The Insider’s Guide to Personal Injury Lawyer Salaries

Written by Niranjan

Unlike other lawyers, personal injury lawyers do not charge an hourly rate for their services. Instead, a personal injury lawyer will take a percentage of the clients payout. In high profile cases, a lawyer can earn as much as 40% of the clients compensation payoff.

A personal injury lawyer will take care of a clients claim when they are have sustained;

  • Auto accidents
  • animal bite injuries
  • aviation accident
  • boating accident
  • brain injuries
  • burn injuries
  • construction injuries
  • defective products
  • insurance
  • malpractice in medicine
  • motorcycle accident
  • nursing home abuse
  • slip and fall accidents
  • wrongful death
  • spinal cord injuries

Claimants lawyers will act on behalf of an injured client and the defendant will work antagonistically against the claimants lawyers. Personal injury lawyers re often hired by private clients, large companies and even local authorities.

A personal injury case can take months to finalise, with catastrophic injury cases taking over 5 years to finalise. Conducting fast-track cases will speed up a case time.

Most personal injury lawyers work between 7:30am and finish at 5:30pm. If a case is going to trial then the lawyer may be working long weekends to finalise the case. Planning is key to avoid overworking and lawyers may need to travel the world to gather witness statements.

Firstly, a personal injury lawyer will check medical reports and make further checks to verify facts of a case. The defendants lawyers will try to minimise liability and compensation payout.

This falls under the banner of tort law.

Personal Injury Lawyer Salary

The average injury lawyer salary is $78,000 per year and has a range of $46,777 to $152,000. There is a large range in commissions from $498 to $45,958. Bonuses can range from $492 to $25,027 The total salary of a personal injury lawyer ranges from $47,855 to $172,892.



The initial step to becoming a personal injury lawyer is achieving an undergraduate degree. To go on to law school, the student must already have a bachelors degree. It’s recommended that hopeful lawyers uptake in mock exams hosted by a lawyers office. Mock trials will help give students the chance to spend more time working with qualified lawyers to get an understanding on how personal injury law works.

At the end of the bachelors program, students will take a Law School Admissions Test, (LSAT). This is a multiple choice exam which measures a students aptitude for skills used by lawyers. The LSAT involves critical reading, research and task management.

The next step is to earn a law degree. Law school will require three years of study after the bachelors degree. The first year focuses on general legal subjects. Second year and third year focuses on elective courses, which may be focused towards personal injury law.

Partaking in internships will make the transition into a law firm much easier. If you aspire to become a personal injury lawyer you may think about internships with judges etc.

The Third step to becoming a lawyer is the pass the bar exam. In order to practise law you must pass the bar. This is when you become ‘admitted to the bar’. There is no specific bar exam for personal injury lawyers, the exam is the same for all lawyers. For the bar exam, the questions are based on state-specific and national laws. Although this varies from state to state. 

The final step to becoming a personal injury lawyer is to pass the multistate professional responsibility exam, which is required by many states. It is another multiple-choice exam and meant to measure a lawyers understanding of professional conduct.

Personal Injury Lawyer Skills

As a personal injury lawyer, you will need to be good at communication and negotiating with clients. The high level of client communication required in personal injury law is higher than other types of law.

Factors Effecting Salary


In Florida the maximum a lawyer can take from a successful payout is 33%. Lawyers can take a higher percentage if the court is given a petition with the client consent showing that the case is exceptionally difficult.

If the court awards $50,000 and costs are $10,000. Then the lawyer will take what percentage was originally agreed on in the starting contract between lawyer and client

In California, the average contingency rate is 33% but some lawyers may take as much as 50% of the payout.

Longevity Of A Personal Injury lawyer

Personal injury claims are not usually affected by the recession. Although workplace claims will drop when there is a drop in the level of economic activity. Claims are constantly changing due to media opinion. For example, it is being questioned if whiplash is a condition or not.


Future job prospects continue to look promising in the world of personal injury law. Check out City Of Hype for more details on your law career.


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