How much can you Sue for Wrongful Termination?

How much can you Sue for Wrongful Termination?

Many readers with wrongful termination claims received settlements or awards ranging from $5,000 to $80,000, with some getting more.

Surprisingly, 57% of those who believed they were fired unfairly didn’t receive any compensation. Here’s why:

Wrongful termination isn’t the same as being fired unfairly.

To make a legitimate claim, you must be fired for an illegal reason, like discrimination based on protected characteristics (e.g., ethnicity, gender, age).

If your reasons for termination aren’t illegal, such as favoritism or personality conflicts, your claim may not go far.

People with strong cases and significant wage losses might not have participated in the survey since they likely found an attorney quickly elsewhere.

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How much can you sue for Wrongful Termination
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How Lawyers Impact the Outcomes of Wrongful Termination Claims

The presence of an attorney significantly increased the likelihood of a successful outcome in our readers’ wrongful termination claims.

Almost twice as many (64%) readers who enlisted the services of lawyers obtained a settlement or award.

In contrast to fewer than one-third (30%) of those who pursued their claims independently.

Furthermore, attorneys played a pivotal role in the amount received by our readers.

On average, those with legal representation received $48,800 as a settlement or award, whereas unrepresented individuals received $19,200.

These survey findings are easily understood when you consider the role of wrongful termination attorneys.

Once they take on your case, they assist in building a strong case, navigate the legal and administrative complexities, and excel in negotiations with employers.

Moreover, employers tend to treat claims more seriously and offer higher settlements when an attorney is involved.

What Do Wrongful Termination Lawyers Charge?

Certainly, legal representation comes with a cost.

Wrongful termination attorneys typically have three different methods of charging for their services:

  1. Contingency Fees: In this model, attorneys receive a percentage of the settlement or award, and if you don’t win, they don’t get paid. Approximately three-quarters of our readers with attorneys opted for this option, and most of them (56%) paid contingency fees ranging from 30% to 35%. On average, the total was just under 30%.
  2. Hourly Fees: Employment lawyers may bill by the hour, with rates varying widely based on the lawyer’s experience and location. This approach is less common as many terminated employees can’t afford it. Only 10% of our readers with attorneys were charged on an hourly basis. Among them, over a third (35%) paid between $100 and $200 per hour, while nearly a third (30%) paid over $300 per hour.
  3. Combination Fees: Some lawyers may request an initial retainer fee, coupled with an agreement to pay a percentage of any eventual settlement or award. Approximately 15% of our readers with attorneys used this payment structure.

Considering the average compensation received by readers with attorneys, along with the average contingency fee paid (29%).

The lawyers typically received around $14,200.

However, even after deducting this fee from the settlement or award.

These readers still came out ahead by an average of nearly $15,500 compared to those without legal representation.

Other Factors Impacting Outcomes

Besides the significant influence of having an attorney, our survey identified several other factors that affected the results of readers’ wrongful termination claims, including:

  1. Negotiating Settlement Offers: It’s not surprising that readers who negotiated for a better settlement offer generally fared better. Surprisingly, one in five readers accepted the initial offer, resulting in considerably lower compensation (an average of $19,200 compared to $41,500 for those who negotiated).
  2. Filing a Lawsuit: While few wrongful termination claims go to trial, initiating a lawsuit strengthens an employee’s position by commencing the formal discovery process, obtaining evidence through depositions and document requests. Readers who took this step were nearly twice as likely to secure a settlement (70% compared to 36%) and received higher settlements and awards (an average of nearly $12,000 more than those who didn’t file).
  3. Employer Size: In general, readers with wrongful termination claims against larger employers (with over 100 employees) received an average compensation of $43,400—almost twice as much as those who worked for smaller employers. This difference may be due to larger employers having more financial resources to offer higher settlements or the legal limits governing compensation for wrongful termination claims based on illegal discrimination or harassment, which are higher for larger employers.
An image illustration of How much is it worth to Sue a Wrongful Termination
How much is it worth to Sue a Wrongful Termination
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In Conclusion

Getting fair compensation for wrongful termination is tough. Hiring an experienced attorney can make a big difference.

Readers with lawyers were 3x more satisfied than those without.

If finding an attorney is challenging, you’re not alone.

Many readers (62%) didn’t hire one because of reasons like;

The termination not being illegal, lack of evidence, or insufficient damages.

Attorneys assess cases based on evidence and potential compensation. If they see a low chance of winning, they may advise against proceeding.

While it’s discouraging when a lawyer declines your case, consult multiple attorneys for a clearer understanding of your situation.

ALSO READ : How to Sue for Wrongful Termination

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