Having a lawyer on your side in a car accident case can make a huge difference. Still, many people are afraid of hiring a lawyer to represent them, mainly due to fear of extensive attorney’s fees. What many don’t know is that these costs may be covered.
If you have car insurance, your insurer may cover some of your lawyer’s legal fees. This largely depends on if you are the defendant or the claimant seeking damages. For example, you only pay legal fees if you receive a settlement or court award in some cases.
When Your Insurer May Cover Legal Fees
If you are accused of causing a car accident, the other party might file a lawsuit against you. This type of legal action is called a personal injury lawsuit, where the other party requires you to compensate them for their injuries and losses. In this case, your insurance company will hire an attorney on your behalf and handle the legal fees.
However, if you are the one filing a lawsuit against another driver, you will have to find your own lawyer. While you must handle the attorney’s fees in this case, most personal injury law firms have a contingency fee policy*.
How Much does It Cost to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?
When you hire a law firm that only charges contingency fees, it means you will not pay anything up front or out of pocket. Instead, the legal fees will be a percentage of the amount you receive as compensation.
The percentage varies from firm to firm but mostly ranges between 25 and 40%—the percentage might increase if you go to trial. The average fee in the United States is 33% of the settlement amount. This means if you received $100,000 in a settlement, your legal fees could be a third of that amount, equaling around $33,000.
It is important to discuss the law firm’s fee structure and what percentage of the award you can expect to pay for representation. You can generally learn this information during a free consultation before you agree to hire the firm.
Why Put an Auto Accident Lawyer in Your Corner?
Hiring a legal team to handle your car accident case can free up your time and energy to focus on healing. Since there are virtually no financial consequences, you can leave the case proceedings to your attorney.
For example, a car accident lawyer can protect your case from any potential mishaps or delays and ensure your damages receive an accurate value. They will do all the leg work as you recover, including:
- Collect police reports, medical records, witness statements, accident scene photos, and any other evidence that might help your case
- Assemble a team of experts and investigators to support your claim
- Negotiate with the insurance company
- File a lawsuit when necessary and represent you in court
How to Find the Right Car Accident Lawyer
The best candidate to take up your case ought to have experience in similar cases and a track record of success. Below are a few ways to find a good lawyer:
- Get a referral from another attorney whom you have worked with before
- Ask for recommendations from friends and family
- Conduct online research and use the reviews left by past clients to find out their experience
When you find an ideal candidate, you should ask questions during the free consultation to determine if they’re suitable for handling your case. Here are some questions you can ask to help you make a decision:
- Do I have a case?
- How much will seeking compensation cost me?
- Will you be available throughout my case?
- What will you do to help me win the case?
- What damages am I eligible for?
Do I Have to Go to Court?
Not at all. You do not have to go to trial if your car accident claim can be settled outside of court. In fact, it is often in the insurance company’s best interest to settle accident claims before they go to court. Legal procedures are expensive, and the insurance company could save significant money in court fees. It also saves you a lot of time and puts your attorney in control of settlement negotiations.
However, if the two parties disagree on vital issues, your car accident lawyer can file a lawsuit and prepare your case for court.
Our Team at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers Will Advocate for You
Our firm has handled thousands of car accident cases over 40 years, helping many victims in Georgia and South Carolina get justice. We will advocate for you throughout the claims process to allow you ample time to recover.
At George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers, we understand the pain and financial strain of car accidents. Therefore, we will not charge you any legal fees until and unless you win your case. Contact us today for a free initial consultation to learn how we can help you.