When hiring a lawyer, buyers should be aware that each lawyer uses a unique payment structure. This means the fees for no two lawyers are alike. Instead, it depends on the time spent on the case, the lawyer’s experience and ability, the results of the case, and any costs of preparation. Below are the top four lawyer fees to be aware of.
1) Hourly Rates
This is the most common lawyer fee, so anyone who is hiring a lawyer should be aware of it. The lawyer will set their own hourly rate. They base it on their experience, expertise, location, and other factors. While someone looking for a lawyer may just want to opt for the most affordable, an expensive lawyer may be quicker and get better results.
2) Contingency Fees
Some lawyers may not charge an hourly rate at all, but charge a contingency fee instead. This means the lawyer takes a predetermined amount of the judgement if he or she is able to win the case. In most cases, the contingency fee is thirty-three percent, but those hiring a lawyer can negotiate before deciding to hire them. Some cases do not allow a contingency fee, so those looking for a lawyer should make sure to look into this before anything else.
3) Retainer Fees
Retainer fees are paid in advance based on a lawyer’s hourly rate. In this case, the person looking for a lawyer would put money into a specialized account, and the lawyer would make deductions as the case progresses. The person hiring the lawyer is responsible for keeping track of this specialized account. One benefit of retainer fees is that they are often refunded if they’re not used in full.
4) Statutory Fees
These are fees set by the law. There is certain legal work that requires a flat fee that cannot be avoided. For example, when paying a traffic ticket, there is usually a surcharge of about twenty dollars. This surcharge can never be avoided.
When agreeing to pay a fee, regardless of the type, one should make sure to obtain a detailed list of what exactly is being provided for the fee. This way, they know exactly what they are getting, and what they will be charged extra for. With careful planning, the fees can be taken care of fairly and easily.