How Much Do Accident Attorneys Cost
If you’ve been in a car accident, it’s a good idea to hire an attorney to stick up for your rights. And to negotiate the best settlement possible.
But how much do car accident attorneys cost you? Find out what you can expect below.
How Much Do Accident Attorneys Cost?
The good news here is that hiring an accident attorney should not cost you anything up front. That is because these attorneys generally work on a contingency basis.
That means that you will only pay them a fee if they win your case for you.
The average contingency fee is between 30 – 40% of the amount of your settlement. The most common fee is right at 33% of the settlement amount.
Sometimes the fee may be lower than that. That may be the case if the attorney settles and the case doesn’t go to court. In that situation, you may have a lower fee than if court proceeding are involved.
Also important to note here is that 33% or so is deducted from the net amount of your settlement. At least that’s the most common way it is handled by accident attorneys in the US.
If you are talking with a firm that want to get their fee based on the gross settlement, push back on that point. And, if they are unwilling to give, you may even want to find a different firm to handle your case.
How To Handle Fees
You’ll also want to find out how the accident attorney’s law firm handles expenses related to your case. See if they’ll cover these expenses and then deduct them from the award you receive.
These fees could include things such as getting a hold of medical records and/or police reports, court filings, process servers, expert witness fees, court reporter fees and more.
Depending on your case and the location, these fees can really add up to a decent chunk of change. Figure on them being a few thousand dollars at least. In some cases, they can reach $10,000 or even $20,000.
Again, keep in mind that if the accident attorney covers these fees for you up front, the attorney will deduct them from your settlement.
There are some firms that charge flat fees to handle accident cases. But typically they only do that in cases that are very simple and straightforward. For example, a firm may do this if all they have to do is draft a response to a demand letter.
Flat fees for accident cases average around $500 or so depending on the firm and where you live.
Be Wary of Hourly Charges
Watch our for accident attorneys who charge by the hour to handle cases. As well as for those who require a contingency fee whether you win or lose. That is not the norm in this field and should raise at least a yellow flag in your mind about whether to work with the firm/attorney or not.
Bottom Line on Accident Attorney Costs
Bottom line here is to understand the fee/contract you’re getting into before you sign anything. And, as they say, everything’s negotiable. So see if you can get a more favorable rate by just asking.