How Much Does an Auto Accident Lawyer Cost?

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Types of Fees for Auto Accident Lawyers

Auto accident lawyers who specialize in personal injury cases charge clients who are injured in an auto accidents in one of four ways: contingency fees, contingency fees with a retainer, hourly fees, and flat fees.

Contingency Fee Auto Accident Lawyers

Most automobile accident lawyers charge clients a "contingency fee", as opposed to an hourly rate for the attorney’s services. If a lawyer accepts a case where payment will only come from a pure contingency fee, the injured person pays nothing up front.

Instead, the auto accident lawyer incurs the expenses until the case either settles or the case goes to trial and there is a final judgment. If the case fails to settle or the client loses at trial, the injured person will not be obligated to pay any legal fees. Contingency fees are based on the percentage of money received from the settlement or verdict. Below are additional details involving contingency fees:

Contingency Fee with a Retainer

Unlike a pure contingency fee explained above, the car accident lawyer may require a fee in the beginning of the representation called a retainer. The retainer fee will be collected on a contingency basis.

If the client receives money from the case, the retainer will be subtracted from the percentage that the lawyer would take at the end of the representation. However, the client will likely not be reimbursed the initial retainer amount. An advantage of this type of fee is that in ensures the attorney will be available at all times to represent the client.

Hourly Fee and Flat Fee Auto Accident Lawyers

Less common than a contingency fee or a contingency with a retainer are hourly fee or a flat fee. Below are the differences:

Should I hire a lawyer?

Car accident cases can be complex, especially if there are injuries to, not only your car, but also to your person. Insurance adjusters will often try to persuade you from hiring a lawyer. This is because, they want to settle for a minimal amount of money. In fact, studies have shown that injured party may receive more than three times the amount than a non-represented person. If you are involved in an auto accident, it is important to talk to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible and before talking to an adjuster.

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Last Modified: 03-06-2015 04:13 PM PST

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