When to Lawyer Up After a Car Accident
Usually, car accidents involving serious or long-term injuries require an attorney to get the most desirable outcome.
An automobile accident brings with it a host of questions. Who is at fault? Who pays for damage to my car? Who will pay for my medical bills? How much should I get for pain and suffering? Can I ask the insurance company to reimburse me for lost wages? An experienced injury attorney can be extremely helpful in negotiating the often chaotic and confusing world of insurance claims and settlements.
How Much Will a Car Accident Lawyer Cost You?
If the other driver is at fault for your car accident, you’ll probably be able to hire a personal injury attorney on a “contingency fee” basis. Find out when it’s worth the cost.
If you’ve been in a car accident, and it’s pretty clear that the other driver was at fault, you’ll be looking for a plaintiff’s car accident lawyer (one who represents the person filing a personal injury lawsuit, when a case makes it to court). But how much will you need to pay?
Most car accident attorneys charge for their services in a fairly unique way—as opposed to the hourly fee that many firms charge in other types of cases. The typical car accident lawyer will charge a “contingency fee” to take on an injury case. A contingency fee means that the firm will not get paid any attorney’s fees unless you recover money in your case. The lawyer or law firm will get paid a percentage of money received from any car insurance settlement or jury verdict (if the case goes all the way to trial).
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how contingency fees work and what you can expect if you decide to hire a lawyer to handle your car accident case.
The percentage that a personal injury lawyer can receive in a contingency fee agreement varies, but typically ranges from 25 to 40 percent, and 33 percent (or one-third) is pretty standard. So, if you have a 33% contingency fee arrangement and you recover $90, 000 in your car accident case, your attorney will receive around $30, 000.
A contingency fee percentage may vary depending on whether a personal injury lawsuit has to be filed against the other driver (the defendant). If the case settles before it goes to court, the percentage may be on the lower side.
However, if settlement occurs after suit is filed and after the defendant has served a formal answer to your complaint—or if the case proceeds to trial and a jury verdict is reached, the attorney’s share may increase to 40 percent.
Car accidents are life-changing experiences. The crash itself is only the beginning of what can be an extremely long process of filing an insurance claim, determining fault, and most importantly, getting the closure one needs to move on with their life. Having to take on both the insurance companies and the law to get what you deserve from your accident can be extremely intimidating. Don’t go through this alone