If you were injured in a car accident because of another driver’s reckless behavior, you would likely need to submit an insurance claim or take legal action against them to recover your losses. If you decide to pursue either option, a lawyer could prove invaluable. Naturally, you will then want to know how much it will cost to hire a car accident lawyer.
It is standard practice for car crash attorneys to work on a contingency fee basis in most cases, per the American Bar Association (ABA). This means you do not pay them a fee unless you obtain financial compensation. Once you win your case or receive a settlement award, your lawyer will take a percentage of your compensation as payment for their services. If you do not recover any money, you do not owe your lawyer any fees.
Contingency fees vary per firm, but they generally fall within a certain range. Some common factors that may affect the exact percentage are the complexity of the case, the length of time before settlement, whether a trial is necessary, and the state where the lawyer practices. Typically, cases that go to trial and take longer to resolve have higher fees.
How a Contingency Fee Arrangement Can Be Advantageous
With a contingency fee agreement, you can focus more on pursuing compensation instead of thinking about the cost of hiring a lawyer. Even at the beginning of your case, you are already aware of the fixed percentage that your lawyer will be receiving. You can have access to quality legal services regardless of your financial situation. Since your attorney will get nothing if you get nothing, they will invest time and effort into achieving the best possible outcome. You can be assured that your interests always come first.
Contingency or legal fees for car accidents are commonly one-third of the settlement amount if you settle before filing a lawsuit or 90 days afterward. If your lawyer takes your case through court and you receive a settlement then, the fee usually increases. Cases that are unusually expensive, complex, or risky may have higher charges, although this seldom applies to car accident cases.
Other Expenses in a Lawsuit
Although you do not pay a lawyer’s fee if you lose or until you win your case in a contingency fee arrangement, be aware there are other costs you have to take into account. The following are some case expenses you should expect apart from contingency fees:
- Medical record copies
- Filing fees
- Expert witness fees
- Deposition expenses
- Court costs
- Postage charges
- Trial exhibits
In many instances, your lawyer will keep track of the expenses and be the one to pay for them as your case progresses. You can reimburse them after you recover compensation. It is also possible for your lawyer to bill you as you incur costs and send you monthly statements. While some firms will shoulder case expenses even if you lose, others will ask you to settle them whether you win or lose.
Understand that it is not easy for your lawyer to give an estimate of the total amount of expenses while your case is ongoing since costs increase with time and depend on various factors. Do not hesitate to discuss your concerns with your lawyer ahead of time if you wish to hear ideas about containing costs.
Questions to Ask During a Legal Consultation
You must understand how a contingency arrangement works for you to feel comfortable working with your attorney. Carefully read the agreement before signing it, and ask questions if you are unsure about some parts. For example, you should confirm the exact percentage of the contingency fee and other expenses to anticipate.
Do not forget to inquire about how you will be paying these expenses, specifically whether your lawyer will take it out of your compensation award or pay them upfront. These questions help give you an idea of how it will be like working with your potential attorney and what costs to expect.
Get Your Free Consultation with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Today
For first-hand advice on how much it will cost to hire a car accident lawyer, speak to a legal expert from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm. They are ready to answer any question you may have regarding the costs of working with a dedicated and compassionate lawyer. Call (800) 223-5115 to know more about your situation and the legal options available to you.