4.4 million people are injured in car crashes every year, not accounting for 38,000 individuals killed in fatal crashes. Have you ever been in a situation where you feared for your life and those of your passengers behind the wheel? Chances are you’ve been made to feel scared or were physically harmed just as millions of others in similar positions. Being involved in a car accident is painful no matter the outcome, and a car accident attorney is there to support your needs and fight for your rights as the injured party. We are here to share exactly what working with an attorney looks like and costs. Continue reading to know what the fees and payment methods are when it comes to hiring a car accident attorney cost.
The Contingency Fee Method
Most car accident cases or other personal injury cases use the contingency fee method to cover attorney costs. A contingency fee means the lawyer gets paid only if you win the court case, easing the financial risk of working with a car accident attorney.
A contingency fee is usually a fixed percentage of the settlement received on the client’s behalf. The average fee is 30%, though the length and complexity of the case could make this anywhere from 20 to 40%. You can use a case in which you settle before going to court as an example of a 20% contingency fee.
The Retainer Method
Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee in their cases. However, a certain car accident attorney may use a retainer and contingency fee method to cover costs. This is highly similar to the first process with one key difference that could make it harder on the client.
You need to pay a retainer fee, almost like an advance payment, to the attorney at the start of the case. This is a lump-sum fee that could be a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on your selected attorney.
After a successful case, a lawyer takes the contingency fee but subtracts the retainer payment from the amount.
Additional Expenses from a Car Accident Attorney
As with any court case, legal and clerical fees add up to become a burden on the plaintiff. Some expenses common with a car accident case include:
- Medical reports
- Expert witness fees
- Court filings
- Police reports
Each of these comes with a particular cost that can add up to thousands. You should be aware of how an accident attorney deals with legal expenses and who the responsible party is for their payment. Either the attorney covers these and deducts them from your settlement or you cover them as they are due.
The ideal situation is the car accident attorney deducting expenses before getting paid the contingency fee. This is usually common and means you, the plaintiff, walk away with greater final recovery.
Find the Best Car Accident Lawyer
You are already encountering enough emotional and financial turmoil from the car accident that up-front, high costs may be too much to carry. A car accident attorney cost varies on contingency should work with and for you, prioritizing your case and covering fees as they are due.
Hire the best accident attorney to win your case, and read our other blog posts as you prepare to recover your wellbeing, health, and finances after a court case.