If you are injured in a crash through no fault of your own, hiring a car accident lawyer can enhance the likelihood of receiving the highest possible compensation for your claim. If you have wondered how much car accident lawyers charge in Georgia, here’s what you need to know:
Most Georgia personal injury attorneys, including our Atlanta car accident lawyers, follow a contingency fee pricing structure, allowing victims to get legal help with no upfront cost. On average, an accident lawyer will take 33.3% to 40% of your settlement or award, but you don’t owe them any money you don’t win.
Scheduling a free consultation with a qualified attorney, like the ones at John Foy & Associates, can give you an idea of how a lawyer can improve your chances of winning a larger settlement. You’ll also learn more about our contingency fee agreement during your initial conversation.
How Do Car Accident Lawyers Charge for Their Services in Georgia?
As we mentioned, most personal injury lawyers in Atlanta and throughout the state work on what’s called a contingency fee basis. The contingency fee is the amount of money the lawyer receives if they win compensation for their client.
This arrangement works well for a few reasons:
- It does not require the injury victim to pay anything upfront, so there’s no added financial stress.
- 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 payment structure is different from the hourly fees and retainers that other kinds of lawyers charge and is a win-win for everyone.
The Contingency Fee Agreement
When working on a contingency fee basis, you and your lawyer will enter into an agreement about what happens when you win. Typically, the fee is a percentage of your settlement or award. 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 then 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.
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How Much of a Contingency Fee Do Car Accident Injury Lawyers Charge?
The exact percentage a lawyer takes for their fee 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 the 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 may also 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 that the fee will be closer to 40%.
Here’s an example: Suppose you were injured in a car accident in Atlanta, and your lawyer and the insurance company are able to agree to a settlement before you need to file a lawsuit. 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. Fortunately, most car accident lawyers offer consultations completely free of charge, so you can ask these types of questions without risk.
Why Do You Need a Lawyer After a Car Accident in Georgia?
You might wonder if you really need a car accident lawyer after your crash. You may also wonder if handling your own case is an option. While it is certainly possible to represent yourself, it’s not recommended.
Lawyers spend a lot of time and money on schooling and firsthand experience for a reason. Legal matters can be complex, even in seemingly straightforward cases. A good personal injury lawyer will give you the best chance at full compensation for your accident damages.
Also, insurance companies rarely “fight fair” with car accident victims. They care most about protecting their bottom line, and they will look for reasons to reduce your payout. An experienced lawyer will be prepared for their tactics and know how to fight back.
What Am I Paying for When I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Besides paying the attorney’s fee to cover the legal services you were provided, there are additional costs in a personal injury case. If your case goes to court, you might be paying for court costs, expert witness fees, and filing fees.
You will need to ask your lawyer about how they handle these expenses. In some situations, your lawyer may absorb some of these costs.
If your case is settled through mediation rather than in court in front of a judge and jury, these expenses will be lower.
How Will a Georgia Car Accident Lawyer Manage My Case?
When you hire a Georgia car accident attorney to represent you, you can expect them to:
- Speak with all other parties and their representatives on your behalf.
- Negotiate with the other party’s representatives for a fair settlement offer.
- Collect evidence that establishes the defendant’s liability.
- Thoroughly investigate your car crash by analyzing the evidence.
- Calculate the full scope of your damages.
- Represent you in all legal proceedings, including depositions, mediations, and, if necessary, a trial in front of a jury and judge.
- Manage the logistics of your claim, including deadlines, legal requirements, and disbursement of your funds.
Please keep in mind that time is of the essence after a car accident due to Georgia’s statute of limitations for personal injury claims. Barring unique circumstances, you only have two years to take legal action per Georgia Code § 9-3-33.
Talk to a Car Accident Lawyer for Free Today
Most of the time, working with a reputable car accident lawyer is more than worth the fee. A percentage taken from your settlement is much better than 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. All of our personal injury attorneys work on contingency, so there is no risk to you, and our consultations are always free. Call us or contact us online to get started.