.
Attorney fees aren’t the only fees that can be charged for the cases. There are many additional fees that you may be charged during the legal process. Some fees are to be expected, and some are less well-known. Possible additional fees may include:
- Filing fees in court
- Serving someone of the opposite party
- Paralegal fees
There are a number of additional fees that an attorney may charge. Depending on the intensity of the case and how much needs to be done, fees can begin to stack up. If you are worried about these fees being shockingly high or not knowing how much they will end up costing, you should have a conversation with your attorney about it.
Contracts and Disputes
If you’re wondering how much your legal fees will end up costing you, speak to your attorney. They will set up a contract with you outlining their services and how much everything will cost. They should show you a breakdown of individual costs as well as a blanket cost of your case.
Should you have any questions or disputes about charges, it is important to voice your concerns. There may be other options for financing, or your attorney may be able to come to an agreement with you.
When you receive your lawsuit funding from The Legal Funding Group, it is important to allocate a percentage of the funds to cover your attorney’s fees. For more information on lawsuit funding, fill out our contact form today!