Most people have to be on the road daily for various reasons. They could be driving to work, getting groceries, on their way to visit family or friends, or taking a walk. Only very few people think they could get into an accident while doing any of these. Still, available data shows that car accidents are a leading cause of death for Americans under 60.
Over 38,000 American residents die in car accidents annually, while a further 4.4 million sustain injuries that require medical attention. For many car accident survivors, the prevailing thought is how it impacts their health and life. They wonder if they will be able to walk or work again, and they also wonder about the cost of their medical treatment.
Those who are aware that they could receive compensation if they are not at fault may also think about the cost of hiring a Carrollton auto accident lawyer. Unfortunately, this often deters them from seeking legal representation. This article discusses why you should hire a car accident lawyer and the cost.
Why Should You Hire a Carrollton Car Accident Lawyer?
Although we advise that you hire a car accident lawyer after a crash, you must understand why you need a lawyer. Understanding this will help you choose the best lawyer to represent you.
The first reason is that the lawyer is a professional who should ideally understand the law better than you would. Of course, if you are a lawyer or have a law degree, you will understand the law. However, car accident lawyers are typically specialists in just one area, allowing them to build deep expertise.
Having someone who possesses such expertise on your side has incredible benefits. For example, filing a car accident claim or lawsuit will invariably see you go against insurance companies.
Not surprisingly, insurance companies will attempt to reduce the value of your claim as they are not in the business of spending money. However, your chances are significantly improved when you have an experienced Carrollton car accident lawyer.
A good car accident lawyer will also help you determine your claim’s actual value. By examining different factors such as lost past and future wages, medical costs, and pain, they can arrive at a fair value of your losses. The other side to this is that they can help you prove liability.
They will examine the evidence, including photos from the accident scene, police reports, eyewitnesses, and video footage. This is particularly helpful if your case is not clear-cut.
Are There Instances Where You Don’t Need a Lawyer?
It’s crucial to point out that the nature of your accident will often determine your need for a car accident lawyer. If all the damage from the crash is a few scratches on your car and a missing fender, you may negotiate a settlement without a lawyer’s help. However, if you sustain severe injuries that require extended medical attention, you may need a car accident attorney.
How Much Does a Lawyer Cost?
A Carrollton car accident lawyer’s fees could vary depending on who you hire and your agreement. Also, several factors affect how much you pay, including:
- The experience and reputation of the lawyer
- The complexity of the case, possible durations of the case, and
- The expenses the lawyer could incur.
What Is a Contingency Fee and How Does It Work?
Contingency fees are the most popular form of payment for car accident lawyers. In simple terms, a contingency fee arrangement specifies that a lawyer does not charge the client any fee until they secure a settlement. Afterward, the lawyer is entitled to a certain percentage of the client’s compensation.
Typically, the percentage of the settlement received by the lawyer ranges from 33% to 40%. So, for example, if your compensation is $100,000, your lawyer will receive $33,000 if the contingency fee arrangement is 33%.
Before agreeing to a contingency fee arrangement, ensure that you understand its terms. Always ask questions when you don’t know why a specific clause has been inserted. Additionally, insist on a written agreement before your case starts.
What Other Fees Can an Auto Accident Lawyer Charge?
Depending on the agreement, the attorney may charge any of the following:
Car accident lawyers rarely charge a flat fee. However, it is usually to perform a one-time task such as drafting a demand letter when they do. So you don’t have to worry about a lawyer demanding a flat fee for their services.
Using an hourly fee arrangement, the lawyer charges the client for the time it takes them to work on the case. This fee will be paid regardless of the outcome of the case. As a result, many clients will refuse to use this option, and accident lawyers rarely use it.
Retainer Plus Contingency Fees
A retainer is a fee that a client pays upfront for a service that the lawyer will discharge. There are three types of retainer fees. A general retainer is paid for a specific period; a special retainer is for a particular service. Finally, a retainer is placed in a trust account that the lawyer withdraws from the responsibilities.
When car accident lawyers charge a retainer fee and the contingency fee, they receive a fixed amount in advance while getting a percentage of the compensation after the case is settled. For example, if the retainer fee was $700 and the contingency agreement was for 30% of $30,000 , the lawyer will receive $9,000 in addition to the $700 retainer.
Are There Additional Costs in a Car Accident Case?
Attorney fees are not the only costs you incur in a car accident case. You will also be required to pay the expenses of prosecuting your case. This includes:
- Filling fees
- Photocopying fees
- Court reporters for depositions, and
- Charges for obtaining documents such as medical and police reports.
Depending on how long your case lasts, these costs could range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. Still, it should not be why you refuse to pursue your claim. Many law firms have ways of charging these fees.
Large law firms will often take on all the costs and deduct them from the settlement they win. Others demand that you pay for it as they come up. You can also negotiate the terms of your payment with the lawyer.
Improve Your Chances of Success With a Carrollton Car Accident Lawyer
After the initial shock from being in a car accident, you need to think about how to get compensation for your injuries and losses. Hiring a lawyer will help you with this.
Regardless of your car accident, a qualified Carrollton personal injury lawyer is waiting to help you. At the Law Office of John B. Jackson, our initial consultation is free as we understand that you may not know what the process looks like. So call our office today to speak to one of our attorneys.