One of the factors you should consider before filing a car accident claim is the amount of compensation you expect to receive. You may be awarded a colossal compensation but end up with a small amount due to costs of the lawsuit such as attorney fees. When you have a rough estimate of the costs, you can do a cost vs. benefit analysis to see if the compensation is worth pursuing.
Below, we discuss what you can expect to spend on a car accident attorney. Note that attorney fees vary depending on the circumstances surrounding the case. The estimations below are, therefore, based on the industry standard.
This is the most common method of covering car accident attorney fees. In this arrangement, the plaintiff agrees to pay the attorney a specified percentage of the personal injury compensation they will recover. This means the plaintiff will not pay attorney fees if they lose the lawsuit. Depending on different factors, contingency fees vary between 20-40 percent of the compensation obtained. The factors include the attorney’s experience, the complexity of the case, and the time the case is expected to take. In most cases, the contingency fee percentage is 33 percent.
When negotiating the contingency fee, consider who between you and the attorney will cover other costs of the lawsuit. Personal injury lawsuits carry other expenses such as the cost of obtaining medical records, paying witnesses, and court filing charges. Depending on your agreement, the attorney may cover the costs when they become due and deduct from the compensation you will be awarded. The fine details on how you will spread the cost of the lawsuit will affect your net compensation, so don’t ignore them.
Contingency fees apply to plaintiffs; if you are the defendant, you cannot use this method as you will not be expecting any personal injury compensation. If you have an insurance cover, the insurer has a duty to defend you against personal injury claims. This means they should help you cover the attorney fees for your defense. If you have no insurance cover, you’ll most probably pay the attorney from your pocket depending on the number of hours they’ll use on the case.
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The Hourly Billing Method
As earlier stated, this mode of billing is mostly used by car accident defense attorneys. The attorney fees will depend on the number of hours the attorney will spend on your case, whether or not they win the case. There’s no standard hourly charge for car accident lawsuits; attorneys charge different hourly rates depending on their skill and experience. Expect the hourly charge to be between $100-$500 per hour.
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Retainer Plus a Contingency Fee
Some attorneys will require you to pay a retainer at the start of the case. The attorney then receives a contingency fee if they win the case. The retainer is subtracted from the contingency fee when the case is settled. For example, let say you pay a retainer of $2,000 and the attorney manages to win a $20,000 compensation. If the contingency percentage was 20%, you will pay the attorney $2,000 instead of $4,000.
It’s essential to do a cost vs. benefit analysis before hiring a personal injury attorney. Some of the factors you should consider when doing the analysis are
- The total cost for each payment arrangement available
- The upfront costs involved
- If there are any expenses charged separately
- Whether the fees will change if the claim goes to trial
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At GKBM, we understand the importance of you knowing how much a car accident lawsuit will cost you beforehand. We are therefore as transparent as possible regarding the attorney fees we charge you.
Get your free consultation today, you pay nothing unless we win! Contact us today at (901) 526-2126, it’s easy with Montesi!
During the free consultation, we will evaluate your case and give you a projection of the costs you will incur if you decide to hire a Memphis personal injury attorney from our firm. Besides that, we will advise on whether you have a valid claim after considering the circumstances surrounding the accident.