If you’ve suffered an injury in a car accident, you probably know that it’s a good idea to hire a lawyer to represent you. That way, you can focus on your health and recovery and leave the rest to your attorney. But now you may be wondering: how much do car accident lawyers cost or can I even afford to hire a car accident lawyer?
Read below to learn more about car accident lawyer fees.
Most Reputable Car Accident Lawyers Charge a Contingency Fee
If you turn on daytime TV, you’ve seen contingency fees advertised in personal injury law commercials. “No fee unless we win your case,” “we don’t get paid unless we win,” or some similar variant.
The good news is that this is exactly how a contingency fee agreement works. A car accident lawyer’s contingency fee is “contingent” on obtaining compensation for their client. If the case results in no compensation for the injured client, the car accident lawyer gets nothing at all. If you’re dealing with a reputable car accident lawyer, it really is as simple as that. So, how much do car accident lawyers cost depends a large part on the contingency fee charged by the individual lawyer.
What is a Typical Contingency Fee?
A car accident lawyer’s contingency fee is usually expressed as a fraction of the total compensation obtained. The industry standard contingency fee charged by car accident lawyers is 1/3 to 40% of the total compensation. If a lawsuit is filed, the typical fee is closer to 40%.
However, some lawyers will charge a contingency fee as low as 25% of the total compensation. Be careful! As the saying goes—you get what you pay for. Charging fees less than the standard 1/3 to 40% fee can be a cheap and easy way for less qualified and less experienced lawyers to lure clients their way thinking they may get a deal.
Car accident lawyers, like all lawyers, must clearly state their fees in a signed fee agreement. If a lawyer is unwilling to discuss the particular fee they would charge or doesn’t clearly outline what their fee would be or how it’s calculated in a fee agreement, you should consider it to be a major red flag.
What is the Benefit of Charging a Contingency Fee?
The best lawyers may command hourly fees in excess of $500 per hour. Thus, it’s easy to see how an attorney’s bill can quickly add up. The everyday person simply doesn’t have thousands of dollars lying around to pay an attorney on an hourly basis. This is especially true when an injured person may be out of work and not earning any income after a car accident.
That’s why a contingency fee agreement is so beneficial in car accident cases. The client pays no upfront costs or retainers at all. In exchange, the lawyer will be paid if and when the case is resolved in their client’s favor. The car accident lawyer is not only paid for the time, effort, and skill in the case, but they’re rewarded for taking on the risk of a contingency fee. After all, if the case is lost and the client receives nothing, the car accident lawyer receives nothing.
Perhaps even more so, a contingency fee ensures that the car accident lawyer and their client have the same motivation. The more compensation the lawyer obtains for their client, the more they earn as a fee.
Does a Car Accident Lawyer Advance the Costs and Expenses of Litigation?
This is a question many car accident clients don’t know to ask. Costs and expenses associated with litigating a car accident lawsuit may include such things as filing fees, deposition costs, and expert witness fees. These expenses can be significant depending on the particular needs of a case.
A reputable car accident lawyer will advance the costs of litigation for their client and will only be reimbursed for these costs if they obtain compensation for their client. That means, again, that there are no out-of-pocket costs for the client, and the client would not be responsible for paying the car accident lawyer back if there is no recovery. It’s an important reason why you should hire a car accident lawyer that has the resources to properly litigate your case.
Typically, costs and expenses are reimbursed in addition to the fee. That means the fee is calculated based on the total amount of compensation obtained. Then, any costs and expenses are reimbursed. How costs and expenses are calculated must be specifically laid out in a lawyer’s fee agreement. These costs can impact how much car accident lawyers cost.
Reputable car accident lawyers will clearly communicate their contingency fee and how any costs and expenses will be handled. There should be no upfront costs, and everything should be explicitly stated in the lawyer’s fee agreement. It shouldn’t take a lawyer to read a car accident fee agreement—everything should be written in plain, easily understandable language. That’s definitely what you can expect at GKT!
If you’ve suffered an injury in a car accident in West Virginia, Ohio, or Pennsylvania, contact GKT today. Our car accident lawyers are available 24 hours a day to provide immediate assistance. Call or text (304) 845-9750, Live Chat or complete our online form at GKT.com. Our consultations are always free, and we work completely on a contingency fee basis.