The cost for hiring a lawyer after a car accident can vary based on the accident and the injuries you received. However, unlike other attorneys, they do not usually charge hourly. You will probably pay some fees and not be liable for the attorney fees if your lawyer does not win your case.
Lawyer Contingency Percentage
This will be the main part of what you will pay a personal injury lawyer after being in a car accident. It is usually about 25-40% of the money you receive in compensation. Most will charge you one-third, so be prepared to not take home the whole amount of the money you recover.
Make sure you review the contingency fee with the lawyer and ensure you understand the rules behind it before you sign anything. Always ask them to explain it to you if you don’t understand it.
Contingency fees will vary based on the lawyer and your personal injury case. You will usually pay a higher fee if you have to have a trial by jury. If the settlement is met quickly, you will probably owe less of a contingency fee.
Contingency fees can also be negotiable, so always discuss with your lawyer what they expect and what you think is fair.
Other Fees and Expenses
Most personal injury lawyers do not charge upfront litigation expenses or court fees. They will usually pay the costs for medical records, police reports, court reporter fees, and expert witness fees. If they win your case, you will have to reimburse them for all these costs.
Some personal injury lawyers though will make you pay these fees as they become due. They will usually send you a statement weekly or monthly to say the money they’ve spent and expect you to pay them the money when you receive the statement. These fees will need to be paid before they will advance with your case.
If you are using a large firm, they are more likely to pay these fees for you upfront. Smaller firms or family firms will need the money sooner because they won’t have enough to upfront the costs.
All the fees will automatically be taken out of your settlement amount, so always keep a record of all fees so you can double-check to make sure they’re correct.
Some lawyers will not have a pure contingency fee even though this is the most common way for personal injury attorneys to charge their fees. You might have an attorney that charges a retainer fee instead. They will then end with a contingency fee based on your settlement and how much item they put into the case.
Overall, there will not just be a flat fee for getting a personal injury lawyer. It will depend on the records and paperwork they need for the case. It will also depend on your settlement number and if the case will go to trial. Make sure to review all fees and percentages with your lawyer.