Car accident attorneys understand that crash victims are often in a position where they are injured, losing time at work and trying to repair or replace damaged property. Many people are struggling to regain financial footing in such situations and are intimidated by the thought of mounting legal fees. They may even have to look into pre-settlement funding to handle their everyday expenses.
A popular type of car accident lawyer fee structure is the contingency fee. With this type of agreement, you would not be responsible for paying an hourly fee for the attorney’s work.
You will also not be expected to spend a lump sum payment up front. In fact, in the contingency fee arrangement, the only time the client pays the attorney for services is after settlement or judgment, and only if the claimant or plaintiff recovers compensation. The car accident attorney’s fee in this case is a percentage of the total settlement amount.
The contingency fee may vary from one lawyer to the next. Make sure you understand your attorney’s fees and the percentage of your settlement or judgment that the lawyer will receive. This should be clearly stated in your contract when hiring a lawyer. You should be sure to review your contract with your attorney and be sure you understand the implications of variable contingency fees. If you aren’t sure what something means, ask your attorney to explain it to you.
One element of your contract will include details regarding who is responsible for payment of any up-front legal fees related to your case. Court fees and other litigation expenses will be payable throughout your case, and someone will need to pay them to keep your claim moving. Subpoenas, costs of securing medical records and police reports and expert witness fees are all examples of expenses that your case might incur during the negotiation and litigation of your case. Be sure you are clear about who is legally responsible for paying these expenses based on your agreement with your attorney.
Some law firms will include these types of costs and fees in your final settlement payment. They will cover the expenses as they come due and will add them to your final bill along with the contingency fee. Other law firms will demand payment from you as each expense comes due. Some will make you responsible for these various legal fees regardless of whether you win or lose.
Be sure you understand all aspects of your car accident lawyer’s fee agreement so you don’t encounter any surprises along the way while proceeding with your case or upon final resolution when the time comes to collect your settlement or judgment.
At Ryan,LLP, we also work on a contingency fee basis and will be happy to review the fee structure with you. If you need assistance with your property damage or bodily injury claim in the Cleveland area, we can help. Call us at 877-864-9495 or use our contact form to set up a consultation to review your case as well as our car accident lawyer fee structure.