Many accident victims can benefit from the help of an experienced car accident lawyer. Whenever serious injury, death, or significant property damage is involved, it’s ill-advised for individuals to try to handle their case alone. However, many people opt not to seek help from an Atlanta auto accident lawyer because they don’t think they can afford it.
This is understandable since attorneys often charge an hourly fee for their representation However, this isn’t the case with car accident cases or other personal injury cases. Car accident lawyers work on what is known as a contingency basis so their services are more affordable than many victims think. The exact amount you’ll pay depends on several factors. However, we’ll take a closer look at the types of fees attorneys charge in this article.
Automobile Accident Attorneys and Contingency Fees
The first thing you need to know about is attorney’s fees. This is what you pay for the legal expertise and work your car accident lawyer provides. They may have to invest months or even years in your case before it is resolved. Attorney’s fees are also known as contingency fees because payment is contingent on the lawyer recovering compensation on your behalf. The amount you have to pay is also contingent on the amount awarded via settlement or trial.
There are some advantages to this system. For starters, victims don’t need to pay any money upfront. This helps to relieve some of the stress individuals face following a crash because of injuries, lost wages, and other challenges. It also incentivizes the lawyer to give of their best since they don’t get paid if the client doesn’t get compensation. Furthermore, if the case is resolved in your favor, the fee will be a percentage of the settlement amount; you won’t have to pay out of your pocket.
The percentage that’s owed to the attorney depends on a range of factors. If the case goes to trial, arbitration or mediation, it will require more work so the cost is typically higher. However, if the case is quickly settled, the percentage is likely to be lower.
Generally speaking, attorney’s fees range from 33 to 40 percent of the settlement amount but lawyers have been known to charge more in certain circumstances. The exact amount will be determined by how long it takes to resolve the case and how much work the lawyer has to do. Since most cases are settled out of court, most clients pay on the lower end of the scale.
Additional Expenses Associated With Hiring an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer
Contingency fees aren’t the only costs you have to think of when hiring a car accident attorney. Attorney’s expenses are also deducted from the recovery amount. Before you agree to have a lawyer represent you, you need to be clear about exactly what you’ll have to pay for.
The term “expenses” can cover the cost of:
- Court fees
- Expert witnesses
- Certified mail
- Obtaining medical records
- Other costs the attorney incurred in working on your behalf
Even if your attorney can’t recover compensation on your behalf, you may still have the cover the amount they paid out in preparing your case. Usually, the more complicated the case is, the higher the associated expenses. If your case is resolved privately without the need for court action, the expenses will be quite low.
Why You Need a Lawyer After a Georgia Car Accident
You may still be wondering if you really need a car accident lawyer following an Atlanta crash. You have the option of handling your own affairs but this is not recommended if the accident was serious.
Insurance companies usually do everything they can the reduce the amount they have to pay. If there’s a way for them not to pay anything at all, they’ll find it. You probably don’t want to fight with an insurer when you’re nursing injuries and undergoing medical treatment.
Not only won’t you have the time or patience to handle it all but you will also lack the legal training and experience to really take them on. In contrast, lawyers spend a lot of time learning the law and they are trained in negotiation. Therefore, they can give you the best possible chance of getting fair compensation.
Talk to a Car Accident Lawyer As Soon As Possible After Your Crash
Even cases that seem simple can turn out to be incredibly complex. Even if you’re concerned about the cost of hiring an attorney, you should still reach out to a law firm immediately after your crash. Most lawyers offer a free initial consultation so you don’t have anything to lose by at least talking to a legal professional.
This meeting will allow you to make an informed decision as to whether you need to hire a lawyer or not. Given what we discussed about contingency fee arrangements, you can be sure that the attorney will only take your case if they think it’s solid.
The consultation provides you with an opportunity to share your story and ask questions about hiring a car accident lawyer to represent you. Once you have an estimate of how much you’re likely to receive in compensation, you can determine whether it would be worth it to hire a lawyer.
You’ll have to decide if you’ll have adequate funds remaining after you cover your attorney’s fees and expenses. As you consider this, keep in mind that individuals who have legal representation tend to recover larger sums than those who don’t. Therefore, even after you pay your lawyer, you may still have enough left to cover your various losses.
Reach Out to Calvin Smith Law Today!
If you’ve been involved in a car crash, don’t delay in contacting an Atlanta personal injury lawyer. The sooner you get a legal opinion, the sooner you can decide how you want to proceed. Time is of the essence in these types of cases so it’s best to act promptly.
We offer free consultation and we’ll gladly advise you about your rights and whether or not you have a strong case for compensation. Get in touch with our team of experienced attorneys today!