How Much Do Lawyers Charge for Auto Accident Claims?
April 7, 2022 | Car Accidents
Many accident victims are apprehensive about hiring a lawyer for auto accidents. This concern is often due to the costs they assume are associated with hiring an Auto accident attorney. While there are costs related to auto accident claims, they may not be as much as you think.
Lawyers will often work on a contingency fee basis related to car accidents and other personal injury claims.
What is a contingency fee?
You might wonder how the contingency fee works. This fee is essentially an arrangement between you and your attorney that allows them to take on your case without charging fees unless they can settle your claim favorably. This arrangement is often a win-win for all involved. You can rest assured that your attorney has your best interests at heart since they will not get paid until they obtain a settlement for your case.
Keep in mind that contingency fees are only permissible in certain legal matters. They are common in personal injury cases like workers’ compensation, wrongful death, disability, and other injuries. Before signing up with any law firm, you should ensure you do not have to pay any upfront costs and that your attorney works on a contingency fee basis.
What are common auto accident lawyer fees?
There is a baseline that many personal injury attorneys will base their fees on. The industry standard is around one-third of your settlement, but this percentage will vary by the firm and how complex your case is. If you have a relatively simple matter, you may fall on the lower end, but fees are different if your case needs to go into litigation.
You should discuss all possible costs during an initial consultation. If you believe the percentage is fair for your case, you can have your attorney develop a written fee agreement. This written agreement will outline any costs and fees associated with your case.
What are litigation costs?
There is always the possibility that your car accident lawyer will need to take your case into litigation. Attorney’s fees will often be higher when your case reaches this point.
You may also incur additional costs due to moving these cases into litigation. Expert witnesses and depositions can result in thousands of dollars spent to prove your case. While this is an example of extreme expenses, you may incur other minor fees. These expenses can be as simple as the cost of making copies or postage. The law firm will document these costs, and you will ultimately pay them from your settlement.
Will hiring an auto accident attorney cost me more than not hiring an attorney?
You may think about handling your case on your own to keep 100 percent of the settlement offer. The problem with taking this route is that you will almost undoubtedly recover a lower settlement than if you had hired an attorney.
When you work without a car accident attorney, the insurance company will have plenty of them. This discrepancy means you are going against all of these attorneys and their experiences.
What damages can an attorney recover?
The desired outcome of personal injury claims is to get a fair and just settlement for your injuries and damages. There are both economic and non-economic damages that your attorney will seek.
Examples of compensation auto accident lawyer might recover on your behalf include:
- Lost wages
- Medical bills and expenses
- Property damage
- Out of pocket expenses
- Disability or permanent impairment damages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
It is no easy feat to obtain compensation for these damages, and you will need to discuss your legal options with an experienced car accident attorney. No one sets damage amounts in stone, and your lawyer will know which ones you can claim in your lawsuit. Every car accident case is different, so you need a lawyer on your side.
What are you paying an attorney for?
You have access to several invaluable services when hiring a car accident attorney.
Lawyers take on many roles when they accept your case, including:
- An investigator
- An advisor
- A negotiator
- An advocate
- A representative
While you can handle your case independently, you may not have the experience or resources to wear all of these hats. Remember that your attorney will front any costs from their pocket and get reimbursement when your case settles. While you may not know all of these cases’ complexities, the right car accident lawyer does.
Are there fees for a consultation?
Since personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, they will also offer free initial consultations. This meeting allows them to determine if your case is one they want to take on and if there is the possibility for a favorable outcome. This meeting also gives injury victims the chance to determine if this is the right attorney for their case. You can also get legal advice on the best route to take.
When will I receive compensation?
There is no way to tell how long your case will take. Sometimes, a lawyer can resolve a car accident claim within a few weeks or months. In other cases, however, it can take several years. You will not receive compensation until the case settles.
Once you reach a settlement agreement, your attorney will take their payment from your settlement funds. Next, any medical bills you incurred and did not pay for will require payment. Once this all happens, you will get the remainder of the settlement. Even after paying legal fees, most people end up with significantly greater funds than if they proceeded without the right legal representation.
What if I switch lawyers in the middle of my car accident case?
If you change lawyers at any time or decide to represent yourself, any fees incurred by your original lawyer may require payment. Switching an attorney can be difficult and costly, so hiring the right attorney from the beginning is crucial.
There are certain situations where you will need to terminate your lawyer because they are not holding up their end of the deal. If this is the case, you need to get in writing that they will not pursue any interest or fees related to your lawsuit.
Contact a personal injury attorney.
Contact an attorney immediately following a car accident to meet all of the time limits on filing car accident claims in your state. The clock begins to tick the moment of an accident. This limitation means you do not have a lot of time to contact an attorney and file a claim.
Find a law firm that has helped countless accident victims and their families after auto accidents and schedule a free consultation as soon as possible. You will never regret starting the legal process of seeking compensation for your car accident injuries.