How much do car accident lawyers charge? That's a question that many people ask when they are involved in an auto accident. It's important to know what the legal costs might be so you have a good idea of what to expect, if you're not at fault. Here are some facts about car accident litigation and your vehicle insurance may pay for part of the settlements you seek.
You'll probably be surprised to find out that your car insurance doesn't cover all of the costs of a car accident settlement. That's why you will need to get financial compensation from your insurer, either through your own payments or through their payment to you. The insurance company will still have to pay for your medical bills, property damage, lost income, and any care you receive while in the hospital. They will also have to pay for any funeral expenses you might incur, as well as any out-of-pocket expenses you have incurred. Your medical bills might exceed the premiums on your policy.
A car accident lawyer is likely to represent you in court. Your case might include a personal injury claim and/or a wrongful death claim. It might also be argued that you are partly at fault because you were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In either event, a good lawyer can make sure that all of the evidence necessary in your defense is persuasive.
How much does your lawyer cost? This will depend largely on how complex your case is and on your ability to get a big settlement. If you don't win your case, you won't get paid, but you may still get your medical bills covered. If you win, you should be able to recoup most, if not all, of your losses, including lost wages and the difference between the actual accident cost and your insurance adjuster's estimate. If you lose, you will probably get only partial payments. You can often settle for a lesser sum, but only a professional can assess the financial damage.
Who are your insurance adjuster? Your car accident lawyer represents you only if you choose him or her. The insurance adjuster is an agent who is paid by the insurance company to handle claims from their policyholders. They collect the various forms of information they need and compile a report that describes your case. Because these agents have a vested interest in keeping their clients happy, they will offer you advice that's in your best interest.
How much do they charge per hour? This depends partly on how complex your case is and how long it takes the insurance adjuster to prepare your case. In some cases, your car accident lawyer will agree to accept a contingency fee. This means that your expenses will be borne by them; nothing more.
How much do they charge for legal consultation fees? Again, this will depend partly on the complexity of your case and how long it takes you to prepare it. Some car accident lawyers are willing to take on a case immediately, even if they don't win it. Others require a retainer; at other times, they will bill you by the hour. It all depends on what kind of case you are working on and how complex it is.
Can you find out more about the fees charged by different car accident lawyers? There is an easy way to do this. You can ask around. Ask people you know whether they have used a car accident lawyer or how much they charged them.
If you want to try to save money, consider hiring a friend to go with you to court. Someone who knows a lot about cars can also give you some useful advice. In fact, some car accident lawyers provide free consultations to potential clients.
How much do they charge for the initial meeting with the car accident lawyer? You will need to discuss the fees with the lawyer before the first meeting. It is always preferable to arrive at a mutual decision. You don't want to pay the fee only for the first consultation. In addition, you do not want to end up paying for needless expenses because you brought the case to the wrong lawyer.
How much do they charge for the final settlement? Sometimes, you can get a payment plan. If your case is a lengthy one, you may want to look into an hourly fee or a flat fee. With either plan, you should expect to be paid on a schedule that works for you. Discuss the terms of payment with the car accident lawyer before you sign any agreement.