Personal injury attorneys typically work on a contingency fee basis, which means they only get paid if they win or settle a case. The fee is a percentage of the total amount of the settlement or jury award. The typical range for contingency fees is between 33% to 40%, but it can vary depending on the personal injury attorney or the firm and the specific case.
It’s also important to note that the attorney’s fee may also include expenses that were incurred by the attorney in the pursuit of the case, such as court filing fees and expert witness fees.
It’s also important to note that not all the personal injury cases go to trial and settled out of court, and in those cases the attorney’s fee may be less.
The amount of a typical personal injury settlement can vary widely depending on the specific details of the case, such as the type of injury, the severity of the injury, the cost of medical treatment, and the length of recovery time. Factors such as liability and comparative negligence can also affect the settlement amount.
In general, settlements for more severe injuries are likely to be higher than those for less severe injuries. For example, a settlement for a broken bone may be smaller than a settlement for a permanent spinal cord injury.
Additionally, factors such as lost wages, future medical expenses, and pain and suffering can also affect the settlement amount.
It’s important to note that not all personal injury cases are settled, some go to trial and the award may be higher or lower than the settlement offer.
A settlement amount can range from a few thousand dollars for minor injuries, to millions of dollars for severe or permanent injuries.
- McDonald’s coffee case: In 1992, a woman named Stella Liebeck spilled hot coffee on herself at a McDonald’s drive-thru and suffered severe burns. She sued the company and was awarded $2.9 million in damages, which was later reduced to $640,000.
- O.J. Simpson wrongful death case: In 1997, O.J. Simpson was found liable for the deaths of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman, and was ordered to pay $33.5 million in damages to the victims’ families.
- Erin Brockovich case: In 1996, Erin Brockovich, a legal clerk, helped file a lawsuit against Pacific Gas and Electric Company for contaminating the drinking water of the town of Hinkley, California. The company settled for $333 million.
- Tobacco industry settlement: In 1998, tobacco companies agreed to pay $206 billion to 46 states over 25 years to reimburse them for smoking-related health care costs.
- The Exxon Valdez oil spill: In 1989, the Exxon Valdez oil tanker spilled 11 million gallons of oil off the coast of Alaska. Exxon was ordered to pay $5 billion in damages, which was later reduced to $507.5 million.