After being in a car accident and sustaining injuries, you may be worried about the cost of hiring a car accident law firm to help you recover compensation. You’ll be surprised to find that many personal injury attorneys work on a contingency-fee basis.
You may wonder what this means and what the consequences of working under this agreement are. Although personal injury lawyers tend to work on a contingency fee, the concept may be unfamiliar to you. Read on to find out what it means and whether this agreement would be something that could work in your favor.
What Does Contingency Mean?
When it comes to hiring a car accident attorney, a contingency fee means that you will not have to pay a legal fee unless you win or settle your case. At that point, you would pay your lawyer a percent of your compensation.
It is important to understand that when you agree to work with a car accident lawyer on a contingency basis it does not mean they will be working for you for free. It means that they know there is value in your case and they are willing to put in the work needed to build a strong case on your behalf. If they are successful at doing this, you will get paid and then they will, too.
How much the lawyer will be paid will depend on the agreement you sign with them, which may include some conditions. Although most car accident lawyers will work on a contingency basis, it does not mean that their conditions and fees will be the same. The main differences may be:
- The percentage they expect to receive out of your award
- Whether this percentage would increase should there be a need to go to court
- Whether the basis for the percentage they will receive is a portion of the gross or net recovery
- What costs are your responsibility and what services will be covered
What Is The Typical Percentage Lawyers Charge?
In general, lawyers expect a fee that may range between 20% and 45% of the money you receive. When you shop around trying to find the ideal lawyer to take on your case, avoid basing your decision on this figure alone. A lawyer that charges less may also be less experienced and you may end up receiving less in the end.
Ask your lawyer whether they would charge less if the case is resolved quickly and more if it ends up in court. The increase, in this case, may be due to the additional work they would need to put in to prepare the documents needed for the lawsuit. Your case may also end up in an appeal. Find out whether this scenario would increase their fees even further.
What Are The Costs You May Have To Pay?
Some lawyers will absorb the costs of the case and only have you repay them if you win. Other lawyers might expect you to cover such costs as the charges to obtain your medical records, filing fees, pre-trial discovery costs, and expert witness fees.
Make sure you understand all the fees that are involved before signing an agreement.