How Much Does a Lawyer Charge for a Car Accident?
If you were seriously hurt in a motor-vehicle collision through no fault of your own, you may be wondering whether you should seek legal counsel. While you’re certainly entitled to take action alone, it’s generally advisable to hire an attorney.
Since most reputable car accident lawyers are paid through contingency fee contracts, victims have nothing to lose by enlisting their help. In a contingency fee arrangement, you don’t have to pay a retainer to take advantage of exceptional legal services. In fact, you won’t have to pay an attorney’s fee at all unless the firm recovers compensation on your behalf.
If you’re hesitant to proceed because you’re wondering what that fee may be, though, you are not alone. One of the most common questions that lawyers receive when evaluating potential claims regards the cost of counsel.
Since every case is different, there’s no standardized fee schedule to which plaintiffs can refer. There are, however, contingency caps, which let injured parties know the maximum amount their attorneys can charge.
In Florida, for example, firms are usually prohibited from charging any more than 33.3 percent of recoveries up to $1 million, assuming they settled prior to filing an answer or demand for the appointment of arbitrators. Firms may also charge up to 30 percent of the recovery between $1 million and $2 million, and an additional 20 percent of any portion that exceeds $2 million.
For cases that require the filing of an answer or demand for the appointment of arbitrators, personal injury lawyers may charge up to 40 percent of the first $1 million. This is primarily because proceeding to arbitration is considerably more work than settling.
Since attorneys are often able to secure much larger settlements and verdicts than their clients would have managed on their own, their counsel can essentially pay for itself—and then some. It’s important to remember, however, that the contingency fee may not be your only financial obligation if you enlist help from a reputable practice.
Car accident claims typically demand an intensive investigation. As such, plaintiffs are usually responsible for additional expenses over the course of the proceedings.
For example, you may have to cover the fees for consulting expert witnesses. And if your case ends up going to trial, you’ll have to cover the associated court costs, as well.
As long as you turn to a reliable firm that practices with integrity, though, you’ll have a clear idea of your obligations prior to getting started. Reputable lawyers are entirely transparent about their fee structures, so you won’t have to worry about any surprises along the way.
Speak with a Car Accident Lawyer in Stuart Today
If you were hurt in a motor-vehicle collision through no fault of your own and you want to take legal action, contact Donaldson & Weston. Our compassionate team has counseled more than 10,000 clients, and we know what it takes to secure satisfactory settlements and verdicts in personal injury cases. Call 772-266-5555 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free consultation with a car accident attorney.