How Are Personal Injury Lawyers Paid?

Joe Stanley taking notes in his office. Working very hard for a client

stanley law offices joe stanleyWhat’s A Question the Firm Gets A Lot?

People always ask ‘How do lawyers get paid?’ And there are two big distinctions. Most lawyers get paid by the hour  – where you pay them hourly and you get a bill on a regular basis. Or you’re paid on what’s called a contingency fee basis. And there are different kinds of contingency fees, personal injury, social security, workers’ compensation. Personal injury, which is what we do, involves you paying a percentage of the fee of what we recover, and it’s usually a third. By recover I mean WIN.

Personal Injury Attorneys Advance All the Money To Put Your Case Together

The personal injury lawyer who prosecutes the case, advances all the cost in the litigation, which even in small cases nowadays, can be significant. Nowadays, there’s no such thing, really, as routine. But an automobile accident case that goes to trial, the expenses can be $20-25,000 or even more. In bigger cases that can exceed well over a hundred thousand dollars and sometimes into the hundreds of thousands. I’m not sure most people realize that. That’s one reason why we’re mindful of what cases we take. We take cases where we have a strong probability, stronger than not, of winning the case based on the facts we’re presented with. But there’s never a guarantee. There’s always risk to every case.

Your personal injury attorney is advocating and paying for the case, so you can be compensated. And that’s why we say we’re not successful if we don’t win. So that’s how that works. And sometimes people don’t understand it when they say, well, what are you getting a third for? Well, it’s it makes it possible to prosecute cases that most would never be able to afford otherwise, really. And, if we lose, we lose. That’s why we’re careful about the cases we take and we aggressively pursue the ones that we think are worthy of compensation. We work to get the client the MAXIMUM award.

Document Everything When You Have An Accident

It’s also why it’s important when you have an accident to document everything. Provide as much information as possible every step of the way. Tell the truth. Tell us everything, even the ‘bad stuff.’ Cases get into trouble when a client has been completely transparent and upfront about things – either with their accident, their past, aspects of their case that will be scrutinized by the insurance companies. In this day and age, everyone expects you to have more information. Documentation in this digital world is something people assume even though it’s not that easy necessarily.


Stanley Law has offices in Syracuse, Watertown, Rochester, Binghamton, Oneonta, and Montrose, PA. We can also do our FREE consultations via zoom. You can reach Joe Stanley directly at and the phone number’s 1 800-608-3333. They’ll be there… for you.