If you have been hurt in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. You can also recover damages for lost wages, pain and suffering, and other issues. If you wish to pursue legal action, you will need an experienced lawyer on your side. As you search for a professional to hire, you may be curious about how much personal injury lawyers earn. There are many factors influencing a personal injury lawyer’s earnings. Some of these factors will also determine the fee your lawyer will charge you and how much of your settlement may go to this fee.
Local and National Average Salaries
As you may expect, a personal injury lawyer’s income will vary from location to location. The nationwide average is just over $88,000 annually. The range goes from about $75,000 to $102,000. In Ocala, FL, the annual range is around $68,000 to $92,000.
Taking a Per-Case Percentage
One aspect that influences a lawyer’s earnings in personal injury cases is how much the settlement fee is. In such cases, the lawyer will charge a certain percentage of the final settlement. This figure can vary significantly depending on the attorney, the nature of the case, and the state where the case takes place. For instance, Florida personal injury lawyers ordinarily charge a fee of 33% to 40%. Many attorneys work on a contingent basis, meaning they will take a percentage of the settlement only if you win your case. If you do not receive compensation for your claims, the lawyer doesn’t get paid.
In addition to settlement fees, personal injury lawyers normally charge for extra expenses. Whether you win or lose your case, you can expect to pay your injury lawyer for the time he or she spends on your case. These could include expenses for research, interviewing witnesses, and investigating and handling various aspects of the claim.
One of the key factors influencing a personal injury lawyer’s earnings is how long the professional has worked in the field. A lawyer with a proven track record of success will earn more and can charge larger fees than someone who just passed the bar exam. A lawyer who has been practicing in injury law for decades will have higher earnings than someone who is still a junior associate.
Where the Lawyer Practices
The location makes a significant difference in a lawyer’s earnings. In personal injury cases, as with other fields of practice, lawyers who work in larger cities and metropolitan areas usually earn more than those in smaller towns and rural areas. For instance, a lawyer in New York City is almost certainly going to earn more on personal injury cases than an attorney in New Mexico. In Florida, lawyers in Miami make more on average than a lawyer working on similar cases in Ocala. The same can be true for the size of the firm where the attorney works. Large, established firms and their lawyers can earn more and charge a higher settlement fee than smaller firms and one-attorney shops.
The Types of Injury Cases the Lawyer Handles
Other factors influencing a personal injury lawyer’s earnings revolve around the cases. More complex cases require more time, expertise, research, and resources. Lawyers working on more difficult cases tend to be those who have been in the field longer and are the most skilled in the industry. Thus, they can demand higher fees and will have higher earnings. Such lawyers will be more sought-after in sensitive, high-profile cases. Examples of complex injury cases may include those where the plaintiff or defendant is a prominent individual or organization. Such a case may also be one where there were multiple victims in the accident, severe injuries, or life-altering consequences.
In addition, personal injury lawyers are more likely to earn less and require smaller settlement fees in cases they know they can win more easily, as there is less risk in taking the case. The same is true in cases that are likely to settle quickly. However, in riskier cases where the outcome is more in doubt, the fee will typically be higher. Some personal injury lawyers will work strictly on lower-profile, cut-and-and-dried cases and thus have lower earnings. On the other hand, highly skilled lawyers may take on only larger injury cases where the settlement payouts will be significant.
If you are considering filing a lawsuit after your injury, you need to be aware of the financial commitment. Understand how much personal injury lawyers charge and how much they earn. This will help you make the right decision as you move forward with your case.