Each year, about three million people are injured in motor vehicle accidents. If you are one of these and believe it is another driver’s fault, you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
To seek restitution, you will need to hire an attorney to handle the case. But how much does a car accident lawyer cost, and how can you know if it is worth paying for one?
The good news is that there are only a few things consider when answering these questions. The information below will give you an idea of what look for when hiring an attorney and what you can expect to pay for their services.
Advantages of Hiring an Attorney
An attorney will know how much compensation to seek for medical bills, loss of income, permanent impairment, or other expenses associated with your accident. They advocate on your behalf, dealing with the other party’s insurance company and claims adjuster.
They also will help determine if an out-of-court settlement is suitable or if you should pursue a lawsuit. If the latter is necessary, they will represent you in the case.
A reputable attorney also will know your rights and be able to identify areas where there may have been violated. For instance, they can identify improperly handled claims. And they can represent you throughout the process so that you do not have to worry about doing the right–or the wrong–thing.
Note that even if the accident is partially your fault, you may still be able to seek compensation. Accidents are often complicated situations where no one party holds all the blame. An attorney can help sort this out and make a determination about the prospect of a case.
The main question to ask when determining the cost to hire a car accident lawyer is how they collect their fees. Most injury attorneys work off contingency. This means they take your case for free and get paid only if they win or settle out-of-court.
To break it down: if your attorney takes your case and they lose, you owe them nothing. If you receive compensation, either as a settlement or awarded by the court, the attorney will take a certain percentage of that amount. Additionally, many firms may take out court fees and other related expenses from their client’s part of the award.
The contingency percentage will be anywhere from 20 to 40 percent of the award, although one-third is standard. For out-of-court settlements, the attorney’s fee is typically lower, since they do not have to devote the time and work to prepare for and attend the trial.
Hiring a lawyer that charges by the hour, a flat fee, or requires an upfront retainer, is a big risk. Personal injury lawyers can charge anywhere from $100 to $500 an hour. If they lose the case, you could be out a lot of money without receiving a penny in return.
In general, you have nothing to lose–and the attorney has everything to gain–by going with a contingency fee arrangement. Although attorneys must disclose whatever arrangement they have with their clients, it is ok to ask questions upfront. You will want to make sure you are on the same page regarding the contract for legal services.
Find a Car Accident Lawyer
Now that you have a better sense of what to look for in a car accident lawyer, including how they calculate fees, you can get the ball rolling on seeking compensation. If you were recently injured in an accident, do not wait too long to start the process. There is a “statute of limitations” or time limit during which you can initiate a lawsuit after the incident.
We hope this information is helpful to you. Be sure to check out our other posts on legal issues, as well as tech, entertainment, travel, business, health, and many more topics.