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What is the Standard Contingency Fee Attorneys Charge in California?

Clients Pay Lawyers a Percentage of Settlement in Personal Injury Case

 What is the Standard Contingency Fee Attorneys in California Charge?

One of the most common questions a potential client asks a personal injury attorney how much money it will cost for their services?

In California, most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency-fee basis which means a client only pays the lawyer if they win the case. If they lose, the client doesn’t pay the attorney fees. This makes it possible for the average person to get legal representation.

Generally, those fees are a percentage of the compensation or settlement recovered in a claim to an insurance company or a verdict the attorney wins for a client at trial.  Typically, those fees start out at around 33 percent, but grows to 40 percent if the case goes to trial. The costs increase significantly if the attorney has to file a lawsuit compared to a case settled out of court.

While that may sound high to some folks, keep in mind that if there is no settlement they pay nothing. So the attorney is taking a risk because if  they lose a case, they don’t get paid for their work. That’s why generally speaking, lawyers are selective when they take on a case and mostly choose clients they can help obtain a settlement.

California State Bar Association

What is the Standard Contingency Fee Attorneys in California Charge?Under California law, a client and lawyer must have a written fee agreements. This applies to cases where the attorney anticipates their fees and costs for your case will reach $1,000 or more.

This agreement should define exactly what the contingency fee agreement is and the percentage you will pay as described above.

It’s advisable that you check the attorney’s standing by looking them up on the California State Bar’s website, see what other people say about them on AVVO and check out Google reviews.

Economic and Non-Economic Damages

Attorneys will only get paid if they prove their client’s case and obtain compensation for their client. Under California law, a person can recover three types of damages in personal injury claims. Specifically, there is economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages.

An example of economic damages is medical costs such as hospital bills and ambulance services. Other economic costs are funeral expenses, lost wages and property damage.  Meanwhile, a person also has non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, loss of companionship and post traumatic stress disorder.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages or exemplary damages may be awarded in addition to compensatory damage when a case goes to trial. This is typically done to punish the wrongdoer or “defendant.”  Also, these damages are meant to deter others from engaging in the same dangerous behavior or negligent actions. These damage are awarded if the lawyer proves the defendant’s actions are especially reckless, wanton or intentional.

Some states have a cap on the amount of punitive damages that may be awarded, but California does not.

California Accident Attorney 1-800-235-6801

How Much is My Personal Injury Case Worth? A Lawyer Responds

Attorney James Johnson, founder, Johnson Attorneys Group in California

What is your personal injury case worth? Attorney James Johnson has been helping those injured in California recoup compensation for their many losses for roughly two decades. Furthermore, Johnson Attorneys Group has helped hundreds of people over the years and we work tirelessly to help our clients. We hope this news information is timely and helpful. However, if you have additional questions, would like to discuss a potential case or have legal questions about a potential personal injury case, please contact us as soon as possible. Our law firm is a proud, longtime supporter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).


James Johnson

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Every personal injury case is unique and many factors are used to value each case. The losses from your claim include the amount of the medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering, etc. The most important factor is your life change resulting from the injury. Typically, the larger the injury and life change, the larger the settlement. We discuss your personal injury claim’s worth during your free consultation. Call for a free consultation 800-208-3538, or complete the form below >
The first thing you should do is contact an attorney. Without the representation of a lawyer, insurance companies might make contact with you directly, and since they are trained to protect their best interests, this could mean a loss of rights on your behalf, especially if you unknowingly sign something that they didn't completely explain to you. Call for a free consultation 800-208-3538, or complete the form below >
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Many victims believe if you don't have health insurance you don't have a case - this NOT true. In fact, those with health insurance usually don't use it since there are so many restrictions and steps to overcome to receive authorization for treatment. Johnson Attorneys Group assists you in finding the best doctors to help. Most of them even wait until a settlement for payment. Call for a free consultation 800-208-3538, or complete the form below >
Handling a personal injury claim by yourself is very difficult. You will deal directly with the insurance adjuster who is often trained to obtain the information they are not entitled to use. This information can negatively impact and de-value your case. Once your case is damaged, it is very difficult to repair it and usually costs you thousands of dollars less in a settlement. Call for a free consultation 800-208-3538, or complete the form below >
You do not pay anything unless you win. We work on a contingency-fee-basis, so we’re only paid if we win your case. When the case is settled, our fee is a percentage, as previously agreed, of the final settlement. These fees are described in full detail in our signed contract before work begins on the case. We cover the case upfront costs including everything from copying and court filing fees to hiring experts - so all your focus can be on getting well. Call for a free consultation 800-208-3538, or complete the form below >

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