How Much Does a Lawyer Cost in Colorado?
“How much does a lawyer cost in Colorado” is a loaded question because it is deceptively complex. There are many different types of lawyers out there who perform many different tasks.
Because of the differing nature of these tasks, different types of lawyers use different calculation methods. They also charge higher or lower rates, depending on various factors.
Personal injury lawyers, in particular, generally work on a contingency fee basis; other types of attorneys usually charge a flat fee or by the hour. Continue reading to learn more about how much it costs to hire a lawyer in the State of Colorado.
Your first contact with any kind of attorney is likely to take place in their office at an initial consultation. On the other hand, it might not take place in an office. If you have suffered a serious personal injury, for example, and want to learn about your options for seeking compensation, the lawyer might come visit you at your hospital bed.
The initial consultation will probably be free of change. After all, the lawyer seeks clients; offering free consultations is a good way to attract them. An office consultation also gives you a chance to gain a sense of the intangible aspects of the firm culture.
At the consultation, the lawyer will probably ask you questions designed to discover whether you have a viable claim–and, if so, how much it is worth. If the lawyer likes your case, they might offer to represent you.
The Contingency Fee Arrangement
The contingency fee arrangement is a somewhat unique fee arrangement that is popular mainly with personal injury lawyers (who represent accident victims, not defendants). The reason why personal injury lawyers like contingency fee arrangements is that winning a personal injury claim generates income for the client.
A personal injury lawyer can demand a certain percentage of this income-–typically 33% to 40% as their fee for winning the case, either in court or at the settlement table.
But What if the Lawyer Loses My Case?
Suppose that your contingency fee arrangement states that your legal fees will be 35% of the amount your lawyer wins for you. Now suppose your lawyer wins nothing. Well, since 35% of zero equals zero, your legal fees for a losing case will be zero.
How Will I Pay My Case Expenses?
Case expenses might include trivial items like copying fees and postage, or more substantial items such as expert witness fees. These fees go to a third party, such as an expert witness, before you win any money. So who pays these fees when they come due? That depends on the agreement between you and your lawyer.
Many lawyers will pay these fees upfront and then deduct them from your winnings later. If you win nothing, they will eat the loss themselves. Other lawyers will want you to pay these fees as they come due.
All in all, the contingency fee system works well because:
- It allows you to secure quality legal representation even if you are broke; and
- It puts you and your lawyer on the same side—they only win if you do, and the more money you make, the more money they make.
Attorney ethical rules require them to deal fairly with you when negotiating the amount of your contingency fee.
The billable hours arrangement is by far the most well-known attorney fee arrangement. It’s where attorneys charge for their services by the hour. The problem is that most Colorado attorneys charge hundreds of dollars an hour for their services.
Can you afford to pay that much? Well, many businesses can indeed afford to pay this much. A lawyer might charge $400 per hour to draft a business contract that a company will use for hundreds of clients. Even $400 per hour could be well worth the money for the company.
The Flat Fee Arrangement
A flat fee is a set amount for a given task. A lawyer might charge $3,000 to file an immigration application, for example, or to draft a last will and testament. Lawyers use flat fee arrangements when they can easily predict how much time and effort they will expend.
Is It Worth It?
Imagine your lawyer charges you a contingency fee of 40% for a personal injury claim. Imagine you would have settled for $10,000 on your own, but your lawyer settles for $50,000. So your lawyer subtracts 40%, leaving you with $30,000. Suppose your lawyer subtracts another $5,000 for case expenses.
That still leaves you with $25,000—two and a half times as much as you would have taken home without a lawyer. There is nothing unusual about such a result, and it explains how even an expensive lawyer can be well worth the money you pay them.
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm For Help Today
Matos Personal Injury Lawyers – Lakewood Office