When you’re injured in a car accident, you should always err on the side of caution and hire an attorney. When we think of lawyers, we usually think of dollar signs—from how much they cost to how much they can recover for your damages.
Most attorneys get paid by the hour, which can add up very quickly. Car accident attorneys, on the other hand, tend to accept a contingency fee for their services. This means that their payment depends on the settlement amount.
Simply put, with a contingency fee, you will not have to pay the attorney out-of-pocket. Their fee will come from the money awarded to you once the case has settled or been litigated.
What Is A Contingency Fee, And How Does It Work?
As mentioned, a contingency fee means that the amount paid to the attorney is contingent on the final settlement. You should not have to pay for the upfront costs and fees associated with building your case. If your case is unsuccessful, you would not have to pay anything out-of-pocket for the work the attorney did.
A contingency fee agreement should clearly state the percentage to be paid to your attorney from the settlement proceeds. This percentage will be taken from the funds either paid by the insurance company for your claim.
The average contingency fee is around 33% or 1/3 of the settlement amount. For example, if you were awarded $20,000 and the agreed upon contingency fee is 33%, your lawyer will receive $6,600.
This fee can vary based on how involved the case is. For example, if the case is settled outside of court, the contingency fee is often less than if the case goes to court. The contingency fee arrangement is beneficial to you because regardless of your income, it allows you to hire high-quality legal services to aid in your case.
Why Hiring A Car Accident Attorney Is the Best Option?
The idea of having to give up a percentage of your settlement to anyone may not sound appealing. So why should you hire an attorney, why not handle the case on your own?
The reality is, a car accident attorney specializes in getting you the settlement you deserve. Capable of taking the at-fault party to court, and utilizing their vast resources, they are much more likely to get you higher compensation than you would be able to negotiate on your own.
The value of hiring a car accident attorney increases substantially when serious injuries have occurred. The need for continuing medical treatment raises the case value immensely and should not be trusted to an amateur. An insurance adjusters’ job is to make sure the insurance company pays as little as possible.
When it comes down to it, without a car accident attorney on your side, you are more likely to be pressured into accepting a low settlement offer.