You’ve just been in a car accident where you know the other driver is mostly, if not fully, at fault for the crash. If you live in a “fault” state like Georgia, you have the legal right to file an injury claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance for your damages (Georgia Code section 51-12-4). Often times, it’s in your best interest to seek the services of a lawyer for help—but you might have questions like, “how much will it actually cost me to hire a car crash lawyer?”
Whether you’re seeking an insurance settlement or taking the at-fault driver to court, a car crash lawyer can be there every step of the way. You might assume this means their cost will be through the roof—but actually, the fees for most personal injury lawyers who do this work are very straightforward.
Hiring a Car Crash Lawyer Costs Nothing Upfront
Instead of an hourly fee, which is charged by other law firms that take on different types of cases, most car crash lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means you don’t pay the lawyer at all unless they recover money for you through your case.
Essentially, you don’t need to worry about any costs at the time of hiring a car crash lawyer. Then, if the lawyer does win you money, their fee is taken as a percentage of your settlement amount (or what’s awarded by a judge or jury, if your case goes to trial). If they don’t end up recovering money for you, you will not be responsible for paying the fee.
The contingency fee is advantageous for clients because:
- It helps ensure your lawyer puts your interests first. A win for them is a win for you—and vise versa.
- You can work as a team from the beginning and focus on the best outcome possible in your case.
- It means you do not have to worry about any upfront costs. You can start getting help with your case immediately.
Average Contingency Percentages for Car Crash Lawyers
When you consult with a car crash lawyer who works on contingency, you’ll want to inquire about their fee percentage. Although most lawyer fees fall within a general range, it varies per firm.
According to the American Bar Association, the industry standard for a car crash lawyer contingency fee is typically 33% (or one-third) of what they win for you—but it can range anywhere from about 20% to 40%. The exact percentage may depend on factors like:
- The state in which the car crash lawyer practices
- How long the case is expected to take to settle
- Whether or not the case is going to trial
- The complexity of your case
This is why it’s so important to schedule a consultation and discuss all the details beforehand. You and your lawyer can get clear on your claim, the potential outcome of your case, and how your lawyer charges fees.
Other Case Expenses
Besides the contingency fee, there are some costs associated with working a personal injury case. Those may include:
- Copies of medical records
- Expert witness fees
- Court costs, including transcript copies
- Deposition expenses
- Administrative costs for things like legal research, copying, postage, and trial exhibits
Most of the time, your lawyer will pay for these costs throughout your case. Then, you’ll reimburse them at the end through your share of the compensation they recover.
Your Cost Depends on Your Settlement and the Contingency Fee
During the consultation, you will want to get clear on your lawyer’s contingency fee and how they anticipate your case going.
Experienced lawyers typically know how to get you a much better outcome than if you’d tried to take on your case alone. So, even though their fee will be taken as a portion of your settlement, it’s worth it if they can win you a settlement amount you deserve.
You also want to make sure you and your lawyer are a good fit for each other and that expectations are met on both sides. This is why a consultation can be so helpful. You might ask questions like:
- What percentage of my settlement or award do you take as a fee?
- What court costs and other expenses do you anticipate having for my case?
- Will I have to pay any costs upfront, or are all expenses taken from my recovery?
- How can I get in touch with you throughout the case, and when can I expect updates?
These questions can give you a good idea of what it will be like working with your potential car crash lawyer and how much it will cost if they are successful in your case.
Flat Fee Agreements are Rare
Flat fee arrangements are very rare with car crash lawyers. In this situation, the lawyer would charge a flat fee for certain legal work. Sometimes, a lawyer may charge this type of fee if a client needs a onetime, specific task like sending a demand letter. However, this is very uncommon with car crash lawyers and probably not something you’ll need to worry about encountering after an accident.
So, for most car crash lawyers, the costs to hire them is nothing at all. You don’t have to worry about paying anything unless they win you money—and even then, the amount is simply taken as a percentage of what they win for you. You don’t have to stress about any out-of-pocket costs when it comes to a contingency fee, which makes working with your lawyer risk-free.
Get a FREE Consultation with a Car Crash Lawyer
Besides working on a contingency fee basis, most car crash lawyers don’t charge anything for the consultation. This has always been our policy at John Foy & Associates: the consultation is always FREE. During the consultation, you can ask us questions and we can get to know more about your case. Then, you don’t pay us a thing unless we win you money.
To schedule your own FREE consultation with one of our experienced and compassionate car crash lawyers, call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online now.