How Much Will I Have To Pay an Auto Wreck Lawyer To Handle My Case
If you were involved in a car accident and it is clear that the other party is responsible for it, you will need an auto wreck lawyer in Baton Rouge who will represent you and help you file a personal injury lawsuit.
Many people who did not experience such a thing are not quite sure about the fees and expenses they need to pay to the lawyer. Often, they fear the costs will be too high and decide to go through the process alone (which can be done but is usually confusing and lengthy).
What you need to know before hiring a car accident lawyer is that they charge a “contingency fee.” This means that the firm will not get any payment unless you claim the compensation for your case. The law firm or the lawyer is paid a percentage of the money their client received from the car insurance settlement.
The Contingency Percentage
The percent your lawyer will receive in a contingency percentage varies. Usually, it goes from 25% to 40%; one third or 33% is the most standard percentage.
If your compensation is $60,000, for example, your lawyer will get about $20,000.
This percent can vary and depends on things such as if the personal injury lawsuit needs to be filed against the other party. If you settle the case before it gets to the court, the percentage might be significantly lower.
If the settlement occurs after a filed lawsuit and after the other party gave a precise answer to your complaint, the attorney’s share can go up to 40%.
If your lawyer sent a demand letter to the other party’s insurers and you got a settlement of $60,000, your attorney will receive 33% ($20,000). If the case ended with a jury verdict of $60,000 and your agreement allows your attorney to get 40% of a recovery after an answered complaint, they will get $24,000.
Before you hire your attorney, talk to them about the contingency fee.
Expenses Involved When Hiring an Auto Wreck Lawyer
Before hiring your lawyer, you will sign a contract with the law firm. This is how you will learn whether there are any upfront fees such as police reports, court reporter fees, expert witness fees, and medical records.
Most of the law firms will require you to pay these fees at the beginning. If you are not able to pay the costs, the firm will not continue working on your case until you pay.
Large law firms will have covered such personal injury attorney fees. But, in the end, everything will be deducted from your settlement. If you settled your accident case for $60,000 and your contract stated that your expenses would be deducted from the final settlement, your attorney will incur $6,000 in costs and expenses. They will also receive one third or $19,800 contingency percentage. In the end, you will get $25,800.
Other Fee Arrangements
Some lawyers may get an initial deposit to start your case, but also will collect a contingency fee once your case is finished. If you get the compensation, the amount that should be paid to your lawyer should be subtracted from the percentage when the case is finalized.
If you paid $3,000 to your lawyer as a deposit and collect $60,000 in your settlement, your lawyer will get $16,800 ($19,800 – $3,000 = $16,800).
Car accident cases do not include a flat fee payment for legal services. Such arrangements are usually made for simpler cases. But, a law firm can charge a flat fee if the legal representation is limited to outlining and responding to a demand letter. The fee might range from $300 to $1,000.
Should You Still Hire an Auto Wreck Lawyer?
If you got severe injuries in the accident, it would be smart to hire a car accident lawyer. If your injuries were not severe, you could negotiate the settlement without an attorney.
If you have high medical expenses and need compensation for your bills and lost wages, it means you have a valuable case. This does not mean that lawyers will see you as an excellent chance to earn cash. It means that the more expensive the case (high compensation), the more the insurers will try to minimize your injuries and damages, and will offer a low settlement. Insurance companies make money out of cases like this and will do their best to offer less.
Call our experienced Baton Rouge attorneys and let us help you with your case.