How Much Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Cost in San Diego?

Naturally, your lawyer will charge for your case. But lawyers vary in the amount and timing of charges.

Most injury lawyers bill a contingency fee. California has laws that govern how lawyers should handle contingency fees. The State Bar of California also has rules that determine the fairness of contingency fees. Using these laws and rules for guidance, you can estimate a fair fee for a lawyer.

Here is some information about how much lawyers cost in San Diego.

How Contingency Fees Work

Injury lawyers charge a contingency fee because most accident victims are ordinary people. They did not plan to get into a car accident or another accident, and many must spend their savings on treatment for their injuries. As a result, accident victims frequently do not have the financial resources to hire a lawyer on an hourly or flat fee basis.

With a contingency fee, the amount you pay will depend on the outcome of the case. In other words, your fee is contingent on the results the lawyer produces.

In a typical contingency fee, you pay a percentage of your compensation to the lawyer at the end of the case. A fair percentage may range anywhere from 30% to 40%. Most lawyers charge between 30% and 33%.

This arrangement has three important features.

No Upfront Fees

Lawyers who charge a contingency fee do not require you to front any fees. Instead, you will sign a contingency fee agreement, and the lawyer will begin working on your case. For most accident victims, this frees up their cash and savings to spend on medical treatments and living expenses.

No Fee for a Loss

If the lawyer fails to secure an insurance settlement or favorable verdict at trial, you owe no legal fees. The contingency fee is a percentage of your compensation. If you get zero compensation, the lawyer gets zero fees.

You Keep the Bulk of Your Compensation

Regardless of the exact percentage, you will keep the bulk of your compensation. This will go to cover your past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and diminished earning capacity. It will also compensate you for your pain, suffering, and reduction in your quality of life.

Factors that Go into a Contingency Fee

Many factors go into setting a contingency fee. Some of the considerations used by the State Bar of California to determine the fairness of a fee include:

  • The services performed
  • The novelty and difficulty of the legal issues
  • The skills needed to perform the legal services
  • Whether the lawyer had to turn down other work or not
  • Time limitations imposed by the case or the client
  • The lawyer’s experience, reputation, and ability
  • The time and labor required

Although not included in the California Bar’s list of factors, the market conditions for the lawyer will also influence the amount of the fee. Lawyers in big cities like San Diego or Los Angeles usually charge more for legal services than lawyers in smaller towns.

Nuts and Bolts of Contingency Fees

When you hire a lawyer on a contingency fee, California law requires the lawyer to provide you with a written fee agreement. You should review the fee agreement carefully so you understand what you will pay. You should ask the lawyer about any terms you do not understand. You can also have another lawyer review your fee agreement to ensure a fair fee.

At the end of your case, the lawyer must provide you with a statement that lists the compensation you received and the fee you will pay. The statement will also list any expenses the lawyer charged.

These expenses represent anything the lawyer paid out of pocket for your case. They could include such costs as:

  • Filing fees
  • Court reporter costs
  • Expert witness expenses

To avoid any surprises, you should discuss expenses before you sign the fee agreement. That way, you will know all of the costs of hiring a personal injury lawyer in San Diego.

Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm in San Diego Today To Get More Information

If you’ve been injured in San Diego, please call Mission Personal Injury Lawyers for a free case evaluation with a personal injury attorney or contact us online.


Mission Personal Injury Lawyers
2515 Camino del Rio S Suite 350, San Diego, CA 92108
(619) 777-5555