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Basic Queens Personal Injury Settlement Breakdown: How Much Goes in My Pocket?



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Were you injured in a car accident, slip and fall, or another personal injury incident in Queens, NY? You might be wondering, “How are personal injury settlements paid out?” or “What percentage do lawyers take from the settlement?” Below, we address these questions with our personal injury settlement breakdown.

What Is a Contingency Fee?

Most personal injury cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, meaning that payment is contingent on the result. If your lawyer is unable to secure any compensation on your behalf, you will not owe them for attorney fees. If your lawyer is able to recover compensation for your claim, they take out a predetermined fee based on a percentage of the award.

But, what percentage do lawyers take? That depends on your contingency fee agreement with your lawyer. Your personal injury lawyer should give you a written agreement that sets out the percentage and other costs you may incur.

There may be different fees depending on how the case is resolved. For example, how much lawyers take from a settlement may differ from what they would take if the case went to trial. This is because trials are more complex and involve more time and resources than settling a claim with the insurance company.

According to the NY Rules of Professional Conduct, a lawyer must provide the following information to a client in writing:

  • The method the lawyer uses to determine the fee
  • The percentage or percentages that will accrue to the lawyer in case of a settlement, trial, or appeal
  • Litigation and other expenses that will be deducted from the award
  • When litigation and other expenses will be deducted from the award
  • Any expenses the client will be responsible for regardless of the outcome of the case

Be sure you carefully review the written agreement and ask your attorney any questions you have.

How Much to Ask for in a Personal Injury Settlement in Queens

“How much is my case worth?” is one of the most common questions personal injury lawyers receive. However, this is a difficult question to answer. Every case is different.

Some of the factors that can affect the value of your claim include:

  • The severity of the injuries
  • The financial losses caused by the accident
  • Whether one or more party was at fault for the accident
  • Whether you were partially negligent
  • Insurance coverage limits

When your attorney investigates your accident and gathers evidence, they’ll better understand how much your claim is worth.

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How Are Settlements Paid Out in Queens, New York?

If you have settled your case, certain costs must be deducted from the award before you can receive your money. These may include:

Attorney Fees

You’re likely wondering, “What percentage does a lawyer get in a settlement case?” Your attorney is entitled to a “reasonable fee” for their services. New York law considers either of the following approaches as reasonable:

Schedule A:

  • 50% of the first $1,000 of the sum recovered
  • 40% of the next $2,000 of the sum recovered
  • 35% of the next $22,000 of the sum recovered
  • 25% of any amount over $25,000 of the sum recovered

Schedule B:

  • A percentage up to 33 1/3% of the sum recovered

Your attorney’s fee is the first line item deducted from your financial recovery.

Legal Costs

There may be various expenses related to bringing forth your claim, including:

  • Copy costs
  • Postage
  • Medical record retrieval fees
  • Expert witness costs
  • Witness fees

Your attorney should provide an itemized list of expenses incurred during your case.

Medical Liens and Expenses

Your medical providers, health insurance company, or other agencies might place a lien on your settlement if you have not paid for medical services related to your case. However, your personal injury lawyer can try to negotiate the cost of these services so that you wind up with a larger portion of the settlement.

Client Portion

After the above expenses are deducted, you will receive the remainder of the settlement, usually in the form of a check. The NY Rules of Professional Conduct require your lawyer to list out these costs and how their fee was determined.

Contact a Queens Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Personal Injury Settlement Breakdown

Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, so they only get paid if they recover compensation on your behalf. Contact an experienced Queens attorney to discuss how much your claim may be worth during a free, no-obligation consultation.