Car accidents are stressful, especially when dealing with legal jargon. Hiring an attorney who specializes in car accident cases can calm your nerves, facilitate and diffuse unpleasant conversations, and ensure you are awarded a fair settlement. But how much will it cost you? Firms who operate on contingency may accept anywhere from 33 to 40 percent of your settlement, instead of requesting an up-front payment for their services; lawyers who operate on contingency will only request payment if the court decides to award you a settlement.
How much does a lawyer get from a car accident settlement?
Understanding the matter of contingency
It is common for car accident lawyers based in the Greater Los Angeles area to request payment for their services in one of three ways: hourly, up-front, or operating on contingency. Attorneys can choose to work at an hourly rate, with the average costing you average about $700 to $800 per hour; while other lawyers may opt for an upfront fee with additional costs added to your bill as the case progresses.
Perhaps the most common form of requested payment is the matter of contingency: as mentioned before, firms and lawyers who operate on contingency request a percentage of your settlement (if the court decides to award you a settlement). When firms operate on contingency, it grants the car accident victims the luxury of asking for legal advice without the fear of immediate legal fees or consequences. If this is the case, it is common practice for Los Angeles car accident attorneys and their respective firms to ask for 33 to 40 percent of your awarded settlement, but that really depends on if your case makes it to court.
Settling outside or inside court
There is the possibility that your case might not make it to court; the liable party may offer you a settlement at the scene of the accident, but it is important to note, you are not required to accept any settlements offered and it is ok to seek legal advice before making that decision. If you decide to hold off on settling, discussing your case with an attorney can help in determining if the proposed settlement is fair. After reviewing the proposed settlement with your car accident attorney, the lawyer may come to the conclusion that the offered settlement is insufficient and does not cover all avenues for compensation. Your lawyer will then negotiate on your behalf with the liable party and then come to a settlement agreement; the lawyer will then ask for a minimum 33 percent of the settlement.
If the liable party does not agree with the counter settlement, it is possible that your case will be taken to court; this can also be the case if the liable party flees or decides to leave without offering you a settlement or being open to negotiation. In these instances, it is worth speaking with an attorney to create and file a complaint with your local court. In detailing an accident, the attorney might ask you to note the following:
- Describe to the best of your ability the accident and how it happened
- Disclose the identity of the person you believe is liable
- Detail any evidence that supports your claim and describes your losses in the accident
- A request for fair compensation
- Any calculation that back up the request payment
If your case goes to court, you should expect to pay your lawyer and their affiliated firm the higher end of the aforementioned range (33 to 40% of your settlement). This is largely due to the fact that the lawyer will need to present in front of a jury, which means more time and resources are spent on your case.
Be aware of potential additional costs
If you are working with a Los Angeles based attorney who operates on contingency, there might be some additional fees you will be responsible for. These additional costs may include:
- Court filing: If you are filing a case with your local court or with a higher court, there will be fees attached.
- An investigator’s fee: An investigator will need to look over the scene of the accident, look over statements given by eyewitnesses and the individuals involved in the accident in order to determine which party is liable for the damages.
- Expert witness fees: This fee is if your case needs a medical practitioner or another professional to speak on your losses or evidence of the case.
- Medical records fees: The fee is related to the acquisition of medical records that detail the injuries and treatment received after the accident.
Post accident compensation
The stress of a car accident does not stop at the headache you get from legalities. Car accidents are traumatic both physically andmentally, and recovery is not quick or guaranteed. We have spoken in depth about the matter of contingency, and the peace of mind it offers knowing you won’t have to pay up front. Los Angeles car accident lawyers can help you understand your rights after being involved in a car accident, can help you craft a legal complaint and request for fair compensation, and represent you in court if and when needed.
Some avenues for compensation after a car accident may include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Pain and suffering
- Physical therapy and counseling
- Covering the cost of medical procedures needed due to the accident and well as any future medical procedures as determined by a medical professional.
- The cost of canes, boots, and other medical aids you may need to restore your previous quality of life.
- Covering prescription medications needed to treat the pain or any injuries related to the accident
- And if necessary, wrongful death and funeral costs
Seeking fair compensation due to a motor vehicle accident? Point Law Group, LLP is the best firm for you. Located in Los Angeles, PLG LLP represents the injured and wronged, and provides their clients with clarity regarding their cases and potential compensation. If you have been injured due to a car or motorcycle accident, a pedestrian or even rideshare accident, please contact Point Law Group, LLP at (310)560-0606 to book a free consultation today!