Car accidents affect victims physically, emotionally, and psychologically. The recovery period takes a lot of time, and the financial losses can be out of this world. Car accident settlements can provide some reprieve by taking care of the medical bills and the damages.
However, getting compensation after a car accident is not easy. Insurance companies can take you in cycles looking for ways to pay you the minimum amount possible.
Without the help of an experienced attorney, you might end up with less than what you deserve or nothing at all.
Hiring a personal injury attorney to negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf is the best thing to do after a car accident. But before you hire one, you must be prepared financially because attorneys don’t offer their services free of charge.
So, how much do car accident attorneys charge? This article provides a detailed answer to this question to help you make an informed decision before hiring an attorney.
How Much Money Are Car Accident Attorneys Paid?
You can expect to pay anything between 33% to 40% of your settlement amount to your attorney. There’s no specific figure of the amount your lawyer will receive because several things affect the cost.
This amount will vary depending on your settlement amount, the lawyer’s working policy, and the quality of their services.
In cases that settle quickly, your attorney may only take 25% of the cost because they don’t have to do too much leg work.
However, some cases may be complicated, taking a lot of time and resources to solve. For such cases, your attorney may take a substantial amount from your settlement fees to pay for their services and the resources they used.
Contingency Fees on Car Accident Cases
Many lawyers don’t take upfront fees to work on your car accident case. In most cases, they work on what’s known as contingency fees which allow you to pay them a percentage after you receive your settlement.
When working on a contingency basis, your car accident attorney will not take any money from you unless they successfully manage to get your settlement.
Usually, negotiations for personal injury compensation will take a lot of time and skill. In most cases, the claim doesn’t have to go to court as the insurance company and the attorney can successfully agree on a figure.
Contingency fees are set to a standard of 33% of the total settlement amount. This means that if you recover compensation of $100,000, your lawyer will take $33,000. However, the amount can be between 25% to 40% of the amount, depending on different circumstances.
Some personal injury cases require a lawsuit, and this may end up raising the fee to 40%. If the jury has to decide on the case, your attorney will have more work to do, which warrants higher pay.
Generally, the amount you pay your attorney depends on the level of work your claim process requires.
Other Expenses Your Lawyers May Have
The standard 33% that you pay your lawyer after your settlement simply covers the fees they charge for their services. Aside from that, there are additional payments that go to expenses that your case will attract. These expenses are different from your lawyer fees, and you might need to pay for them upfront.
Some of the fees and expenses for personal injury claims include:
- Medical record fees
- Police report fees
- Expert witness fees
- Court reporter fees
- Court filing fees
In most cases, you will have to pay these fees as they arise because the amounts may vary. If you’re working with large firms, they may cover all the fees and deduct them from your money once you receive the settlement. This also means you’ll not pay for them upfront but on a contingency basis.
Before signing a contract with your lawyer, read their terms and conditions to understand how you’ll pay for these fees.
If they state that you’re responsible for these fees as they become due, your attorney will call you from time to time to request them. You should make the payments on time to avoid delays in your case.
Is Your Personal Injury Lawyer Worth the Cost?
Without legal experience, you might not know what you’re getting into once you start your personal injury claim process.
However, it’s important to understand that you can perfectly represent yourself and successfully negotiate for a fair settlement. If you suffer minor injuries and damage, you won’t need the help of a lawyer to file a claim.
However, if you were badly injured and suffered economic damages, you will need a lawyer to represent you. Cases with more severe injuries are highly valuable, and insurance adjusters may rush to compensate you quickly.
A lawyer will advise you whether to take the amount or give it time to calculate how much losses you might incur.
According to a survey, you have a 74% chance of getting your compensation if you work with a lawyer compared to 54% if you decide to represent yourself.
Insurance firms are in this business to make money and are always reluctant to spend. If they’re willing to give you your compensation right away, just know that you have a high-value case.
So, even though you will part with some money to pay a car accident attorney, they’re completely worth it. They will fight to ensure you receive fair compensation, even if it involves going to court.
Car accident lawyers might not take upfront fees to help you file a personal injury claim, but you’ll still have to pay them. Once you receive your settlement, your lawyer will deduct a percentage based on the amount you agreed on.
You will also have to pay other expenses, such as getting a police report, expert witness fees, and court filing fees.
There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to lawyer fees. The amount will vary from one firm to another depending on the complexity of your case.
Make sure you read the contract your lawyer presents and understand the fees involved before signing. Also, be wary of working with lawyers that ask for upfront payment even before looking at your case.