Once you have made the important decision to retain a lawyer in your car crash case, you will need to pick a qualified attorney that you feel you can trust. The cost of hiring him will be one of the considerations in your decision. If you are like many accident victims, you may have never had the need to hire an attorney, and could have no idea how attorneys charge fees in car accident cases. Here, we discuss the basics of these fee arrangements.
How Attorneys Typically Are Paid in Auto Wreck Cases
In car accident cases—like most personal injury cases—attorneys charge attorney fees on a contingency fee basis. What does this mean? Important terms of these agreements include:
- The attorney recovers no attorney fees if you do not obtain a settlement or an award at your trial.
- The attorney will charge you a percentage of your compensation as his fee. You will need to shop around because different attorneys will charge you a different percentage.
- Besides owing attorney fees, you will also owe the costs associated with your case. These can include the filing fee to file your complaint at court, the fee to serve the complaint on the driver, expert witness fees, and medical record copying fees. Some attorneys will pay these fees for you and deduct them from your settlement. Others will require you to pay a certain amount at the beginning of your case to pay these costs.
At your initial free consultation with the attorney you are considering hiring, he should tell you the attorney fees he charges, the estimated costs in your case, and how he expects you to pay them. Once you agree to retain a lawyer, you should enter into a written retainer agreement—also known as a contract—with him which states your entire agreement regarding the fees and costs you will owe.
While the attorney fees’ should be a consideration in your decision as to which attorney to hire, you do not want to pick one solely based on the cost. Having an experienced attorney who has successfully settled other cases similar to yours and who is competent in trying cases if the insurance company is unreasonable are also very important to the outcome of your claim.
If you or a family member was hurt in a car wreck, contact our experienced car accident attorneys at 800-237-3334 to schedule a free consultation to learn how we can assist you in obtaining the compensation you deserve.