A car accident can be extremely stressful, leaving you physically and emotionally unstable. For severe accidents, serious bodily injury and long-term mental health issues are a common result.
Combined, all these factors can lead to a significant knock in confidence, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of employment, and high medical bills.
You don’t deserve to go through this hardship, especially if someone else was responsible for the incident. This is why the law in many states declares that any driver whose negligence has caused you pain or property damage is fully liable to your compensation for the damages suffered.
Unfortunately, some car accident victims fear hiring an experienced car accident lawyer to help them with the legal process due to the cost.
So, how much does it cost to hire a car accident lawyer? Read on to find out everything you need to know.
How Much Will a Car Accident Lawyer Cost You?
Car accident lawyers typically work on a contingency fee basis. This means they only get paid if you win your case and receive compensation for your damages. If you don’t win, then the lawyer doesn’t get paid.
The contingency fee is a percentage of the total amount you are awarded and is usually between 33% to 40%. For example, if you are awarded $100,000 in damages, the lawyer will get $33,000 to $40,000 as their fee.
This might seem like a lot, but it is essential to remember that the lawyer took on all the risks in taking your case. They had to pay for any investigation and upfront costs associated with your claim.
If they had worked on an hourly basis, you would be responsible for paying these fees regardless of whether you won or not.
The Hybrid Contingency Fee Basis
In some cases, car accident lawyers will work on a hybrid contingency fee basis. This is where the lawyer charges an hourly rate for the time spent working on your case up to a certain amount.
Once this capped amount is reached, they will work on a contingency fee basis for any additional time spent on your case.
For example, the lawyer might charge $200 per hour for the first 10 hours they spend working on your case. After 10 hours, they will work on a contingency fee basis of 33% for any additional time spent on your case.
This type of arrangement is beneficial for the lawyer as it guarantees that they will at least be paid for part of their time even if you don’t win your case.
It is also beneficial for you as it means you will only have to pay the other amount if you win your case and receive compensation for your damages.
Costs and Expenses in a Car Accident Case
Depending on the attorney and the contract you sign for legal services offered, you may or may not be responsible for the upfront court fees and other litigation expenses such as the cost of obtaining police reports, medical records, expert witness fees, and court reporter fees.
Many car accident law firms require the client to pay for the litigation expenses mentioned above as they become due.
If your contract with the attorney states that you are fully responsible for these costs, expect the law firm to contact you and seek payment as the specific fees become due. If you cannot pay these fees on time, your car accident case won’t proceed until you make the payment.
However, some law firms will cover all fees and other litigation expenses. But these expenses will be deducted from the total amount you are awarded if you win the case.
Got a Legal Issue? Let Us Help You Find An Attorney Near You
For example, if the total amount you are awarded is $100,000 and the litigation expenses incurred by the law firm amounted to $5,000, you will only receive $95,000. The other $5,000 will go to the law firm to reimburse them for the upfront costs they had to pay.
If the contingency fee percentage was 33%, the lawyer would then get an additional $31,350 in attorney fees. Therefore, the total deduction from your compensation amount will be $36,350, leaving you with $63,650.
It’s also important to note that many car accident lawyers will advance all the necessary costs and expenses on your behalf. This means that you won’t have to pay anything upfront.
The law firm will only deduct their costs and expenses from your final compensation amount if you win your case.
It is important that you understand how your law firm handles the payment of litigation expenses, as this will impact the total amount of compensation you receive if you win your case.
How Much Should You Expect to Receive in Compensation?
The amount of compensation you can receive for your car accident injuries will depend on several factors such as the severity of your injuries, the amount of medical treatment you required, whether you were able to return to work, and the impact your injuries have had on your quality of life.
To get a better understanding of how much compensation you might be entitled to, it is advisable to speak to a car accident lawyer who will assess your case and give you an estimate of the amount of compensation you could receive.
Is a Car Accident Attorney Worth the Cost?
Generally, the more serious your car accident injuries, the greater the value of working with an experienced car accident attorney. However, if you have been involved in a minor fender bender with little or no injuries, you can negotiate a settlement without an attorney.
But if you were injured and needed significant medical treatment, the value of your claim rises quickly.
It means that the insurance adjuster will do everything possible to reduce the amount they have to pay you in compensation. This is where a lawyer can be worth their weight in gold as they will fight to get you the full value of your claim.
In most cases, the attorney’s fees will only be a small percentage of the total amount you are awarded in compensation. You will still end up with a significant amount of money even after the attorney’s fees have been deducted.
It is important to remember that you are not obligated to hire an attorney, and you can represent yourself in negotiations with the insurance company.
However, it is advisable to at least speak to a car accident lawyer to get an idea of how much your claim is worth and whether it would be beneficial to hire an attorney to represent you.
If you are injured in a car accident, it is worth your time to speak with an attorney about your case.
Even if the lawyer does not end up taking your case, they can provide invaluable advice about how to move forward.
Car accident cases can be expensive to pursue, but the potential for compensation often makes them worthwhile.
In the end, the decision of whether or not to hire an attorney is a personal one; however, speaking with an experienced legal professional is always a good idea after being involved in a car accident.