It was a clear day as Dane began heading home.
A large car began approaching in his rearview mirror. When suddenly, there was a sound of screeching tires, and then a jolt!
The speeding driver slammed into Dane. He didn’t think he had any injuries. But the next day, Dane could barely move. It turns out he had a herniated disc in his lower back and would need immediate surgery.
Were you recently in a crash? By hiring a car accident attorney you can get the resources you need to make a full recovery. What does a lawyer charge, and how can you afford one? Read on to find out!
Working With Limited Funds
If you don’t have much money to spend on legal services, you may need to hire a less-experienced lawyer rather than a seasoned professional. New attorneys tend to be more affordable. At least more reasonable than lawyers who have been practicing law for years and already have good reputations.
Working with an up-and-coming or novice attorney has its benefits. For instance, the attorney could be more inclined to work harder for you than a seasoned lawyer. For a new attorney, establishing a positive reputation and winning case history is especially important!
Overall, it would help to hire an attorney who knows how to work with their clients. Ensure that the attorney has experience working on cases similar to yours and is willing to share the evidence they plan to use.
Experienced vs. New Car Accident Lawyer
What are the ranges for new vs. experienced lawyer fees? The average cost for one hour of a personal injury attorney’s time varies with experience, as well as location.
For an experienced lawyer in a big city, you could expect to pay around $250 per hour. In a smaller city, that number would go down to about $150 per hour. If you’re in a rural area, your rates might still be lower.
Let’s say it costs an experienced personal injury attorney in California about $250 per hour when they work on standard cases. But when they have to handle more complicated cases with extensive medical issues, they’ll wind up investing more of their time. As a result, their hourly rate will likely rise to $300 an hour or more!
Hiring a Lawyer for Complex Cases
If your car accident case is simple, going with a new lawyer could be a wise financial choice. However, when you’re dealing with a complex car accident case, you’ll want to avoid new lawyers at all costs. Instead, look into contingency fees and other types of payment plans to help you afford the services of a top-notch lawyer.
You can set up a free consultation with a law firm before making any hiring decision. The consultation can be over the phone, or in person, or even virtual! When you speak to a car accident lawyer at Rodriguez Law Firm, they can explain your attack plan for the case. You’ll find things like the damages you qualify for and how long you’ll likely be waiting for a settlement.
Get an emailed copy of the case quote so that you can shop around.
Contingency vs. Hourly Rates
Wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t have to pay anything to your lawyer upfront? What if you only had to spend money if the lawyer was able to win your case? That would change things quite a bit!
When the lawyer doesn’t require an upfront payment, it’s a contingency payment plan. Thanks to contingency fee structures, you can focus on hiring the best person for the case rather than price shopping!
How do contingency payment plans work? It all has to do with percentages. You and your attorney will agree upon a specific rate. The percentage is the amount of the award money your lawyer receives when they win the case.
However, make sure you know all of the details of your contingency plan upfront. Different law offices have other fee structures. For instance, some lawyers require clients to pay a certain amount of fees if they lose the case.
Other attorneys may have a structured fee schedule. They can collect a percentage of settlement money without lowering the amount you’ll receive. This type of structured payment works best if your case exceeds the pre-established cash limit. We suggest brushing up on your legal jargon so you’ll have an easier time communicating with your lawyer.
Navigating Percentage Laws
The law dictates how much your attorney can claim from your settlement award, depending on where you live. Some states allow for a lawyer to take 30% of your settlement. At the same time, other states allow lawyers to claim more than 30 percent if certain conditions are met.
For example, some attorneys can ask for 40 or 50 percent! If you got a $100,000 settlement award, you could wind up with as little as $50,000, and that’s before taxes.
Steer clear of lawyers that have unjustifiably high fees. Instead, get a few quotes from law offices and compare the contingency percents. If one attorney is charging significantly more, find out why.
The details of your case may justify paying more. But don’t assume a high price tag means you’ll get the best results. Instead, perform your due diligence by shopping around.
What Are Reasonable Car Accident Attorney Fees?
You may notice the term “reasonable fees” pop up when you get case quotes from lawyers. Reasonable fees typically mean they can’t exceed what other attorneys charge for similar cases.
What about medical bills after hiring a car accident attorney? Personal injury law firms typically don’t handle any medical bills that stem from an accident case they win on clients’ behalf. However, they do help clients file paperwork that enables them to seek reimbursement from the liable party.
How Flat Fees Work
If you don’t like the idea of forfeiting a portion of your award settlement to attorney fees, you don’t have to! Instead, you could look for an attorney that works with a flat fee structure.
You’ll pay one flat fee, typically before the attorney takes on your case. This payment plan is called a retainer fee. Once you have paid, the attorney will work on your case until it ends up in settlement or court.
Are you looking for an experienced personal injury lawyer to handle your car accident lawsuit? Then expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 in retainer fees upfront.
Protect Your Rights
No matter who you speak with about hiring a car accident attorney, always remember this: if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is! Since law offices love providing free consultations, set up a few today. You can complete the talks over the phone and see what each law firm has to offer.
Be sure to ask about all of their payment plans and get a detailed quote sent to your email! Hold out for an attorney you can trust, and afford. For more advice, see what else our site has in store for you.