Accidents, they do happen. God forbid they happen to you.
Nonetheless, to be informed about how to deal with lawyers when you, a friend, or a loved one awake in the middle of solving the aftermath of how to deal with a lawyer’s fee after a car accident, is one of those things you never think you will need to know, but then you end up so grateful that you do.
So read along, this article is about the standard contingency fee for car accident lawyers. May this information be of service to you. We are sorry this accident happened in the first place.
What to Know About Accident Lawyers
It is a lawyer’s job to seek justice for you, according to the established laws in your state. Their success depends on their talent to work with your circumstances and recite the laws in your favor, so you benefit from the results.
Which is why it makes sense that they will charge you accordingly for their effort, knowledge, and expertise. Lawyers’ fees never come cheap, on the other hand, their rates can range from 150USD to 500USD an hour, or more, depending on where you live, your case, and the expertise and resources of the lawyer.
It’s important to know that the type of accident lawyer you choose will also be dependant upon what occurred during your accident. For example, if you experience some form of spinal injury then you will likely need a spinal injury lawyer.
It is fair to say that it’s pretty standard that the more money you pay, the more law services you can get, so you will be happy to know that there is no such thing as a “standard” fee when you deal with Law professionals.
Understanding Contingency Fees
What is standard is for an attorney to take a percentage of any settlement reached on behalf of your case. In the case of a contingency fee for a car accident, lawyers are known to take around one-third of whatever money or rewards they earn from defending your case.
This standard fee is also contingent on whether you win or lose. Most lawyers negotiate their defense by promising no expenses if you lose the case. Nonetheless, as the law goes, you should always read the fine print when you sign an agreement; extra expenses – such as photocopies, expert witness fees, filing fees – that happen during your defense are included as part of your payment, even if the lawyers pays for them as you go. This means if you lose you might end up with a cost if you agreed to it.
Let’s be clear, contingency means that the lawyer will not charge you any money unless he or she wins the case and gets you remunerated for damages caused by the accident.
That means the lawyer is free to negotiate for you as much as he or she can get legally from the situation at hand; which in a car accident it also means to know insurance law, as it is a requirement by law to have your car insured.
A Simple Recap
Be aware, that if you are the one who caused the accident, the contingency fee might not apply to you, since it is known as one of the Insurance companies’ duties, to provide you with a lawyer. In such a case, it is the Insurance company that pays the lawyer, and the lawyer negotiates its fee under different standards.
Seems like a lot right? Let’s simplify it:
The contingency fee means you only pay the lawyer if you win the case.
- There is no standard contingency fee.
- A car accident lawyer will likely negotiate with you to take between 25% to 40% when agreeing to represent you in a car accident, obeying specific guidelines and limits set by statute or by attorney ethics rules in your state.
- The percentage varies, and might depend, on when the case is resolved:
- 25% if a settlement is agreed before having to file a case
- 33% standard fee for filing a case and settling before going to trial
- 40% if no settlement is agreed prior to going to trial
- Extra expenses can result from going to trial, which will be added to the agreed percentage once the case is resolved, or that could result in costs regardless of winning.
Be clear, be honest, read the fine print, and make sure you understand what you are agreeing to, before signing any paperwork or giving your word.
Getting the Justice You Deserve
So whether you end up with a car accident settlement from the insurance company representing the person responsible for the accident, or you deal with a court judgment in your favor after a car accident lawsuit, you will benefit from having a lawyer whose expertise includes working cases on a contingency fee basis.
This does not mean that young car accident lawyers starting their careers cannot win for you. The benefit of this agreement is that the lawyer will want to win as much as you, in order to get paid for his or her effort.
Giving someone inexperienced the opportunity to defend you can be a wonderful experience to change the status quo and allow a young professional to build his or her portfolio of clients.
After all, being a lawyer is about justice, right? We know what you are going to say, so yes, using the right lawyer not only means you will be heard by those in charge of the law, it also means you will be assisted by somebody that knows how the law works and how to use it to win your case. Like any other profession, you pay for the knowledge, not only the time.
Be sure to share your merits, justice can and will depend on it.