Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer & How Much It’ll Cost You
After you have been in a car accident, you don’t want to worry about finding a personal injury lawyer to represent you and pay for the lawyers help in settling your claim. Although you should spend time researching personal injury lawyers to find the one who can represent you and your interests, you don’t need to worry about how much it will cost. Generally, personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis and don’t get paid for their services unless they win your case.
In personal injury cases, such as a car accident, lawyers charge what is called a contingency fee. That fee is set as a percentage of the financial amount recovered in the lawsuit. The contingency fee is generally 1/3 of the recovery amount but could range from 20-40 percent depending upon the state the lawyer works in, and the complexity and time it takes to finish the case.
In addition to the fee that lawyers charge for their services are the costs of litigating a case and the expenses necessary to resolve the car accident personal injury claim. Depending on the case and how far the lawyer has to go in pursuit of the personal injury claim, costs can range from a few hundred to a few thousand to more than thirty thousand dollars. Some lawyers require those fees to be paid upfront by the client, while other lawyers delay payment until the case is settled.
Costs and Expenses
Now that we’ve gone over what a Contingency Fee is and how it applies to the cost of a car accident lawyer, here are some of the other expenses that are involved with a typical car accident case, how they can be broken down and where the Contingency Fee comes into play.
- Court Costs
- Expert Witnesses
- Administrative Fees
- Deposition Costs
- Investigative Costs
- Process Servers
- Court Reporters
- Records (police reports and medical charts)
- Postage and Mailing Costs
Depending upon the legal agreement between the lawyer and the client (car accident victim), the costs and expenses can either be paid before the contingency fee is paid or after. It is in the best interest of the client to have the costs and expenses deducted before the contingency fee is calculated. For instance, let’s assume that the lawyer settles a case for $96,000, the costs and expenses are $6,000, and the contingency fee is 1/3. If the costs and expenses are taken out before the lawyer is paid his fee, then the client ends up with $60,000 prior to payment of medical bills and liens ($96,000 – $6,000 = $90,000 – contingency fee of $30,000 = $60,000 to client). In contrast, if the contingency fee is taken out before the costs and fees, then the client ends up with only $58,000 prior to payment of medical bills and liens ($96,000 – contingency fee of $32,000 = $64,000 – $6,000 costs and expenses = $58,000 to client). When deciding on a lawyer to represent you after you’ve been in a car accident, ask whether costs and expenses are taken out before or after the contingency fees. Remember, it is in your best interest if the costs and expenses are taken out before the lawyer is paid.
The more serious your car accident injuries are, the greater reason you have of hiring a car accident lawyer to represent your interests. Experienced car accident lawyers will have the expertise and knowledge to thoroughly handle your case and obtain the most money for your injuries. At M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers we understand that car accident victims can suffer severe physical and psychological trauma and deserve to be compensated for their injuries. Our attorneys Nick Movagar, Steven Yamin, and Daniel Reeves are just a phone call away. Give us a call for a free consultation.