Before you engage in the services of a lawyer, it’s essential that you first lay out the fees that you have to pay. Hiring a lawyer will always be worth it, as they have the knowledge, skills, and expertise in the field of law that you don’t. When you get involved in a car accident, your lawyer can help you tremendously regarding your rights and obligations.
Of course, an important consideration when hiring a lawyer is the fees involved. It is with your knowledge of the fees that you can also gauge as to whether or not you can afford to hire a certain car accident lawyer. Here are the costs and fees that you should prepare for:
Upon your first meeting, your car accident lawyer will charge you with a consultation fee. This fee is primarily payment for the time that the lawyer spent for you in understanding your case. The consultation fees are usually minimal, usually only ranging from 75 USD to 200 USD.
You may check law firm websites such as https://www.legacycaraccidentlawyers.com/ and contact their customer service to inquire about their fee and schedule a consultation.
Other types of lawyers will generally charge you with an hourly fee. This hourly fee refers to the amount that you will have to pay your lawyer for every hour that they spend studying, preparing, and working on your case. Car accident lawyers, however, are an exception to this general rule. When it comes to car accidents, your lawyer charges you differently as opposed to the hourly rates. A contingency fee refers to the percentage that your lawyer will receive upon the following:
- Settlement of the case
- Payment by the insurance company
- The verdict of the jury
The advantage of this type of payment is that your accident lawyer will not ask you to pay a considerable sum beforehand. The bulk of payment that you are due to give your lawyer will already be upon the happenstance of the occasions mentioned above.
The contingency fee of your lawyer is usually pegged at 25% to 40% of the total amount that you will recover from the defendant in your case. For example, your lawyer has agreed to charge you with a 25% contingency fee and in your settlement, you can recover 100,000 USD. Hence, you will have to pay your lawyer 25,000 USD, while the 75,000 USD is what you retain for yourself.
If your car accident results in litigation, you’ll need to discuss with your lawyer the filing fee. For some lawyers, this is already included in the contingency fee as a package, especially if they charge you with a relatively high contingency percentage. However, for lawyers who charge a lesser contingency fee, you may also have to cover the costs that will be incurred in filing your case in court.
Standard notarial fees
As with any other case, there might be documents that have to be notarized by a lawyer. Notarization is required for documents that have to be made public. For example:
- Affidavits of what happened during the accident
- Affidavit of an undertaking for insurance claims
These notarial fees, however, are very minimal, ranging only from 50 USD to 75 USD.
An appearance fee refers to the amount that you will pay your lawyer each time that they appear on your behalf in court. For minor accidents, though, court appearances may be very quick and often minimal. You’ll only have to worry about high appearance fees for major accidents and those that have resulted in major physical injuries or unfortunate instances, such as death.
Appearance fees may range from 150 USD to 300 USD and, in some cases, are also included within your agreed contingency percentage.
Note that all these fees that you have agreed upon with your lawyer must be in writing, with an itemized schedule of billing and details of each charge.
Whenever you’re faced with a legal issue, such as that of a car accident, hiring a lawyer will always be very beneficial for you, although with a cost. The general rule to remember is that the more serious your car accident is, the higher your attorney’s fees will be. To avoid problems, use this guide when setting up a budget for hiring a car accident lawyer. It is in hiring a car accident lawyer, you can be sure that you can claim all that is rightfully yours after an unfortunate situation such as a car accident.