If you are hurt in a car accident in California, you might be concerned about the cost of hiring a lawyer to represent you. Many families face financial stress, especially if the injured person cannot work while recovering. Most lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you’ll only need to pay the lawyer if you win. If you have a reputable, experienced car accident lawyer, you can focus on healing instead of worrying about paying your lawyer. Filing a car accident case is a big deal. If you’re seriously injured due to someone else’s negligence, your case could be worth a significant amount of money, potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars.
What is a contingency fee?
According to the United States Office of Government Ethics,” contingency fee refers to a type of fee arrangement in a case in which an attorney or firm agrees that the payment of legal fees will be contingent upon the successful outcome of the case.
How does contingency fees work?
Contingency Fees are only paid when you win the case. In the case of defeat in the court, you are not required to pay anything to your lawyer.
Benefits of contingency fee
The benefits of the contingency fee are:
- They help people who can’t afford a lawyer to pursue their claims.
- They motivate attorneys to work hard for their client’s success.
- They allow clients to shift the risk of losing their lawyers.
Average contingency fees
Most car accident attorneys use a unique payment method, unlike the hourly fees common in other jobs. They usually work on a “contingency fee” basis, which means they get a percentage of the money you receive from a settlement or court award. The exact percentage can vary but usually falls between 25% and 40%, with 33% (or one-third) being a common rate. For instance, if you win a $100,000 settlement with a 33% contingency fee, you’d owe the lawyer $33,000.
Is there any other charge than the contingency fee?
You’ll also have to cover the expenses and fees related to your case, but you might not need to pay them upfront. Some law firms cover these costs and then subtract them from your compensation in addition to the contingency fee. Others might absorb the expenses as part of their business costs and deduct them from their share of the settlement. The approach can vary based on state laws and the specific attorney’s policies.
These expenses include court fees, charges for serving summonses and subpoenas, court reporter fees, obtaining medical records and police reports, and fees for expert witnesses. If these expenses are expected to be paid by the suer, the attorney may ask the client to cover them as they come up. If the client can’t pay one or more of these fees, the case may be put on hold until payment is received.
Usually, the personal injury attorney will take their percentage from the final settlement, which is the money remaining after all expenses have been paid.
How much does a lawyer get from a car accident settlement?
The lawyer may ask for an initial retainer and a contingency fee. This will help the attorney get started on the case. If they win damages for the plaintiff, the attorney will deduct that initial retainer fee from his contingency percentage, which is taken after the case. Using the previous example again, suppose the attorney requested an initial retainer of $2,000. Once the settlement of $100,000 was awarded after the case, the attorney would take $31,000 instead of the $33,000 fee.
What is the average accident settlement In California?
In California, a typical compensation range for a mild to moderate car accident is usually between $5,000 and $25,000. However, if you require long-term treatment, your compensation can increase significantly, ranging from $30,000 to $100,000.
Does it cost more if I take a case to trial?
Taking your case to trial is more expensive. The fee for a trial is based on many factors, but one factor that is always taken into account is the length of time that the trial is expected to take. Going to trial is time-consuming and more fundamental. The work an attorney does in preparing for trial and in the trial is critical work that must be done carefully and with utmost skill.
Do I need to pay even after losing my case?
No, you do not need to pay after losing your case. However, you’ll be required to pay all the other expenses, including court fees, charges for serving summonses and subpoenas, court reporter fees, obtaining medical records and police reports, and fees for expert witnesses.
Is it worth hiring an attorney for a car accident?
You typically won’t need a lawyer or go through a legal process for minor accidents involving only a few dents and bruises. But when it comes to more serious accidents, things change. In such cases, you’re not just facing a defendant in court; you’re also up against an insurance company aiming for a quick settlement. These insurance settlements often need to cover all your damages. That’s why a personal injury lawyer’s 33.33% contingency fee can be a worthwhile investment. Ultimately, it’s your call to decide if your situation calls for the skills of a personal injury attorney.
How to choose a skilled car accident lawyer in California?
Following a car accident, you might wonder how to pick the right car accident attorney for your circumstances. It can indeed be quite a challenge to decide among the many available lawyers. The choice of a lawyer matters as it can impact the outcome of your case.
When searching for an attorney, it’s wise to evaluate factors like their experience, reputation, availability, communication skills, fees, billing methods, case strategy, and personal attention. Investing time in finding the right attorney will enhance your chances of receiving the compensation you’re entitled to and moving forward from the accident.
Contact a car accident lawyer to help you with your car accident claim
Finding a personal injury lawyer can be challenging when dealing with the aftermath of an accident caused by someone else’s negligence. Our skilled team at JG Winter Laws is here to simplify your life.
Experience, empathy, and a strong reputation are important factors. We aim to secure the best possible settlement so you can return to your normal life. At JG Winter Law, we have a proven history of successful outcomes. Contact us today.