Attorney and client relationships are more of an employer-employee relationship. This is because they get paid for the services they render to clients for representation either in court or in matters where the client needs an attorney. This hence means that a predetermined way of payment has to be agreed on for the relationship to work.
There are different ways of paying attorneys but all in all they have to have certain criteria to determine how much they have to be paid for settlement. This can be applicable for both a win and loss of a case. This hence means that there will be instances where the case may not be successful and a loss is experienced.
Based on the agreement between you two, it will determine whether you ought to pay your attorney or not.
How much does an attorney receive for settlement? Here is a guide to it:
- Contingency basis: The contingency method is one of the most common sort methods of determining the settlement amount. This is because it uses percentages of the claim to be paid to the plaintiff once he has won the case through the attorney. This method is quite convenient for the client as it makes the attorney work extra hard because if they lose the case there will be no form of payment towards his side. This means that they have to be determined to win the case so that they can receive payments.
Contingency fee percentages are based on how much the client received for the case. Most contingency fee charges will range from 33%-40% of the settlement. This being less than half of the whole amount is worth the pay and actually manageable since the client doesn’t go into his pocket to pay the attorney. The percentage has to be agreed upon before it’s settled in for the work to begin. This ensures that when the claim amount is mentioned in court the plaintiff has a rough idea of how much is due to the attorney.
- Sliding scale: The sliding scale requires that the attorney be paid based on the level at which the case is at. This means that there will be a fee paid to the attorney for each stage of the case from filing the case into court to mentioning of judgment. This method may be quite expensive but it’s what actually most attorneys want to work with. This is because here they have to be paid for works done, unlike the contingency method where it’s the client with the advantage at hand. Once you instate your attorney to work on the case and choose this method to determine how much does an attorney receive for settlement it means that you will be paying upfront of each stage. It’s actually quite motivating for them because they already have money which is giving them the enthusiasm for them to continue working with you.
The disadvantage of using this method is that the client will incur money which he is not sure if he will win the case. If they happen to lose the case he is still under liability to pay the attorney for representation of the case. However, the catch here can be settling on amounts before any procedure occurs. You can choose to pay the attorney on an agreed amount and then make partial payments throughout the process. This ensures that you will only be using the agreed amount. You have to be careful though so that the case doesn’t take longer than you expected and hence having to top up to the amount.
- Hourly rates: The hourly rates suggest that the attorney is paid on the final settlement of the case based on the hours spent on the case. The amount is determined once the case has been settled or after each procedure of the case is complete. Once you have decided on this method the client and attorney determine an hourly rate to an agreed amount that is convenient for both of them. This will ensure that the client pays for works done and hours only spent on the case. It also means that the longer the case the more the amount is to be paid to the attorney. The hourly rate is quite convenient for short cases that are not complex in nature. This is because the attorney will spend less time on the case and hence the pay is not large. However, if it takes longer than as expected and you had already signed up for this you are entitled to it. Most attorneys will charge $200 per hour on a case which may be quite comfortable for them and the client.
- Contract basis: On the contract basis, it means that the payment is of the written form before the case is heard or determined. The client and his attorney have to determine an amount and state it into the agreed amount to it. This means that once you have chosen this method you will only pay the fixed amount on the contract on the final settlement. Opting for this method is risky because you are not sure if you will win or lose the case. It’s also advantageous as you have a binding amount of payment hence no more or less will be spent on the case.
- Costs and expenses: There are instances where the attorney has to use his own cash to pay for some costs and expenses. This means that he has to be reimbursed for these amounts because they are doing so on your behalf. Such expenses are inevitable as they build the case to be quite successful. This means that they have to be incurred and refunded by the plaintiff or defendant to their attorneys. There should be receipts to show how much should be refunded so that the attorney cannot take advantage of the client and overcharge the client.
The expenses may include:
- Medical expenses
- Legal fees of filing