Usual Attorney's Fees in a Car Accident Settlement

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Attorney fees are important when you are looking for a car accident settlement attorney. Attorneys charge different fees based upon their experience and their belief in the case they are representing. There are three basic types of attorney’s fees you might encounter when you are seeking a personal injury lawyer.

Types of Fees

There are three main types of fee structures attorneys may use:

  • Flat fees
  • Hourly rates
  • Contingent fees

Most people are familiar with the flat fee and hourly rate structure, but some may not be familiar with their differences or that sometimes attorneys use a combination of the two. A flat fee means the attorney charges one price for a particular service no matter how much time it may take him or her to do the necessary legal work. Some attorneys use a combination of flat fees and hourly rates, especially when they are uncertain how long it may take to perform a specific filing or legal documentation. Contingent fees involve the attorney assessing a percentage of the award for legal services—if you lose your lawyer doesn’t receive anything.

Fee Structure of a Car Accident Lawsuit

In most car accident lawsuits the attorney charges on a contingent fee basis. This means the attorney is only paid if you win your lawsuit. While they can be awarded by a court, they are also utilized in out-of-court settlements. Contingent fees can vary, but they usually range in the area of 30 percent to 50 percent of the amount you recover in damages. In most cases a car accident settlement attorney will only take a case on contingency if he or she feels there is a good chance for a substantial recovery.You want to keep in mind that even if your car accident settlement attorney is collecting his fees on a contingent basis, you will still need to pay additional expenses such as court costs and document filing fees. This also means you want to find out if your attorney is going to take his or her percentage from your award before or after the fees are added.

Choosing Your Attorney

Before you choose a car accident settlement attorney make sure you understand all of the fees and charges you will need to pay. You also want to make certain you know whether you will need to pay those fees upfront of if the attorney will add it to your bill for you to pay when you receive your settlement. Most importantly, choose an attorney that is experienced in filing personal injury lawsuits.