Life has gotten more expensive for everyone these days, so asking what a car accident lawyer might cost is an excellent question. It’s unfortunate that you’ve been in a hit-and-run or other type of car accident and need legal assistance.
The good news is that you can get excellent legal representation, and it won’t cost you anything upfront in most instances. This is because most car accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis.
What Is a Contingency Fee?
Although atypical, some car accident lawyers will charge an hourly rate for their work on your case. This type of arrangement might also mean you are paying for their support’s staff time. As the fees can add up quickly, this is not an appealing option for most personal injury clients.
Other car accident lawyers might charge a flat fee to provide a particular service or complete a specific, fairly simple task that won’t take a lot of time. However, most attorneys will not offer a flat fee option if your case might end up in court.
Most car accident lawyers in California work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if they recover any damages for your injuries. So there is no upfront cost to be paid at the start of your case. That means no flat fees, hourly fees, or retainer fees. This is a great arrangement for most clients, as they might not be in the sort of financial position to afford an attorney otherwise.
The car accident lawyer will be paid a percentage of what you recover if you win the case in court or through a settlement in a contingency fee arrangement. In California, the percentage is typically between 30 to 40 % of the total you receive. This means if you lose the case, you don’t give any payment to your lawyer.
Some attorneys may ask you to pay for some court costs and other expenses. Be sure to get an estimate of those costs before you sign a fee agreement. These fees can include:
- Fees for court filings
- Fees to obtain medical records;
- Expert witness fees
- Administrative and office expenses
Some attorneys will advance these fees to the client before the case has been completed.
The Rationale Behind Contingency Fees
Hiring lawyers and going to trial can be expensive. Aside from large companies, most people don’t have the financial resources to pay an attorney for a few hours’ work, much less for an extended period. The contingency fee allows people to seek legal recourse without putting up any money upfront.
This type of payment scheme also helps keep the court system clear of lawsuits that don’t have strong claims. A lawyer who is getting paid only if they win will be sure to accept cases they determine to have a good chance of success. Remember, the attorneys in these cases spend a lot of time and money on these cases. You can be sure they will work their hardest to win the best result for their clients.
How To Determine the Fee
An attorney will assess your case and take several factors into account when setting your contingency fee.
- The attorney’s expertise in the area
- The type and seriousness of your injuries
- The complexity of the case and the amount of time needed to devote to it
- The chance of a successful result
- The likeliness that the case will or that a trial will be necessary
- Any unique circumstances of yours or your case
Your attorney will discuss with you how they determine the fee for your case. Make sure you are comfortable with the terms before you move forward.
Reach Out To a Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer
A car accident can turn your world off of its axis. Trying to get back on track can be difficult without help.
It is worthwhile to contact a personal injury attorney for a free consultation. They will give you the advice you need to start putting your life back together and get you the compensation to which you are entitled.
Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in Los Angeles, CA
If you were injured in an accident in Los Angeles, CA or you lost a loved one and you need legal assistance, please contact us to schedule a free consultation. One of our Los Angeles car accident lawyers at M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers will get in touch with you soon.