A big concern for a lot of people when they contemplate the idea of retaining a lawyer after a car accident is “how much do car accident lawyers charge?”. Here’s what you need to know. There are two options for how a lawyer will charge you. First, an attorney could charge you an hourly fee. This means the attorney will charge you a standard fee per hour they work on your case. This can get extremely pricey because that means an attorney could bill you for any minute they spend working at your file and that includes discussing your case with you. A 15-minute phone call can end up costing you a pretty penny.
What Is the Standard Contingency Fee for a Car Accident Lawyer?
The second way a car accident attorney could charge you is through a contingency fee. At the beginning of your case, your attorney will have you sign an agreement saying that you understand at the end of your case, whatever amount you won, the attorney will get a percentage of; this is also known as a contingency percentage. Contingency percentage is the percentage the attorney will take from the winnings of your case. This means that if you won $100,000 and the attorney’s contingency fee is 40%, you’d get $60,000 and the attorney would get $40,000. That may sound shocking, but when your case runs two years in length and your attorney has filed countless motions, taken dozens of depositions, hired experts, prepared witnesses for trial and spent hours on the phone with opposing counsel and discussing matters with you, this can end up saving you money than if you had gone with an hourly fee.
What Is the Contingency Percentage?
Choosing a car accident attorney that charges an hourly rate puts the risk on you, the client. No matter the outcome of the case, you are stuck paying the attorney their full hourly rate. Choosing a car accident lawyer that charges a contingency percentage, effectively puts the risk on the attorney. Car accident attorneys that charge a contingency fee do not get paid until the end of a successful case. The attorney then has to evaluate your case and determine if they want to risk working hours on a case to possibly not be paid in the end.
What Is the Fee & Expense for a Car Accident Lawyer?
Now with that being said, there is no standard contingency fee or hourly fee. Having said that, the contingency fee is more typical in the car accident case, or any personal injury case for that matter. Every lawyer has the ability to set their own rate. These fees are often the makeup of an attorneys experience and success rate. It is up to you to find a lawyer you feel comfortable with and then to weigh the costs and benefits of their price versus your financial situation. Here at Carpey Law we evaluate cases for free, and try to put our clients at ease by explaining every step of the process in detail so that they know exactly what to expect.
Stuart A. Carpey, who has been practicing as an attorney since 1987, focuses his practice on complex civil litigation which includes representing injured individuals in a vast array of personal injury cases.