April 13, 2017
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If you’ve been involved in a car accident, you have questions. The list is probably pretty long, but one of the most important questions you’ll ask is how much it will cost if you hire a personal injury attorney. The question is common, and it’s not one you should be embarrassed to ask. You’re paying for someone to represent you, to seek damages for you after someone else ruins a part of your life, and you want to know what it will cost you. The answer is not so simple, but it’s not difficult.
The first thing you’ll do is contact a personal injury attorney to discuss your case. Our job is to let you know if you even have a case. Sometimes the cost of taking someone to court following an accident outweighs what a settlement offer might be, and it’s pointless to go this route. Some people haven’t much of a case since their car is fixed, their injuries were non-existent, and they didn’t lose any wages. Other people have a big case on their hands, and it’s our job to help guide you in the right direction.
The First Meeting
Our initial consultation costs nothing. We don’t charge our clients to come into our office and ask their questions, discuss a potential case, and share the stats of their accident and injuries with us. At this point we don’t even know if you have a case, we can’t make a decision until we know the facts, and we might not be able to help you with much more than just providing legal advice regarding your rights in a specific situation. That’s fine with us, and we don’t charge for it.
When you call our office to schedule our initial consultation, leave your checkbook at home. We’re not charging you, and we want you to know our goal is not to make money off you and your needs. It’s to help you get your life back in order and on track.
Fees and Expenses
Once we discuss your case and what you want to do with it, we’ll discuss our fees and expenses. Many law offices charge the same way, which is with a percentage. Not everyone charges the same amount. Some might charge a flat rate of 33% of anything you win in your case. That means you’d pay an attorney $33,000 if your settlement is $100,000. Other’s charge a fee based on hourly work put into your case.
Expenses are notated as they occur, and we discuss these as we go. There are so many different factors associated with how much it might cost to work with a personal injury attorney, and you want to discuss those upfront. If you decide you want to proceed with a lawsuit, we do it with the knowledge you know what we are charging you upfront. We never surprise you with hidden fees and expenses at the end of a trial.
Additionally, we also make provisions based on how your settlement or trial works out. If you are looking to file a lawsuit and the opposing business or insurance company offers to pay you a settlement that’s close to what you’re asking for long before you go to trial, you might take that amount and leave us not doing nearly as much work. There are contingency fees in place for this situation. If your trial goes to court, there is a plan in place for that. We cover our bases with you from day one so you’ll never end up surprised or caught off guard.
Depending on where you live, state laws, and what attorneys in your area charge, how you pay varies. Most attorneys collect nothing until you win a case and receive a settlement. Their portion of your settlement is paid directly to them and the remainder is given to you. Some attorneys might choose to collect a small retainer upfront to cover some of their initial costs and as a good faith estimate.
Other attorneys might charge a fee for specific actions without actually going forth with a lawsuit. For example, if you don’t want to file a lawsuit but you do want legal help in negotiating a higher settlement with a car insurance company, we can write legal letters, provide you with advice, and work on your behalf. This kind of work is usually something we charge a flat fee for, and we can collect it upfront or after you receive your settlement. Again, this is a matter we discuss with each client when we meet with you.
The cost of hiring an attorney for a personal injury case varies, and no one can tell you precisely how much it might cost you. The good news is most attorneys work hard to win your case so they can earn a paycheck. If they don’t win, they don’t get paid. That’s who you know the person working for you is on your team from the start. If you have questions about the fees and costs associated with hiring a personal injury attorney, call now to schedule an initial consultation. This is a free meeting and we can discuss everything you want to know pertaining to your case, your accident, and your fees.