Car accidents are costly. Hospital bills, medicines, car accident lawyers, etc., can pile up and take much of your finances.
For instance, some car accident lawyers can charge you hidden fees aside from your legal fees. Others even overcharge their clients. So, it is vital to discuss your attorney’s cost during the consultation. Understand and put it in writing to avoid paying charges that are not included in your agreement.
Also, it is essential to know how much a car accident lawyer costs. Learn more about how they charge their clients on the following fees:
1. Legal ConsultationA lot of people involved in car accidents don't bother hiring a car accident lawyer due to expensive legal costs. They think that having a legal consultation with them requires also has a price. However, firms such as legacycaraccidentlawyers.com offer a free consultation.
You don't need to pay anything during this meeting, and neither obligated to hire the lawyer. It is the perfect time to get to them well.
- Therefore, it is essential to discuss the following during your initial consultation:
- Details of your case and possible injury claims.
- The viability of your case whether to pursue it or not will save you from wasting time.
- Fees suitable for your case and method of payment.
2. Contingency-Based FeeMost personal injury cases practice contingency fee agreement. It is the percentage your attorney receives from any compensation when your case is settled. They get nothing if they don't win your case.
A contingency fee is suitable for clients who cannot pay upfront fees for counsel. Moreover, it drives an attorney to work aggressively so they can get a high settlement amount. The higher the settlement is, the higher the compensation they receive.
Though fees vary from various states, the following can give you an idea of how much you can pay for contingency fees:
- The average percentage usually ranges from 25-40%.
- If your case settles quickly without ending in court, the contingency is lower compared to your case going to a jury verdict which usually reaches 40%.
- Agree to pay copying charges or expert fees for a lower contingency.
3. Litigation ExpensesDepending on your agreement, you either pay it or deduct it from your settlement. Here are the charges under the litigation expenses:
- Court filing fees.
- Cost of summons and subpoenas fees.
- Court reporter fees.
- Obtaining medical or police reports fee.
- Expert witness fees.
To avoid such problems, take note of the following:
- If you choose to pay the expenses, expect them to call and seek payment before the fees overdue. Not paying these fees means your case will not proceed.
- Other firms can cover all the expenses and will deduct from your settlement.
- Reimburse your lawyer's fee out of the net settlement which is left after other fees and expenses are deducted.
4. Hourly RateSome lawyers take cases at an hourly rate. It means paying the attorney the hour they take to work on your case. Whether your case wins or lose, you are still obliged to pay the bill. Some lawyers drag things out to receive more pay, and thereby most do not recommend it.
It is essential to set a reasonable hourly rate so the lawyers won't take advantage of you. Here are factors you need to consider when establishing an hourly rate:
- The complexity of your case and the legal service required to achieve the best outcome of your case.
- Time and labor needed during the process.
- Experience and reputation of the lawyer based on previous client reviews.
- The significance of the representation involved and the results obtained from it.
- The average rate of the locality for legal services.
5. Retainer Plus Contingency FeeNot all lawyers arrange a pure contingency fee. Some collect a retainer fee when starting your case and contingency fee after completion of your case. A retainer serves like an advance payment that can range depending on the complexity of our situation.
If you agree with this, subtract the retainer fee from the percentage of contingency that the lawyer will receive. For instance, the retainer fee is $800, and the contingency rate is 30% from a settlement of $35,000 lets the lawyer receive a total of $9,700.