When you’ve been injured in a preventable accident, the at-fault party may owe you compensation. However, few defendants (and their insurers) will voluntarily offer a fair settlement, especially if your injuries are severe. This is where a Michigan personal injury attorney can be invaluable. For nearly 25 years LegalGenius has been saying the insurance companies don’t care about you – in fact they care about one thing & one thing only – the less they pay the more they keep for themselves! We will make them pay!

If you haven’t hired a lawyer yet, it may be because you’re worried about the cost. When medical bills are piling up and you’re unable to work, the thought of incurring legal fees might make self-representation tempting, even though studies have shown that those who retain counsel for their injury claim usually realize bigger settlements than those who don’t. 

The good news is that personal injury lawyers in Michigan typically operate on a contingency fee basis. This essentially means that if you don’t win, they don’t get paid. In this blog, we clarify how personal injury lawyer fees work in Michigan, what you can generally expect in terms of other costs and expenses, and how LegalGenius, PLLC can help you maximize the value of your claim.

Understanding Personal Injury Lawyer Fees in Michigan

As we stated above, personal injury lawyers usually work on a contingency fee basis. Their payment is contingent upon winning your case; specifically, they receive a percentage of the settlement or court award. (In Michigan, the maximum that a personal injury lawyer can charge is generally 33 ⅓% of the settlement.) If you don’t win, you don’t owe the lawyer for their services. This arrangement does not normally cover other case-related costs, which might still be your responsibility.

So what does this look like in practice? Let’s imagine you’ve been involved in a car accident in Southfield, Michigan, and suffered significant injuries. After the incident, you decide to seek legal representation. If your lawyer successfully negotiates a settlement of $90,000 and charges the maximum contingency fee, the calculation would be as follows:

  • Total Settlement Amount: $90,000
  • Lawyer’s Contingency Fee (33.3%): $90,000 x 0.333 = $29,970

From the $90,000 settlement, $29,970 would go to your lawyer as their fee for representing you. This leaves you with $60,030 before considering any other possible deductions, such as case expenses or medical liens. However, it’s important to remember that the exact percentage can vary, and not all lawyers charge the maximum allowed.

Contingency fee arrangements offer several benefits for clients:

  • They make legal representation accessible to those who might not be able to pay a lawyer upfront. This ensures that you can pursue compensation without financial risk if your case is unsuccessful. 
  • Because their payment hinges on the success of your claim, your attorney is highly motivated to achieve the best possible outcome for you. It aligns your lawyer’s interests with your own, providing added reassurance that they are working hard on your behalf.

Understanding how contingency fees work helps demystify one of the critical aspects of hiring a personal injury lawyer in Michigan. You can get professional representation for your claim without paying up front, which can ease the financial burden on you and your family.

Additional Costs and Expenses

Beyond the lawyer’s contingency fee, a variety of costs and expenses can accumulate, each impacting the net amount you ultimately receive from your settlement. These expenses are essential to the building and successful resolution of your case, yet they also require careful consideration due to their effect on your final compensation.

Court-Related Expenses

These expenses can include the initial cost of filing your lawsuit and any subsequent fees required throughout the legal process. There might also be charges for serving documents to the involved parties, court reporter fees for depositions, and costs for obtaining official court transcripts. 

Document and Record Retrieval Costs

Obtaining medical records, police reports, and other documentation is part of substantiating your claim. These documents serve as evidence of your injuries, the circumstances surrounding the incident, and the impact on your life. The fees for retrieving these records vary, with some institutions or agencies charging per page or requiring a flat fee for access. Since these documents are critical to building a strong case, their acquisition costs are considered necessary expenses.

Investigative and Expert Witness Fees

Gathering evidence often requires the expertise of professionals such as private investigators or accident reconstruction experts. These individuals charge for their services but provide invaluable insights into the accident’s circumstances, often uncovering details that strengthen your case. Similarly, expert witnesses like medical professionals, economists, or life care planners might be needed to testify on the extent of your injuries, future medical needs, or anticipated economic losses. 

These various costs and expenses are typically advanced by your attorney, allowing the case to proceed without immediate out-of-pocket costs to you. However, they are reimbursed from the settlement or award before the calculation of the attorney’s contingency fee. This means the total settlement amount first covers these expenses, and then the attorney’s fee is applied, with the remainder going to you.

It’s important to have a clear discussion with your attorney about these potential costs at the outset of your case. Understanding how they are handled, estimated, and deducted from a potential settlement will give you a clearer picture of what to expect financially. While these expenses are necessary for pursuing your claim, being informed about their impact helps manage expectations and ensures a smoother legal process.

Choosing the Right Personal Injury Lawyer

Selecting the right personal injury lawyer is a decision that goes beyond just understanding fee structures. While the cost is a significant factor, it’s essential to consider a lawyer’s experience, reputation, and how well they align with your personal needs. Here are some tips for finding the best legal representation for your case and why LegalGenius, PLLC stands out as a superior choice.

Consider Experience and Reputation

Experienced attorneys know how to build a compelling case. Their reputation also speaks volumes about their dedication to clients and ability to achieve results. Researching online reviews, asking for references, and looking into past case outcomes can provide insights into a lawyer’s credibility and track record.

Assess Personal Fit

Communication is key in any lawyer-client relationship. You need a lawyer who listens to your concerns, clearly explains your options, and keeps you updated on the progress of your case. A good personal fit also means working with someone who shows genuine concern for your situation and is committed to advocating on your behalf.

Why Choose LegalGenius, PLLC?

LegalGenius, PLLC embodies the qualities you should look for in exceptional legal representation. Here’s why:

  • Our attorneys are knowledgeable in all aspects of Michigan personal injury law. This wealth of experience ensures that you have skilled legal support for your claim.
  • We understand the importance of timely updates and responses. Our quick response time ensures that you’re never left in the dark about your case.
  • We prioritize building and nurturing client relationships through personalized service. We genuinely care about your well-being and are dedicated to your success from start to finish.
  • Our ability to adapt strategies to meet our clients’ evolving needs places us a step ahead. We continuously refine our approach to align with any changing aspects of your case.
  • We stay at the forefront of the ever-changing legal landscape to better serve our clients. At LegalGenius, PLLC, we care more, get results, and win.

Choosing the right personal injury lawyer in Michigan means looking beyond fees to find a team that offers experienced, caring, and effective legal representation. LegalGenius, PLLC stands ready to deliver on these fronts, ensuring that your case is in capable hands.

Get a Free Consultation From a Michigan Personal Injury Lawyer

Have you been seriously injured by a distracted driver, careless medical professional, or other negligent party? Our team is equipped with the knowledge, experience, and resources essential for tackling these challenging cases.  At LegalGenius, PLLC, we’re more than just attorneys; we’re the lawyers who care, the lawyers who win. Our track record in both trials and settlements is unmatched, demonstrating our unwavering commitment to securing the best possible outcomes for our clients. 

Don’t navigate this process alone. Help is just a click or a phone call away. Fill out our Ask the Genius™ form or call (800) 209-4000 to speak with a personal injury attorney. Let us put our skills and experience to work for you, so you receive the maximum compensation you deserve.