Car Accident Attorneys Claim Procedures
We will now discuss the no fees if you don’t win a contingency agreement that most auto accident attorneys build into their agreement with you and how it works. It simply means that if your car accident lawyer takes your case, he/she is highly confident that they have a winnable case therefore, they only get paid if they win the case for you, and therefore you won’t have to worry about paying them any legal fees if they lose the case. But this does not mean that you will pay nothing! Below you will see the common fees and costs charged by car accident lawyers. Attorneys’ fees and costs there are 3 essential components of lawyer fees: More on this website
Base fees: this is the hourly rate charged by law firms. This rate varies from law firm to law firm. However, most are very similar within the area.
Success fee: this is a percentage of the damages the court will award you if you win the case. This will vary from 10% to 33%, depending on the law firm or the size and reputation of the law firm. Some attorneys fix the auto accident fees to 15%, but some will go higher.
Nevertheless, you should know that this fee is negotiable, and most car accident lawyers expect some negotiation of the fee. Disbursements are money your lawyer or law firm incurs to further your claim. Examples are payments to hospitals for medical records, court costs, and witness costs and fees. What happens if you lose the court case? Generally, the base and success fees are not paid. However, the disbursement costs are payable by you. But no fear, these are usually the lowest fees, ranging from $50 to a few hundred dollars. Despite this, some lawyers will protect you from paying court costs as they can add up quickly. This cost item can also be negotiated before you decide to hire this attorney. Some auto accident attorneys may also discuss insurance with you. If insurance is taken out before the court proceedings, they will cover the disbursement costs if you lose the case. If the policy is self-insuring, it will also cover the cost of the premium, so at the end of the day, you will pay nothing if you lose.
What happens if you win your claim?
You only pay your fees if you win. And even that, you will not have to pay for all of them. You pay the success fee. The defendant will be responsible for paying the base costs and disbursements. So, for example, during the initial attorney consultation, if you agreed to pay a 30% success fee and won a $1 million settlement, you would have to pay your lawyer a $330,0000.00 success fee. Given this fact, it is very important to negotiate the lowest success fee possible during the initial consultation; this is where your negotiation skills will be tested and where you will reap the benefits if you negotiate the lowest success fee possible. Don’t accept the attorney’s argument that their fee is a fixed fee firm-wide. The fees are always negotiable, thanks to competition between hundreds of car accident lawyers.
Questions to ask auto accident attorneys during the initial consultation
Given that you now know the details of the case, what is the probability of success? (all personal injury attorneys need to give a probability of success to their insurers before they take you on as a client, so demand that they give this percentage. Would you consider lowering your success fee percentage to 10%? (this is a good starting point for negotiations)what is your policy on disbursements? Is upfront payment required? Who in your firm will do the majority of the work on my case? What are his/her qualifications?
You may have your initial consultation with the managing partner, but that does not mean he/she will handle your case. Conclusion contingency agreement is exactly what the name suggests; if you lose your case, won’t pay legal fees. However, suppose your attorney successfully wins the case for you. In that case, you reap the lion’s share of the court settlement after you pay disbursements, but only if your lawyer neglected to take out insurance to cover this eventuality.