How Much Will a Lawyer Cost?
It's the first question that comes to mind when anyone gets into legal trouble: How much will this cost? And while hiring an attorney may be expensive, not hiring one could end up costing you even more.
The total cost of hiring an attorney will depend on the attorney and your case, but there are some general principles regarding legal fees, depending on whether you're hiring a family, injury, or criminal lawyer.
Most lawyers bill by the hour, and their hourly rate can vary depending on their quality and experience. The total number of hours billed will depend on the complexity of the case. Some custody issues can be worked out between cooperative parents without legal assistance; some divorces are complex enough to require entire legal teams for each side.
Rates generally range in the hundreds of dollars per hour and legal fees can include filing fees. Make sure you read, understand, and sign a fee agreement before hiring an attorney.
One major difference with injury attorneys is that many will work on a contingency fee basis. This means the lawyer's fee is based on a percentage of the amount awarded in the case, and if you don't win your case, you may only have to pay some expenses.
Contingency percentages are usually around one-third of the total award, but can vary, and some state laws cap the amount of contingency fees a lawyer can receive.
Like all other attorneys, the better the criminal defense attorney, the more expensive he or she will be. But, unlike other lawsuits, criminal defendants have a right to counsel and states are required to provide an attorney to every defendant in a criminal action. So if you cannot afford an attorney, you will be provided one free of cost.
It's a complex world and there are many reasons you might need an attorney. Luckily, we have all the best attorneys listed here for you.
- Find a Lawyer (FindLaw Directory)
- Attorney Fees and Agreements (FindLaw)
- Do's and Don'ts of Hiring a Friend as Your Lawyer (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)
- Does the Losing Party Always Have to Pay Attorney's Fees? (FindLaw's Injured)
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