Approximately 20-50 million people globally sustain accidents injuries every year.
Car accident lawyers walk the victims through the legal journey to help them get justice. Justice comes in the form of financial compensation for property loss and time wasted.
The cost of hiring the lawyers depends on multiple factors discussed in this guide. Since each accident case is unique, you cannot estimate the amount of money you will pay the car accident lawyer using past experiences, or depending on what other people pay.
The lawyer should examine your case and give you the appropriate price quote. Here are the main factors affecting costs.
Car Accident History
Have you ever been involved in another accident before? The accident lawyers tend to charge higher costs to people with a history of accidents.
You could only have been the victim of the accidents, but the fact that you were involved creates a different picture. For instance, the court may assume that you have been a reckless driver, and that’s why you have been susceptible to accidents.
In that case, the lawyer must find enough evidence to clear your name, hence the increased costs. Note that the accident records are always kept well, and lying can increase your costs and penalties.
Walton Telken lawyers advise the victims to be honest and provide the right information regarding any past accidents. Even if you have a car accident history, your case can be successful if you hire a great lawyer and maintain honesty.
The Lawyers Expertise
The experienced lawyers charge more than the inexperienced ones. This is because they have both expertise and reputation for handling car accident cases. The success rate for working with such lawyers is high, and that’s why you may pay more for the services.
Did you know that your income can determine the amount of money you will pay the accident lawyer? If your income is high, then you can hire a reputable independent lawyer. If you can’t afford it, the court may recommend a public attorney lawyer to represent your case.
The Common Payments for Car Accident Lawyers
Most lawyers accept the contingency payment. Contingency means that the lawyer does not receive any payment unless the accident victim gets the compensation. If the case goes through successfully, the lawyer may get the contingency fee in the form of:
- A small percentage of what the person at fault will pay you
- Commission depending on what the jury pays you for the case
Probably, you are wondering about the amount of contingency fee that the lawyer expects from you. According to Nolo, the average contingency payments range from 33.3% to 40% of the total settlement amount.
A contingency fee is not the only cost that you can incur for hiring a car accident lawyer. Here are other costs that the lawyer may ask you to pay:
This is the initial fee you pay when you approach the lawyer. The fee is non-refundable. Some lawyers may not charge it, and so you should confirm the payment before consulting any lawyer.
At times, the lawyer may ask you to pay a small amount as the retainer. The retainer acts as the motivator throughout the case. It is non-refundable, even if you lose the case.
If you win the case, then the lawyer asks you to pay the contingency fee as per the initial agreements. But if you don’t get any settlement costs, then you don’t offer the contingency, but you don’t get a refund for the retainer.
You must have the right evidence for you to win an accident case. If you don’t have the proof, the lawyer may decide to gather it on your behalf.
Note that if the case is complex, the lawyer may be forced to hire an independent investigator. In that case, you may have to pay more money to sponsor the third-party expert.
The amount you pay depends on the level of investigations to be done. You may pay the amount separately or add it to a contingency payment.
Others Costs for Accidents Claims
You might still incur small expenses for the small issues. Some lawyers may ask you to pay for the costs, while others may pay them but bill them up for you to pay later. These costs include:
- The postage fees
- The filing costs
- Photocopying and transport costs
- The costs of obtaining medical documents
Note that these costs may increase if your case takes an extended period. To prevent inconvenience, you should ask your lawyer about the possibility of incurring these expenses and how they will be paid.
The ideal car accident attorney should pay them as they come and then deduct them from your settlement costs.
How a Car Accident Lawyer Gets Paid
As mentioned, most lawyers accept the contingency payment only. If the case is successful, the settlement amount goes into their account directly. From there, they can deduct their contingency payment and all the expenses they incurred, and then give you the rest of the money.
However, some lawyers may accept a flat payment method. When you approach them, they usually offer an estimate of how much you should pay them. The amount remains constant, whether you win or not. But if you win, then you can agree on a certain bonus.
Other accident lawyers may accept the hourly payment. The hourly pay requires you to only pay for the hours that the lawyer represents you. This payment is great for less complicated cases.
All the payment options work well. Just make sure that you know the method that your lawyer accepts. If the lawyer is open to you, you will negotiate and make the right adjustments depending on your budget.
Talk to a Car Accident Lawyer About the Costs
The best way to know the amount of money you will pay is to consult a car accident attorney. As mentioned before, each case is unique. The lawyer should mention a price depending on your case and the other factors discussed above.
The best car accident lawyer should be open to you regarding the costs. You should also be available and only agree to what you can afford.
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