Lawyers have many decisions and choices to make about what their law practice will look like. Jobs in the legal field are expected to grow through the end of the decade. In addition to deciding whether you want to work for an established firm or start your own, you’ll also need to decide what kind of law you want to practice.
Whether you’re just beginning your career as an attorney or whether you’re switching practice areas, you will naturally wonder what type of salary you can expect. If you’re pursuing your legal career in Georgia, you might be looking at jobs in Atlanta since it’s both the capital and the largest city in the state.
What Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Do in Atlanta?
Atlanta personal injury lawyers have the opportunity to help people who have suffered devastating accidents due to someone else’s negligence. They handle cases involving car accidents, slip and fall accidents, truck accidents, product liability, wrongful death, and much more.
Personal injury lawyers help accident victims in Atlanta recover money to help them to pay for costly medical bills, replace lost wages, and offer compensation for emotional and psychological distress caused by catastrophic accidents.
How much money you might make as an Atlanta personal injury lawyer depends on a number of factors.
What Do Personal Injury Lawyers Charge in Atlanta?
Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingent fee basis rather than charge an hourly rate. This means that their fee is contingent, or conditional, upon winning the case. If they don’t win, they don’t collect any fee at all for their legal services. If they win, their fee is a percentage of the amount they recovered for their client in a settlement or verdict.
Most contingent agreements provide for a fee that’s anywhere between 33% to 40% of the total award. Each lawyer will have their own fee agreement. How much you might charge could depend on a number of factors.
All attorney fees must be “reasonable.” What’s considered reasonable is subjective but can be measured using a number of factors. The State Bar of Georgia outlines a number of factors to be considered when determining whether a fee is reasonable.
Some factors include:
- Time and labor required to competently handle the case
- Fee customarily charged for similar legal services in the same geographic area
- Novelty and difficulty of the questions involved in the matter
- Likelihood that accepting the case will preclude the lawyer from accepting other work
- Amount involved and the results obtained
- Time limitations imposed by the client or by other circumstances
- Experience, reputation, and ability of the lawyer
For example, a higher fee may be warranted in a case that’s particularly complex, has unusually tight deadlines, or is being handled by a high-profile lawyer known to get results.
How Much Money Do Personal Injury Lawyers Make in Atlanta?
Based on the above factors, how much Atlanta personal injury attorneys make will vary. According to Salary.com, the average salary for a personal injury lawyer was $82,252 as of November 2021.
Other websites collecting or analyzing salary data may have different numbers. Much of this data is either self-reported or taken from job listings.
If you are working on contingency, the amount you make will depend entirely on how much you recover for your clients in settlements or trial verdicts.
This, in turn, depends in part on how many cases you can handle at one time, which will depend to a large degree on your level of experience.
If you are working on a high-stakes case, your percentage may amount to a large fee. However, if the case takes up all of your time and you can’t take any other cases, that may be the only money you get for that year.
Keep in mind that litigating complex personal injury cases can sometimes take several years.
You won’t collect a fee unless and until you win.
That means your salary could vary from year to year.
How much you might make is just one of many components that will help you decide what direction you want to take as you pursue your legal career.