If you have been involved in an auto collision, then you already know how expensive it can be. Even if it wasn't your fault. You may have medical bills looming overhead, plus a loss of income while you were recuperating and the damage to your car. A lawyer will be able to help you recover those monetary damages, but will you have the money to pay for that?
There are a number of things to take into consideration when filing an insurance claim after a car accident that these lawyers have special knowledge of. Your California car accident attorney fees will be determined by the way in which they charge for their services.
A contingency fee is paid only if you and your auto accident attorney recover money from the defendant or his insurance company. You don't have any up-front costs to pay and won't owe the lawyer any money if they are unsuccessful at winning your case for you. The fee you pay will be a pre-negotiated percentage of your settlement or award. This amount will vary, but expect it to be between 30 and 50% of your total award. When discussing these terms with a lawyer make sure that you ask about any costs that can incur. There are expenses associated with a car accident claim such as filing fees, witness fees and court fees. The cost of fees will add up quickly.
If you find a lawyer that is willing to charge you only 30% of your award, it is likely that you will also be expected to reimburse him or her for those expenses on top of the contingency fee. The advantage with the contingency fee is that if the lawyer is unsuccessful you will not be charged for their effort. Some will even waive their expenses if they are unable to resolve the case for you. The major disadvantage is that after paying their portion of the settlement, you may be left without enough money to pay off all of your monetary damages.
It is within your right, and recommended, that you ask any attorney for an estimate of what they think your award amount will be and how much it will be once his fees are deducted. The attorney will be unable to give you an exact amount of course, but they should be able to at least give you a rough estimate.
Charge Per Hour
When evaluating car accident lawyer fees, you could come across an attorney who is willing to take your case on an hourly basis. You will pay them their hourly fee regardless of whether they win or lose the case. This is not common for a car accident attorney and could be indicative of an attorney who feels that you do not have a strong case against the defendant.
There are a number of surprises you don't want to find out about after hiring a law firm. When considering car accident attorney fees there are a few questions you might want to ask. Initial fee conversations with a car accident attorney are usually based on the assumption that the case will be settled before having to go to court. Make sure that you discuss the possibility of a jury trial and if this will add to the contingency fee that the attorney is charging you.
There is a lot more work and fees involved with a jury trial. Not to mention the additional time that the car accident attorney will be spending to prepare for the trial and at court. It is in your best interest, and that of the opposing party, to try and reach a fair settlement through negotiations.
How Your Lawyer Obtains Payment
When you are paying the car accident attorney a contingency fee, it is usually worked out so that they receive the settlement and then deduct their payment before sending you the balance. This is common practice in all personal injury claims and not something that you should be concerned about. By having the settlement sent to the attorney they can make sure that the amount is correct and there are no problems with the check.
You will be notified that the settlement was received and be sent your portion in just a few days afterwards. Despite the fees, hiring an attorney after a car accident is the right decision. Without their expertise, the insurance company is likely to take advantage of your inexperience and only offer you a settlement that is considerably less than what your case is worth, if they offer anything at all. The best way to ensure that you are able to recover the damages incurred from the accident is with the help of an experienced legal professional.
Our Fee Structure
We have a no-win, no-fee guarantee that you can count on to make sure you don't pay any money out-of-pocket. Our contingency fee is very competitive. If you or your loved one have suffered injuries in a car accident, speaking with one of our local professionals is in your best interest. Call today for a free case evaluation from attorney Timothy J. Ryan.