The days following a truck accident can feel very overwhelming. As you’re facing medical bills, missed work time, and vehicle repairs (or a totaled vehicle), you might wonder if you’re doing everything you can to protect your rights. If you were not at fault for your accident, you are likely entitled to seek compensation through a personal injury claim—but that can be hard to navigate if you’ve never had to file one before.
You will probably need help from a truck accident lawyer, but you might be worried about the cost. If you’re already facing tons of costs from the accident, how much will a lawyer set you back too? Thankfully, how much it will cost to hire a truck accident lawyer is virtually risk-free for you.
The Cost of Hiring a Truck Accident Lawyer: Nothing Upfront
Truck accident lawyers are personal injury lawyers who specialize in truck accident cases. Most personal injury lawyers work on what’s known as a “contingency” basis. That means:
- There is no upfront cost to hire them.
- You do not pay them a fee at all unless they win you money.
- If they win you money, their fee is simply taken as a percentage of your settlement or award.
Truck accident lawyers operate in this way because it guarantees you can get legal representation without worrying about upfront costs. It also ensures that your lawyer is working with your best interest in mind. A win for them is a win for you.
A contingency fee also allows you to avoid the risk of an hourly rate that could leave you with lawyer fees even if your case is not won or settled satisfactorily.
At John Foy & Associates, we always work on contingency—and your consultation is always FREE. To schedule a FREE consultation with the best truck accident lawyer for your case today, call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online.
The Contingency Fee Percentage for a Truck Accident Lawyer
Before working with a truck accident lawyer, you’ll want to know what their contingency fee structure looks like. The average for most personal injury lawyers is between 33.3% (or one-third) and 40% of whatever they win you. That means, for example, if you win a $30,000 settlement, your lawyer’s fee would be between $10,000 and $12,000.
There are situations in which the fee may be slightly more or less than the average. For example, a lawyer might charge a slightly higher percentage if you end up filing a lawsuit and your case goes all the way to trial, or if your case requires mediation/arbitration.
Your lawyer’s contract will details these fees, so this is information you can get clear on during the consultation. Thankfully, most truck accident cases do not have to go to court and get settled well before the need to file a lawsuit.
Other Expenses Related to Working with a Truck Accident Lawyer
Besides your lawyer’s fees, there are often other costs associated with working on your case. Most of the time, your lawyer will take on these expenses until your case is closed. Here are some costs they may incur:
- Expert witness fees
- Investigator fees
- Copies of the police report or medical records
- Court filing fees
- Court reporter fees
- Postage costs
These expenses will usually be deducted from your settlement or award. Some lawyers deduct their fee percentage before they’ve deducted the above expenses, while some might deduct expenses before their lawyer fee. These are details you’ll want to clarify with your truck accident lawyer beforehand.
You’ll also want to find out if these expenses will still be your responsibility if you don’t win a settlement or award. Each lawyer will have slightly different methods for handling these types of details.
Hourly Fees Versus Contingency Fees
A contingency fee structure is usually much more advantageous to you than an hourly fee. However, there may be situations where a lawyer isn’t interested in taking your truck accident case on contingency—but they’re willing to do so on an hourly fee.
If you have trouble getting lawyers to take on your case on contingency, it might mean that the case isn’t too strong to begin with. A good lawyer will be able to explain this to you.
Is a Truck Accident Lawyer Really Necessary?
Thinking about hiring a lawyer can be intimidating for injury victims, especially if they have never had to deal with these sorts of legal matters before. You might wonder if you even need a lawyer at all. What if you could represent yourself when pursuing a settlement?
While it’s completely in your rights to represent yourself in your truck accident case, we do not recommend it at all. You might be able to get away with that in very minor auto accidents, such as those that only involve some vehicle damage. However, truck accidents are a completely different animal.
We highly recommend working with a trusted truck accident lawyer because:
- Truck accidents often lead to very serious injuries, severe vehicle damages, emotional damages, and more.
- You are dealing not only with the truck driver, but also with the trucking company and potentially other at-fault parties that will fight to reduce their liability.
- Insurance companies will look for any reason to reduce what they have to pay you on your claim, and they are not afraid to use questionable tactics to do so.
The first settlement offer in a truck accident case is usually so small that it won’t come close to covering a portion of your costs. Truck accident lawyers understand that, in Georgia and most other states, you have the right to seek compensation for your damages when someone is negligent in your accident (Georgia Code § 51-1-6).
You will need a legal professional who knows how to build a strong insurance claim and communicate with the insurance companies. Otherwise, you are at great risk of getting taken advantage of, which means receiving a settlement that is way less than you deserve—if anything at all.
Talk to a Georgia Truck Accident Lawyer for Free Today
At John Foy & Associates, we have been helping injury victims win the recovery they need for the past 20 plus years. We only work for victims—never for insurance companies. To discuss the details of your case and get your questions answered, contact us today for a FREE consultation.
In Georgia, you only have two years from the date of your accident to file your claim (Georgia Code § 9-3-33)—and building that claim can take more time than you think. To get the ball rolling as soon as possible, call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online for your FREE consultation.