Being involved in a car accident can be incredibly stressful. Car accidents leave you mentally and physically unwell. You may suffer severe physical injury and long-term mental health problems from fatal crashes.
All these things can collectively result in a severe loss of confidence, diminished quality of life, loss of income, and exorbitant medical expenses.
You should not have to endure this pain, especially if another person is responsible for the crash. That is why the law in most jurisdictions holds any driver whose negligence caused you injury or property damage responsible for your damages.
Sadly, some accident victims are reluctant to hire a knowledgeable accident lawyer to assist them with the legal procedure because of the cost.
So, what are the average attorney fees for a car accident? Read on to find out everything you need to know.
Car Accident Settlements and Judgments
Car accident cases are generally settled in two ways:
- The accident victim accepts a settlement offered by either the insurance provider of the motorist who caused the collision or, in some places, their insurance provider.
- The accident victim files a lawsuit, and a jury decides how much compensation should be granted.
A settlement in a personal injury case is usually calculated by adding together three basic elements of the plaintiff’s losses: (1) medical expenses; (2) lost income; and (3) pain and suffering.
An experienced personal injury lawyer can assist with both types of cases. Additionally, the cost of a vehicle accident attorney will vary based on the final course of action.
Lawyer Contingency Fees
In almost all car accidents, personal injury lawyers usually charge clients on a contingency fee basis. With contingency fees, car accident victims will not be required to pay legal expenses until their attorney successfully obtains compensation for their losses.
When a car accident attorney charges a contingency fee, they collect a percentage of your compensation.
Their rate will vary depending on whether your case is resolved through an out-of-court settlement or goes to trial. The typical range is 25% to 40%, and the average attorney fees for car accidents is approximately 33%.
A lawyer could bill 25% if the case settles fast, for example, or up to 40% if a lengthy trial is necessary, if the case is complex or because the defendant challenged the ruling. However, generally, only about 10% of car accident claims go to trial.
If you got a $250,000 award, you could pay as little as 62,500 if the case is settled swiftly or as much as $100,000 if a lengthy trial is required.
These charges only cover legal fees; all other costs, including expenses, will be charged separately.
Remember that all credible attorneys issue you a written agreement detailing their costs and what you are expected to pay before offering their services. Ask for a written contract if you are not provided one.
Expenses and Contingency Fees
Although attorney fees for car accident cases vary depending on the success of the case, there are expenses related to filing a personal injury claim.
Clients are occasionally, but not always, required to pay these costs regardless of the outcome. So, it would be best to learn about their legal fees regulations before selecting a car accident attorney.
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These costs may cover items like:
- Fees for expert witnesses
- Judicial filing costs
- Fees for court reporters
- The cost of obtaining medical data and police reports
Established law firms cover these costs throughout the litigation process and deduct the sum when the settlement is released. But other car accident lawyers require clients to cover these costs as they arise.
Other Payment Options
While a contingency fee is the most commonly used method of charging car accident attorney fees, it is not the method for paying a lawyer. There are other ways of paying lawyers, such as a fixed rate, an hourly rate, or a hybrid arrangement.
With an hourly rate, your car accident attorney will keep track of all the time they spend handling your case and bill you accordingly. It would be best if you asked for a rough estimate of the time the lawyer will spend on your case and reached an agreement on the rate upfront.
An hourly rate may be the best option if you only need minor assistance from a lawyer, such as reviewing a settlement offer made by the other driver’s insurance provider.
A flat-fee arrangement is when a lawyer charges a fixed rate to represent you throughout the case. Although you may need to make an initial payment, you can agree on a payment plan.
Some auto accident lawyers will ask you for an upfront payment, known as a retainer fee. Typically, this entails prepaying for a set number of hours and then being charged extra if more time is required.
A hybrid plan combines several payment options. For instance, an attorney could charge a flat fee upfront to initiate your case and then charge a percentage of the compensation you earn receive if your case is successful.
Do You Need an Attorney in a Car Accident Case?
It is crucial to hire an attorney to safeguard your rights and guarantee that you obtain the total compensation you are entitled to following a crash.
According to a Martindale-Nolo poll, only 54% of accident victims without a lawyer received reimbursement from the motorist who caused the collision, compared to 74% of those who had one.
The average compensation for accident victims who engaged a lawyer was $44,600, instead of $13,900 for individuals who did not.
Keep in mind that insurance providers want to pay the least amount possible, and they have legal experts representing them who are knowledgeable about the law and their interests.
You should have a lawyer to help you obtain the compensation you deserve. The cost of hiring a car accident attorney is typically worth it as it will help you receive the compensation you are entitled to and avoid the stress of having to handle the post-collision claim on your own.
Contact a Local Car Accident Lawyer Today!
If you are injured in an auto crash, it is worth speaking with a lawyer about your case. Car accident attorney fees can be high, but the potential for compensation makes having one worthwhile.
At Legal Giant, we partner with highly experienced MVA lawyers ready to defend your rights. Our lawyers are dedicated to exploring all legal options and pursuing the rightful compensation you deserve.
Contact us for a free consultation and case review.