After being involved in a car accident and it wasn’t your fault, the next step is to contact a personal injury lawyer for your case. Personal injury lawyers will help navigate your claim, as well as deal with insurance adjusters and negotiate settlements so you can receive the best amount of compensation for your damages.
The one question remains: How much does a personal injury lawyer cost?
There are different ways lawyers charge for their services. Most lawyers offer a contingency fee for their services. For example, Sutliff & Stout Law Firm offers a contingency fee for their clients. Other lawyers require an hourly rate, and others have fixed amounts or flat fees.
The cost to pay depends on the kind of lawyer you choose. But there are also fees and expenses added to that cost. Here are all the ways you may need to pay a lawyer for your car accident case.
Popular among personal injury lawyers, contingency fees are fee arrangements set at the beginning of the case. These fees allow you to pay no cent until the lawyer settles your case.
Contingency fees range around 33 percent, one-third of the total recovery cost. This means if you recover $120,000, your lawyer pockets $40,000. Depending on the outcome of the case, the fee can increase or decrease. For example, if the case settles before going to court, the percentage may go down. However, if the case goes to trial and a verdict is reached, the percentage can increase. Because of how a fee can fluctuate, it’s vital to keep contact with your lawyer about your contingency fee.
For every hour your lawyer works on your case, there will be a charge for either the whole hour or a portion of the hour. This arrangement is typical for most attorneys, and the cost depends on the seniority of the lawyer.
Fixed amounts, or flat fees, are a total fee charged by the lawyer. These fees are offered for simple, non-complex cases, such as a will or a divorce, or a demand letter.
Fees and Expenses
Along with paying your lawyer, there may be additional fees and expenses to account for. Here are the additional kinds of fees that goes along with paying your lawyer:
- Consultation fee: This is the first fee charged when first meeting your lawyer.
- Referral fee: A fee charged when a lawyer refers your case to another lawyer.
- Retainer fee: The “down payment” of fees for a lawyer paid hourly. This fee is collected at the beginning of the case while the contingency is collected at the end of the case. Retainer fees are subtracted from the amount given to the lawyers at the end of the case.
- Statutory fee: A fee set by statute or by a court.
- Expert witness fees: Expert witness will charge money to review your case.
- Obtaining evidence: Getting documents and records for your case will cost a few hundred dollars per case.
- Discovery costs: These costs include obtaining a court reporter, paying for a transcript, etc.
Depending on the lawyer or law firm, court fees and additional legal expanses may be covered in the contract. Some firms cover miscellaneous fees such as court reporter fees and expert witness fees while other firms require the client to pay the fees as they are charged. Just know if the firm covers the fees, it will be deducted from your total settlement.