Updated October 23, 2023

How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Lawyer?

Have you been injured in an accident? If that’s the case, you might be hesitant to contact a lawyer, even though you know you could benefit from a lawyer’s opinion on your case. One common reason people hesitate to make the call is that they don’t know how much hiring a lawyer will cost.

When recovering from an accident, you already have plenty of medical bills and expenses to worry about. Understandably, you do not want to add an additional payment, especially when the cost can vary widely from one lawyer to another. In this post, we’ll discuss the factors affecting a lawyer’s fees, how lawyers structure their fees, and the way our attorneys at Wilson Kehoe Winingham charge their clients. 

What Factors Affect the Cost to Hire a Lawyer? 

There are many reasons why lawyers charge different amounts. Some of the most common reasons are: 

  • Legal specialty–Attorneys who work in highly specialized areas of law typically charge more. 
  • Years of Experience–Seasoned attorneys who have won many cases are typically in higher demand than newer attorneys just starting. 
  • Complexity of the Case–If a case requires many hours of hard work (such as negotiations, investigations, or research) or specialized knowledge, the attorneys may charge more than they would for a standard case. 
  • Location–As with many other industries, lawyers’ fees can vary based on location. Lawyers in Wisconsin may charge less than lawyers in New York or New Jersey. 

How Do Lawyers Typically Structure Their Fees? 

Many people hesitate to contact a lawyer, fearing they may be charged different types of fees. However, most lawyers will choose one type of fee structure. You may pay your lawyer on an hourly basis or on a contingency fee, but typically not both. Read on to learn about the different fee structures and understand which lawyers commonly charge which rates. 

Hourly Rate

Many lawyers charge their clients hourly rates. Nearly all areas of law commonly use this type of agreement. The advantage of this is that the lawyer should be compensated fairly for the long hours they spend on the case. And if your case does not need as much legwork, you will not be charged as much. However, this rate structure has a disadvantage: the client cannot know in advance how much the lawyer’s service will cost at the end of the case. 

Flat Fee

A flat fee agreement involves a predetermined total cost, regardless of the hours the attorney works. These types of fees are most common when drafting contracts and creating forms and agreements (such as wills, bankruptcy forms, and business contracts). 

Retainer Fee

A retainer fee involves paying the attorney a set amount for a specified number of hours of work. This arrangement is similar to an hourly rate agreement, except the total number of hours is agreed upon beforehand. The money is set aside in a trust account until the client uses the hours. Once the balance reaches a certain amount, the client may be required to deposit more funds. If the attorney has money remaining in the trust account at the end of the case, it will be returned to the client. 

Contingency Fees

Contingency fees are based on the case’s outcome. Under a contingency fee agreement, the client does not have to pay the attorney unless they win their case and receive damages. In that event, the attorney receives an agreed-upon percentage of the settlement. If the client does not receive monetary damages, they usually do not need to pay the attorney. 

Contingency fees are most common in cases such as personal injury. In these cases, the expected outcome is a monetary reward, so this type of agreement makes sense. 

Now that you understand the various fee structures lawyers might use, let’s take a closer look at our approach at Wilson Kehoe Winingham.

How Does Wilson Kehoe Winingham Charge Their Clients? 

Now that you know the different fee structures that attorneys use, you may wonder how our attorneys at WKW charge our clients. Our personal injury lawyers charge on a contingency fee basis. This means that we only charge our clients once they have successfully recovered damages. In the event that the client does not recover damages, we do not charge the client for our services. 

If the client is awarded damages, we charge the client a contingency fee based on a percentage of that amount. 

How Much Is a Lawyer Consultation Fee? 

Wondering if you’re likely to recover damages? Scheduling a consultation with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys is the best way to find out. You may wonder: Does it cost anything to talk to a lawyer? When you make an appointment for an initial case review, we will review your case at no charge

Schedule Your Free Consultation Today

Now that you’re familiar with how attorneys’ fees are calculated, you might be ready to move forward with your case. Take the first step and contact Wilson Kehoe Winingham today for your free, no-obligation consultation. 

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