When you are involved in an accident, your first instinct should be to enlist the help of an experienced accident lawyer; but many people do question the cost of hiring an accident lawyer.
How Much Does An Accident Lawyer Cost?
It is difficult to tell at the outset of an accident case how much legal representation for your accident will cost, as there are many unknown factors at play. One the one hand, the liable party might want to settle quickly and will cooperate to get the case resolved expeditiously. On the other hand, the other party might dispute their liability aggressively, dragging the case to trial – a process that can take a long time to resolve and can be quite costly.
Additionally, there are a number of costs and expenses associated with an accident case that the lawyer may cover upfront, but will require reimbursement for at a later time. Expenses can vary based on the needs of a particular case, and can include:
- Costs associated with obtaining medical care, evaluations, and records;
- Costs associated with obtaining evidence, such as police reports, police logs, investigators, depositions, etc.; and
- Miscellaneous expenses associated with preparing the case, such as copying fees, filing fees, and postage.
In the field of legal representation, a lawyer has the ability to work with clients concerning how payment can be made in exchange for the lawyer’s legal services. Many accident lawyers offer two main payment arrangements for clients, but other payment arrangements may be possible. Most lawyers either work on a conventional fee arrangement, or a contingency fee arrangement.
Conventional Fee Arrangements
A conventional fee arrangement is a payment structure where the attorney is paid for their time working on the client’s case, and generally the lawyer will require that the client pay for any expenses or costs incurred in relation to the client’s case as those expenses or costs arise. The conventional fee arrangement is based on a pay-as-you go system.
Contingency Fee Arrangements
Many accident lawyers offer their services to clients on a contingency fee basis, meaning that the lawyer will not require payment from the client unless the lawyer obtains a favorable resolution to the case either through a settlement or through a trial ruling. Upon the successful resolution of the client’s case, the lawyer is paid out of a portion of the client’s settlement or trial award. The majority of contingency fee amounts range from 33 percent to 40 percent of the settlement or award amount.
Contingency fee arrangements are beneficial for clients because the client can obtain the legal services they need at no risk. The client never pays the attorney out of pocket. Rather, if the attorney gets paid at all, it will be from the client’s recovery. Additionally, in contingency fee arrangements, the attorney may cover upfront costs and expenses associated with developing the client’s case, and will recover those costs from the final settlement or award amount, in addition to the contingency fee.