After a car accident, the last thing you need is another kick in the pants.
A lawyer’s fees for an auto accident can be steeper than you realize, so it is best to prepare yourself for the expense mentally.
If you have been in a car crash, you should know how much a lawyer will cost. Here are the car accident lawyer fees you can expect.
What You Need to Know About Car Accident Lawyer Fees
If you have ever been in a car accident, you know what eventually happens. In the weeks after the attorney grapevine catches wind of your accident, you will likely be receiving letter after letter from personal injury attorneys offering their services.
It seems like no matter where you are, look on the side of any bus, and you will see the smiling face of an accident attorney. But how do these guys get paid? How much do accident lawyers charge?
Auto accident lawyer fees vary, and you must understand an important concept known as contingency. Contingency means that your lawyer will take a certain percentage of the settlement once a case is complete.
So after an accident, go ahead and lawyer up! You won’t have to pay any fees upfront.
Contingency fees are unique to personal injury, as well as worker’s compensation claims. According to the American Bar Association, contingency fees are mostly illegal in all other types of criminal or domestic cases.
Good news so far, right? Indeed, but keep in mind that typical contingency fees run anywhere from 25%-40% of the settlement.
Most accident attorneys prefer to take their contingent fees out of the settlement before other costs factor in. Other than the contingency fee, expenses incurred as a result of a car accident include:
- Court filing
- Transcript, trial exhibits, or depositions
- Photocopying and medical records retrieval
- Hiring an investigator or finding an expert witness
- Postage incurred through communication
These additional fees can add up. Keep in mind that, if you lose your case, while you may not be liable for the contingency fee, you may still be responsible for these fees. Also, keep in mind that these ancillary fees can add up, especially if your case takes a long time to settle.
When it comes to auto accidents, the law is always adjusting to the changes in our society. From novel circumstances such as ride-share accidents to the ever-evolving situation with self-driving cars, you’ll want to keep up with the latest in accident news.
The Art of Negotiation
Car accident lawyer fees can be stiff. A third of your settlement, plus expenses, means that you need to prepare to let go of a big chunk of that initial number.
The silver lining? The contingency is the one area where you can negotiate with your attorney. Often, attorneys will expect a certain level of negotiation, so don’t be afraid to work to arrange a better financial outcome for yourself.
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