If you’ve been involved and injured in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to seek compensation for your losses.
But that’s easier said than done. In the first place, you need to determine who is at fault and establish their liability before you can get compensated.
Fortunately, hiring a car accident attorney does wonders for filing accident claims. They can offer adequate legal representation to help you get the best possible compensation for your situation. Their services do come at a price, though.
But if that’s the reason why you hesitate to seek legal help, know that you still have options. A run-down of the costs should help you make better decisions.
Here are the main ones to consider.
Aside from free consultations, they usually charge their fees in the following ways:
It refers to a fee arrangement whereby the attorney only gets paid when the client wins and receives compensation for their economic and non-economic losses.
In this arrangement, you and your car accident attorney agree that the latter will get a percentage of the compensation. In most cases, the rate used by most attorneys is 33% of the total compensation awarded to the client.
However, this may vary depending on:
- Applicable state laws
- The extent of damages sustained
- The complexity of the car accident
- The attorney’s expertise
- How long the case will take to be resolved
- The phase of litigation involved
- The expected amount of compensation
These factors can significantly affect the amount an attorney can deduct from the client’s compensation.
For instance, if the attorney has to take your case to court, the contingency fee may increase. On the other hand, if the case has been settled out-of-court, the attorney may charge a lower rate, like 25%. These are examples of how contingency fees can be minimized or maximized, depending on the circumstances.
To get the most value out of this investment, make sure you work with car accident lawyers from reputable law firms like Brach Eichler LLC, among many others.
In most situations, car accident attorneys charge their clients a retainer fee upfront before accepting the case. This covers the cost of the case until compensation is awarded. In short, it can serve as a downpayment to shoulder the legal expenses associated with the case.
Also, a retainer fee is used to ensure the legal professional’s availability and legal representation.
A flat-fee arrangement is when a car accident attorney charges a fixed amount for your legal services throughout the case. Under this fee structure, the attorney is more likely to offer a payment plan to help you pay for the costs.
Some car accident attorneys adopt a hybrid fee arrangement, meaning there’s a combination of payment methods. For example, they may charge a flat fee to cover some legal expenses up front and get a percentage of the client’s compensation upon winning the case.
These are the typical payment structures that car accident lawyers use when charging their clients. Although contingency arrangements are the most common, some legal professionals also charge their fees using other methods depending on the complexity of the case and the extent of their services.
Other Legal Expenses
Apart from the attorney’s fees, essential legal expenses must be paid when filing a car accident claim. Depending on the agreement between the client and the attorney, the latter may require the payment of legal expenses out of the client’s pocket at the beginning of the case or deduct the costs from the compensation when received.
Some of them include:
- Court filing fees
- Court reporter fees
- Fees for the expert witnesses
- Costs incurred to secure medical records and police reports
To better manage these costs, it’s best to talk to the car accident attorney to come up with a feasible agreement. Be familiar with their payment policies regarding the legal costs incurred throughout the case.
Also, ask for a written agreement about the payment policies to protect your rights and interests in case a dispute arises.
Receive The Aid You Deserve
Having a reliable car accident attorney can help you get compensated for the harm you’ve suffered because of the car collision. That’s why even if working with a legal professional comes with a cost, it’s still worth paying to hold the at-fault party liable and obtain the recompense you deserve.
So, if you’re considering hiring a car accident lawyer, keep the information mentioned above in mind. This way, you’ll understand how much you’ll have to invest and what options you have to get the right legal aid.