How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Car Accident Attorney?

Car Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident, you may have the right to file a claim for compensation for any damages incurred. However, most motorists worry about the cost of hiring an attorney after an accident.

Fortunately, car accident attorneys offer representation under a contingency fee agreement. You do not have to pay any lawyer’s fees until the court or insurance company awards you a settlement.

Depending on your state, you can get compensation for personal injury losses, property damage, lost wages, and emotional distress. 

We recommend reading the fine print on your attorney agreement to ensure your final compensation after deducting their contingency fee will adequately cover your damages.

An experienced lawyer will fight on your behalf and even negotiate a better settlement with the insurance company to ensure you get fair compensation. 

If your claim goes to trial, a car accident attorney can represent you in court and help you receive maximum compensation.

Car Accident Settlement and Compensation

If you have been involved in a car accident, there are two ways to resolve the case. First, you can accept compensation from the insurance company representing the at-fault driver. 

In some states, depending on your insurance policy terms, you can also claim compensation from your insurance company.

However, insurance companies are businesses and will offer a low settlement to protect their profits. The first settlement they offer is unlikely to be fair or enough to cover your damages, and you may end up paying extra costs out of pocket.

The second way to resolve a car accident claim is by going to trial, where a jury decides how much you should be awarded. In both cases, hiring an experienced car accident attorney increases your chances of getting a better outcome.

Car Accident Attorney Contingency Fees

Contingency fees are based on the final settlement. Your car accident attorney will get a percentage of the award you receive which varies from 25% to 40%. You do not have to pay your lawyer any fees if you do not win your claim.

This fee is negotiable and, depending on the specifics of your claim, can be higher or lower. For instance, if your claim is settled before going to court, the percentage may be on the lower side. 

However, if your case proceeds to trial, the contingency may be higher as more costs are associated with filing a case in court.

Talk to your attorney and carefully review your contract before hiring them. Ask your lawyer to explain any details you do not understand in the contract to ensure you fully understand the final fee.

If your case is straightforward and can be settled quickly, you can negotiate a lower percentage, as your lawyer will not spend much time on the case. Remember, the contingency fee only covers the lawyer’s legal fees.

Expenses and Additional Costs are Charged Separately. Some Expenses You may have to Cover include:

  • Expert witnesses statements
  • Copies of medical records
  • Trial costs
  • Cost of transcript copies
  • Administrative costs for copying, postage, legal research, trial exhibits, and more.

Typically, your attorney will cover these costs of expenses throughout your case. You must reimburse these costs from your compensation after the attorney deducts their contingency fee.

Average Contingency Fee Percentages for Car Accident Attorneys

The American Bar Association estimates the average national contingency fees to be between 33.3% to 40%. 

Most lawyers’ fees will fall within this range but may vary depending on the firm. Cases that require arbitration, trial, or take longer to negotiate to attract higher fees.

Other factors that may influence the contingency fee percentage include:

  • The complexity of the case
  • The state in which the accident took place.
  • Whether the case gets tried in court
  • How long your claim takes to negotiate.

Questions to Ask Your Lawyer Before Signing a Contingency Fee Agreement

Before hiring a car accident attorney, it is important to be clear on the anticipated outcome. An experienced lawyer can look at the facts of your case and determine whether you have a chance of getting a favorable outcome.

Consulting with your attorney before signing a contract also ensures you are a good match. For instance, you want to hire a highly communicative lawyer to ensure your expectations are met throughout your case.

Some questions to ask your lawyer include the following:

  • What percentage of the settlement will you take for your fee?
  • What are the anticipated costs and expenses associated with my case?
  • Do I have to pay any fees upfront?
  • How will you update me about the case?
  • How can I get in touch with you?
  • What is your success rate with similar cases?

Other Types of Car Accident Attorney Payment Agreements

  • Flat Fee Agreement: These agreements are rare for car accident attorneys and involve charging a flat fee for their legal services. They are commonly used when you hire a lawyer for a specific task, such as sending a demand letter.
  • Hourly Rate: If you hire a car accident attorney on an hourly rate, they will keep track of the hours spent on your case and charge you the total. However, this type of payment agreement requires good faith. We recommend paying an hourly rate if your lawyer will not spend too much time on your case. For instance, if you need to hire a lawyer to review a settlement offer.
  • Retainer Fee: In some cases, your attorney may require you to pay a fee upfront before they start working on your case. The attorney may also bill you an additional fee depending on the time, cost, and expenses of your case.
  • Hybrid: A hybrid method is a combination of several payment agreements. For instance, your attorney can charge you a retainer and a contingency fee if the claim is successful.

Is Hiring a Car Accident Attorney Worth It?

Hiring a car accident attorney will not cost you any money. In addition, you do not have to worry about the fee if your claim is not settled successfully. 

Hiring a car accident attorney is also risk-free. You do not have to worry about out-of-pocket expenses as their final percentage, expenses, and costs are all deducted from your compensation if you win.

A recent survey by Martindale-Nolo revealed that up to 74% of victims who hire a car attorney receive fair compensation. Only 54% of motorists who do not hire attorneys get a successful outcome.

You deserve to have a professional attorney to protect your rights and ensure you receive maximum compensation. Hiring a car accident attorney is a risk-free investment that ensures your rights are protected. Read now:-

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