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Nothing is as stressful than being involved in a car accident, and more even if the other driver is at fault. But, not everything has to be super stressful or even a loss. Did you know that if you have been hurt in a traffic collision, you might be owed compensation? If another person’s negligence caused your accident, you can actually hold them accountable with the help of an accomplished car accident attorney. While you may have to pay car accident lawyer fees for their services, it’s often well worth hiring an attorney who knows the ins-and-outs of the law and who can help you maximize the money you receive. Now, what is the average cost of a car accident lawyer in Los Angeles?

Contingency Fees: What are they?

In almost every car accident case, an expert attorney will charge clients on a contingency fee basis. What exactly does this mean? This means that the victim of a crash will not pay attorney fees unless their lawyer wins the case, meaning that the victim will actually recover money from the accident. But, how much is actually charged?

When car accident lawyer fees are charged on a contingency basis, they are actually charged as a percentage of the compensation the victim receives. What are these percentages? What is the average cost of a car accident lawyer?

Contingency Percentages

There really is no single or even a universal “standard percentage” when it comes to contingency fee agreements. The percentage of recovery that attorneys charge for their services varies from one firm to the next. Typically, a contingency fee rate can range from 25% to 40% but a third (33%) of the recovery is the most common  or “standard” rate. For example, suppose that the cost of a car accident lawyer is a 33% contingency fee. If your attorney recovered $120,000 in your car accident case, they would keep $40,000 in payment for their services.

But, like we mentioned before, there really is no “standard percentage” since in some cases, the cost may be higher due to the amount of work that your claim requires. If your case is settled with no need for litigation, the contingency fee percentage may be lower. On the other hand, if your claim requires a lawsuit or even a trial, your attorney will need to do much more work to recover the money that you deserve. If a trial is necessary, the contingency fee percentage might even increase a bit more.

All this information might sound like too much right now or even a bit confusing. This is why we encourage you to discuss the contingency percentages and arrangements with your attorney during your free consultation. You should never hire a lawyer or firm that requires upfront payment for legal services. Knowing the average cost of a car accident lawyer is very important, and every serious attorney will let you know their fees.

Benefits of Contingency Fees

  • There’s no cost to get information regarding your car accident case from an attorney
  • There’s no cost if you don’t win your case as the attorney only gets paid if you do
  • A car accident attorney will simply not take your case if they feel you have no chance of winning
  • If your lawyer doesn’t get paid unless you win, you better believe they’ll do their best to get you what you deserve in a timely manner

Review the attorney’s contract for legal services very carefully. Make sure that you completely understand the way that the payment structure works and what the cost of a car accident lawyer will be in your case.

But, what happens if you lose your case? Do you still have to pay for a lawyer? This is where hiring a car accident lawyer that works on a contingency fee pays out. Since both parties are sharing a risk together, your lawyer will only get paid if you win. This is why a car accident lawyer will ensure that your case has merit for compensation before taking it on.

How Do I Know An Attorney Will Even Consider My Case?

For a car accident case to have a chance of winning, there have to be damages. This means economic damages related to, most commonly, injury and property and non-economic damages. In terms of economic damages, think of not being able to play with your children or pursue your normal life because of an injury and so on. Want to know more about the difference between economic vs. non-economic damages? Read one of our blogs right here: Economic vs. Non-Economic Damages.

As we mentioned, if a lawyer works on a contingency basis, they not only assume risk with you but they also get paid more if you get paid more. This works out great as, no matter your situation, a contingency based attorney is going to work as hard as possible to not only win but to also get you the compensation you deserve.

Additional Costs & Fees

While car accident lawyer fees are contingent on the outcome of a case, there are some costs that come with pursuing a personal injury claim after a car accident. In some cases, but not all, clients are expected to pay these fees regardless of the outcome. So if you are thinking of hiring a car accident lawyer, it’s best if you are aware of their policies with regard to legal expenses.

Some of these expenses may include:

  • Expert witness fees
  • Court filing fees
  • Court reporter fees
  • The cost to obtain police reports and medical records

Some firms require clients to provide funds for these expenses as they arise. That is why it is vital to read your contract for legal services very carefully. However, larger firms will often cover all of the associated fees and expenses. Much like contingency fees, these expenses will be paid with the financial compensation from your case.