Most car accident victims can benefit from legal help rather than trying to take on their case alone. What makes many people hesitate to get representation (or fail to get it at all) is the fear of how much it will cost. If you have wondered, “How much do car accident lawyers charge in Georgia?”, this article will give you an idea of what to expect.
How Do Car Accident Lawyers Charge For Their Services in Georgia?
Most personal injury lawyers in Georgia work on what’s called a “contingency fee basis.” A contingency is an amount of money the lawyer receives only if they win your case. This works well for a few main reasons:
- It does not require the injury victim to pay anything upfront (and thus not adding any additional monetary stress to their situation).
- It helps ensure the lawyer has the victim’s best interests at heart. Since the lawyer does not get paid unless they win the case, they will be incentivized to work as hard as possible for the best compensation.
- If the case is won, the lawyer’s fee is simply taken as a percentage of the settlement (not out of the victim’s pocket).
The contingency fee structure provides a win-win situation for everyone.
The Contingency Fee Agreement
When working on a contingency fee, you and your lawyer will begin with an agreement. Typically, the fee is a percentage of what is won. Then, once your case has been won, that percentage will be paid to your lawyer and you will receive the rest.
Many times, the settlement check will be sent to your lawyer first. They will deduct their fee from the total before sending you the remaining balance. This can provide further peace of mind to you because you are not paying anything out of pocket and everything is handled for you.
Besides the contingency fee, there are sometimes costs in a personal injury case. Those may include court costs, expert witness fees, filing fees, and more. You will need to ask your lawyer about how they handle these fees. In some situations, your lawyer may absorb some of these costs.
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How Much of a Contingency Fee Do Car Accident Lawyers Charge?
The exact percentage a lawyer takes as contingency depends on each individual firm. However, it’s typically anywhere between 33.3% and 40% of the settlement.
The timeline of your case often determines how high or low a contingency fee percentage is:
- If your lawyer is able to win you a settlement quickly without having to file a lawsuit, your fee may be closer to 33.3%. (And, according to the American Bar Association, most personal injury cases do not require going to court.)
- If your case goes to court but you reach a settlement before needing to go to trial, the fee also may be around the 33.3% mark.
- In rarer cases, you may end up going to trial, mediation, or arbitration. If this happens, chances are good the fee is closer to 40%.
Here’s an example: Say you were injured in a car accident in Atlanta. Your lawyer and the insurance company are able to agree to a settlement before you need to go to court at all. If the settlement amount is $10,000 and the contingency fee is 33.3%, your lawyer fee would be $3,330.
The exact conditions for a contingency fee vary per lawyer or law firm. That is something you will need to discuss in detail with your lawyer before hiring them. Thankfully, most car accident lawyers offer the consultation completely free of charge, so you can ask these types of questions without the risk of paying anything yet.
At John Foy & Associates, our consultation is always free. To schedule your free consultation and go over the details today, call us at (404) 400-4000 or contact us online.
Why Do You Need a Lawyer After a Car Accident in Georgia?
You might wonder if you even really need a car accident lawyer after your crash. Maybe you think handling the case yourself is an option. While it certainly is an option to represent yourself, we do not recommend it.
Lawyers spend a lot of time and money in schooling and firsthand experience for a reason. Legal matters can be incredibly complicated and complex—even in seemingly simple cases. A good injury lawyer will give you the best chance at full compensation from your accident damages.
Insurance companies also rarely “fight fair” with car accident victims. They care most about their bottom line, and they will look for ways to reduce what they pay you. An experienced lawyer will be prepared for all of their tactics and now how to fight back for your rights.
Talk to a Car Accident Lawyer for Free Today
Most of the time, working with a good car accident lawyer is more than worth the fee. A percentage taken from your settlement is very favorable compared to missing out on thousands (or even tens of thousands) of dollars without proper legal representation.
John Foy & Associates is here to help you with your car accident case. We always work on contingency, so there is no risk to you, and the consultation is always FREE. To schedule your free consultation today, call us at (404) 400-4000 or contact us online to get started.