Q How much will it cost to hire an attorney in my car crash case?
Whenever you make a large home purchase, pay for medical expenses, or hire a home improvement contractor, you want to check prices before you decide to pay the costs. You certainly want to know the total price before you sign on the dotted line. The same is true if you were hurt in a car wreck and need to hire an attorney to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
How Much Do Attorneys Charge in Car Accident Cases?
At your initial free consultation with an attorney, he should explain how he'll charge fees in your auto accident case and an approximate amount. If you decide to hire him, the two of you should sign a retainer agreement—a contact stating how you'll be charged for the attorney’s services.
In this type of case, your attorney could charge in one of these ways:
- Contingency fees. In this type of fee agreement, the attorney is only paid if you win your case through settlement or at trial. His fee is a percentage—generally between 25 and 40 percent—of the amount you receive. A contingency fee agreement is how most automobile accident attorneys charge for their services.
- Retainer fees. Even if the attorney agrees to take on your case a contingency fee basis, he could require you to pay a retainer fee—a down payment deducted from the attorney fees you'll owe when your case is completed.
- Flat fee. While extremely rare in car accident cases, the attorney could charge you an hourly rate. You would only want to agree to this if you knew your case required a few hours of advice, because this pricing structure could be costly.
- Costs and fees. You will be responsible for paying certain costs and fees associated with your case. This can include the filing fee for filing a lawsuit against the negligent party; service fees to serve the negligent party with the summons and complaint; and administrative costs such as document copying fees, expert witness fees, and more. Some attorneys require you to pay these expenses ahead of time, while others front these costs and deduct them from your settlement. Either way, you should understand the costs and fees you may owe and how you will be charged for them.
The cost of hiring the attorney should be only one of your considerations for deciding on an attorney. The most important concern is to hire an experienced car accident attorney who can maximize your settlement. Review my clients’ testimonials and then call me at 888.716.8021 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation, and learn about your legal options.