3 Types of Car Accident Lawyer Fees
A lot of car accident victims are hesitant when it comes to hiring a personal injury lawyer because of the cost associated when hiring one. Despite the fact that a lot of law firms and solo personal injury attorneys are offering a free initial consultation, it is still not a guarantee that other fees are lower or their overall charges are more affordable. Thus, if you are a victim or a loved one of the one who recently got involved in a car accident, you need to equip yourself with a more detailed information about the types of fees your car accident attorney will charge you.
Types of Attorney Fees Common in Car Accident Cases
The American Bar Association (AMA) reminds personal injury lawyers that they should always disclose to their clients or potential clients all the fees that they will incur while they are receiving services from them. This would help you (the victims) decide if you are going to file a lawsuit using the help of a certain law firm or attorney.
1. Contingency Fee Plan
Most personal injury lawyers prefer this over the other two that are discussed below. This is more beneficial to you (the victims) because you are only required to pay once your lawyer wins the case. According to DMV.org, most car accident attorneys often charge their clients a contingency fee that ranges from 33% to 40% of the total settlement amount.
Take note that you have to clarify with your attorney if you still have other fees that need to be paid other than the contingency fee. In most cases, there are still other fees that need to be settled. Thus, the need to clarify everything is a must before you decide to hire a lawyer.
2. Retainer Agreement
This is an upfront payment wherein a written financial agreement between you and your lawyer states the fee needed to continuously hire him/her until the end of your case. During your first consultation, you need to inquire about this so that you can prepare your budget. According to DMV.org, a typical retainer agreement usually contains attorney-provided services, corresponding client actions, explanation of fees and expenses, payment schedule, and the process of dissolving the professional relationship if it is not harmonious.
3. Hourly Fees
Although this might sound that you need to spend a lot, the truth is, if you can hire a competent lawyer that can do his job effectively in a short period of time, and then you would surely save a lot instead of the other way around.
In hourly fees, you have to pay your lawyer in an hourly basis. You need to ask him to give you an estimate of the total hours he needed to take to fight for your case. According to experts, hourly fees are suitable for more serious car accident cases.
Out of three types of lawyer fees, the contingency fee plan is the one more recommended if you have minor or moderate injuries. Take note that the common expenses in a typical personal injury case include expert witness fees, postage, filing fees, investigation fees, preparation of medical records/getting police records, and exhibits for trials. Good luck!