The amount a car accident attorney charges for services after a car accident varies based on that lawyer’s preferred business model. Some lawyers, for example, request payment upfront in the form of a retainer, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Other car accident lawyers, however, and their affiliated firms operate on contingency. When you work with a contingency-based car accident lawyer, you can benefit from legal services free of charge up until you receive compensation from a court of law. If you do not receive that compensation, you can part with your car accident lawyer without receiving a bill for services rendered at all.
Before you commit to collaborating with a car accident lawyer in your area, you will want to schedule a consultation to determine how much your case may run you in terms of settlement percentage or hourly rate.
Understanding Lawyer Contingency Fees
Car accident lawyers operating on contingency do not request payment for their services up-front, making it easier for you to focus on your recovery while also taking legal action against a party that may have caused you harm. That said, a contingency-based firm will still request a percentage of your offered settlement if a court believes that you are in the right, in terms of your claim and losses.
On average, the American Bar Association notes that contingency-based firms request between 33 percent and 40 percent of a court’s offered settlement. You can expect that percentage to change based on whether or not you reached an agreement with another party in court and on how many resources an attorney used to express the terms of your case. You can discuss how these factors may play into your eventual costs during an introductory session with your car accident lawyer of choice.
Additional Fees to Consider
Depending on the lawyer you work with, you may also find yourself contending with fees including:
- Investigator fees, should the scene of your accident need more thorough investigation
- Expert witness fees, if you need an eyewitness report to detail what happened at the scene of your accident
- Filing fees to pay for the submission of your personal injury lawsuit
- Any fees relating to trial exhibits
- The cost of accessing copies of your medical records, as necessary
Recovering from a Car Accident
The services that car accident lawyers can charge you for include:
Presenting What Occurred During an Accident to a Court
After a car accident, you will need to work within the bounds set forward by your state to establish liability. Liability helps you determine which parties, be they singular or multiple, may be held responsible for your financial losses.
To determine liability, an attending attorney can look through evidence from the scene of the accident and, with potential aid from insurance providers, determine which party was the most responsible for the accident that occurred. Applicable forms of evidence can include:
- Physical evidence from the scene of the accident, including skid marks, broken mirrors, and property damage
- Eyewitness accounts of the accident as it took place
- Video footage of the accident from a dashcam or street camera
- Medical reports from all of the involved parties
- Insurance claims filed by all applicable parties
- Police reports from the scene of the accident
Calculating the Compensation You May Deserve
Personal injury and property damage after a car accident can both make themselves clear to both an attending attorney and to the party you believe to be liable for said losses. There are, however, other avenues for compensation that an attending attorney can explore for you. These can include:
- The cost of medical care you needed prior to the filing of your complaint with a court in your area
- The cost of future medical treatments needed to restore your previous quality of life
- The cost of medical aids, including canes and boots to hold broken or fractured bones
- The cost of prescription medications or other treatments needed to restore your previous quality of life
- Pain and suffering you endured as a result of the accident
- Physical therapy needed to restore your previous quality of life
- Psychological counseling, if necessary
- Lost wage or opportunity for employment as a result of your need for recovery after the accident
- Wrongful death and funeral costs
Negotiating for Fair Compensation
As touched on, a car accident lawyer can represent you in the courtroom or outside of it. If another driver reaches out to you after an accident and offers you a settlement, for example, you may not need to take your case to court. You can, however, work with a car accident lawyer to address the offered settlement and determine whether or not it meets all of your financial needs.
This process is less expensive than going to court and can help you determine just what your potential compensation can look like. If you believe that the settlement offered to you outside of court is insufficient, you can then take your case to court with a car accident lawyer representing your interests.
Working with a Car Accident Lawyer
The team with Ben Crump Law, PLLC provides you with all of the aforementioned services while also operating on contingency. As mentioned, firms that work on contingency will only charge you for the services you benefit from if a court rules in your favor. Even then, a contingency-based firm can accept a percentage of your offered settlement as payment for services rendered, allowing you to use your savings for other means.
It is the goal, after all, of the team at Ben Crump Law, PLLC to make your recovery after a car accident as straightforward as possible. If you want to discuss your potential avenues for compensation with a representative, you can reach out at (800) 598-7557.