Are you wondering how much do accident lawyers charge? If yes, you should check out our guide here on the average fees you can expect.
Did you know that there are over 6 million car accidents in the United States alone each year? Over 3 million people are injured in car accidents annually.
That’s a lot of potential legal cases. Considering that auto accidents are responsible for over $1 trillion in damages and missed income, there’s a substantial economic impetus for finding an accident attorney.
But how much do accident attorneys charge? There’s not a simple, straightforward answer to that question.
If you’ve been wondering, “how much do accident lawyers charge?” we’re going to show you how you can calculate that answer for yourself!
How Much Do Accident Lawyers Charge? An Investigation
Lawyers rarely charge a flat fee. They could lose out on a lot of money if a case turned out to be lucrative, for one thing. For another, there’s no way of knowing how large or difficult a case may be until it gets underway.
The answer to several different aspects of the question “how much do accident attorneys charge?” depends upon one thing – contingency fees.
What Are Contingency Fees?
Contingency fees are the cornerstone of many legal situations with many civil cases. Contingency fees are fees based on spec. It means that if you don’t win your case, you won’t owe anything at all.
This is a double-edged sword. On the plus side, it means you often won’t need to save up a ton of money before going to trial. This is a major bonus for clients looking to hire an accident attorney, as you’ve likely missed out on work and earned income.
There can be a downside to this arrangement, too, of course. Accident lawyer fees are usually based on percentages. Think of a gratuity at a restaurant for an example.
Say you’ve got a generous tipper who will pay 20% for good service. Now say you’ve got a $20 bill. That comes out to $4, which is entirely reasonable for excellent service.
Now imagine that you’ve got a $200 bill for catering to a lavish party. Now the gratuity comes out to $40. That’s quite a bit more than $4, and you’re starting to wonder if maybe you should’ve just catered the party yourself.
As you can see from our example, accident lawyers can get rather expensive very quickly. This is especially true with legal cases involving vehicle accidents, which often can deal with large sums of money.
What Are Common Contingency Fee Rates?
As with nearly every other aspect, the answer to the question “What are common contingency fee rates?” is “It depends.”
The very best accident attorneys can charge a lot. That’s because they’re almost guaranteed to win your case for you. There’s also a very good chance they’re going to secure a much higher payout than a less experienced attorney.
As a general rule of thumb, an average contingency fee rate is around one-third of the total settlement or around 33%. That means you’d owe around $33,000 for a $100,000 settlement, plus attorney and court fees.
Some accidents are even more severe and have more money on the line, such as a truck accident. If you’ve been involved in a truck accident in any capacity, you’d be advised to seek out a truck accident attorney in particular.
What Are Other Accident Attorney Fees?
“What’s that about attorney and court fees?” you might be asking. As with anything dealing with the law, things are rarely so cut-and-dried. You’ll want to discuss any fees with your attorney before agreeing to take your case.
It’s good to have an idea of what to ask about, however. The first thing you should ask about is upfront fees. Some accident attorneys will ask for a down payment upfront, to serve as a retainer. You’ll need to know about this ahead of time to make sure you have that cash on hand, which could play a factor in deciding on the right attorney to take your case.
You’ll also want to ask if the attorneys will be expecting expenses to be paid. Depending on the complexity of your case, this could quickly get expensive. If expenses are to be paid, make sure you find out exactly which fees you’re responsible for.
Travel fees could quickly get costly, for instance. A lawyer might need to fly somewhere to investigate a witness, for instance. You might be expected to pay for any lodging they might need on their trip, as well as the cost of traveling itself.
How To Find The Right Accident Attorney For Your Case
As you can see from some of these prior considerations, accident attorneys can vary a great deal. They can range from very expensive to not cost much at all. While this is true in nearly any situation, but with an accident attorney, you do get what you pay for.
If you’ve been involved in an auto accident in some capacity, it’s a good idea to start by investigating how much you stand to win in a lawsuit. This will help give you a ballpark estimate of how much an accident attorney could cost you.
Spend some time with the search engines. Talk to people you know who’ve been in an auto accident lawsuit.
You should also ask around and talk to several different attorneys. Get some different estimates to have an idea of what your options are. This gives you all the knowledge you need to find the best accident attorney you can afford.
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