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How Much Will It Cost to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?

How Much Will It Cost to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?

According to a Martindale-Nolo survey of car accident victims, 74% had an attorney and were able to receive compensation from the at-fault driver, compared to 54% who did not have an attorney and only received damages. Understanding the costs associated with car accident lawyers is important in determining if you want help.

Importance of Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer

Depending on the severity of your case, a car accident lawyer can help you get the best possible outcomes.

What Does a Car Accident Lawyer Do?

A car accident lawyer can help you with many aspects of your car accident claim. For example, they can organize and analyze evidence associated with the case. Some other things they do include:

Car accident attorneys can do much more for you, so it’s essential to be open and honest with your attorney.

Benefits of Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer

Hiring a car accident lawyer has many benefits, including increased financial compensation and medical bill coverage. Car insurance companies provide drivers with personal injury protection coverage (PIP) for certain medical expenses, but this may not cover everything. 

When to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer

Hiring a car accident lawyer can be expensive, so looking at your case before hiring one is important. If you only have minor injuries, like mild bruising or mild whiplash, a car accident lawyer is most likely not necessary.

However, suppose your injuries are more severe, like a traumatic brain injury, and you have racked up medical expenses. In that case, a car accident lawyer is essential to get the compensation you deserve. 

You should also hire a car accident lawyer for hit-and-run accidents or drunk driving accidents. Other instances of hiring a lawyer include significant loss of wages, disputed liability, or refusal to pay.

Types of Fee Structures

Car accident attorneys may use several types of fee structures, some of which include contingency, hourly, or flat rates.

Contingency Fees

For contingency fees, you pay nothing upfront to hire a car accident lawyer. The lawyer receives a percentage, usually 25% to 40%, only if you win your case. 

The most significant advantage of contingency fees is that you pay nothing upfront. However, this can also be a disadvantage because you may pay your lawyer more than you would have under a different fee arrangement.

Hourly Fees

Paying a lawyer by the hour is what most attorneys prefer. Your car accident attorney may set an hourly rate between $50 and $100 or more, depending on the lawyer’s reputation and case win rate. If the lawyer you choose prefers an hourly rate, it is important to determine if your case is worth the expense.

One of the main advantages of hourly fees is you only pay for the work your attorney does. However, there are disadvantages to the hourly fee structure as well. The main disadvantage is that the case could get quite expensive if it is unexpectedly complex.

Flat Fees

Some attorneys may charge a flat rate for the entirety of the case. In this fee structure, you would likely have to pay a down payment and set up a payment plan for the remainder.

An advantage of the flat fee structure for your case is that it decreases financial uncertainty. However, the disadvantage of the flat rate structure is that additional fees could be added if the case is more complex than initially anticipated.

Additional Costs

There are instances where additional costs or expenses can be added to the total cost of hiring a car accident lawyer. Here are some additional costs when hiring a car accident lawyer.

Case Investigation Expenses

The investigation for your case is one of the most important parts a car accident lawyer must do. Your lawyer will have to gather evidence, obtain police reports, and possibly hire an accident reconstruction expert to represent you to the best of their ability. The cost can be significant, and fees can vary.

Administrative Costs

Another important aspect is case management. Administrative costs include making copies, faxing materials and evidence, costs of mailing materials, and the use of administrative staff. These things may seem minor, but the cost can accumulate throughout your case.

Court Fees and Litigation Expenses

Court fees and litigation expenses cover many things. Items here include the cost of filing legal documents, motions, and even jury service fees if you decide to go to trial. Depending on the length and complexity of your case, these fees can vary and add up quickly.

Expert Witness Fees

Depending on the severity of your case, your lawyer may recommend bringing in medical professionals who helped you or an accident reconstruction expert. These professionals need to be hired and paid for their time, and if they have to appear in court, the cost can be significant.

Miscellaneous Expenses

Before hiring a lawyer, ask how they handle miscellaneous expenses at the practice. Miscellaneous expenses include travel costs for the lawyer to attend meetings or talk to witnesses in different locations, long-distance phone calls, or accommodations.

Factors Influencing the Cost

Several factors can influence the cost of hiring a car accident lawyer.

  1. The type of case: some cases have more significant rewards than others. If your lawyer thinks the payout could be substantial, they may opt for the contingency fee structure over other payment structures.
  2. Where you live could influence the cost. If the area has a high cost of living, the attorney may charge more. Attorneys in big cities may charge more than those in rural areas. The attorney’s reputation also plays a role here. A more experienced lawyer will charge more than an inexperienced lawyer.
  3. The complexity of your case: A lawyer will charge more for complicated cases. If your case is complex, the attorney will increase your pay rate under any fee structure.

Choosing the Right Lawyer

When you consider hiring a car accident lawyer, there are many things you should look into before making a final decision on which lawyer is best for you.

Seek an Experienced Lawyer

You want to ensure the lawyer you choose has experience with your type of case. Finding a lawyer specializing in personal injury or car accidents is best in a car accident case. Ask about their wins and losses. Ask how long they have been practicing in the area and specialization.

Ask for Referrals

You can ask for referrals from friends and family who may have been in a similar situation. Ask them about good and bad experiences with the lawyers they bring up.

Choose Someone You Get Along With

You and your lawyer will likely spend much time together in person and talking on the phone. Make sure to find a lawyer with whom you get along. Nothing would be worse than fighting with a lawyer while fighting your case.

Interview Multiple Lawyers

You do not and should not hire the first lawyer you talk to. It is always better to interview multiple lawyers to make the best choice for you and your case. Many lawyers offer free consultations to discuss the case, fee structures, payments, etc. Take advantage of these free consultations so you can make the best choice.

The Right Car Accident Lawyer for You is Right Around the Corner

The cost of hiring a car accident lawyer can get expensive, so it is important to research and find the best lawyer for your case and situation. Take advantage of lawyers’ free consultation.

If you have questions or want to hire a lawyer for your case, contact Big Auto Accident Attorneys to schedule your free case review today.