Following an auto accident, the last thing you want to consider is how much you will have to pay in car accident lawyer fees. However, it’s important to know how much you will likely have to pay to get the best representation possible and protect yourself from skyrocketing attorney costs later on down the road when you file a personal injury lawsuit.
Knowing what your fees will be ahead of time can ensure that your representation doesn’t bankrupt you or get in the way of paying other important bills.
Fees in Florida can feel confusing, especially when every car accident claim is unique. Our personal injury attorneys are here to walk you through everything you need to know about car accident cases and their fees.
Why You Need a Car Accident Lawyer
Car accident attorneys can be invaluable. If you’ve experienced any type of accident, legal representation can make a huge difference in how much you receive after a car or motorcycle accident.
Your law firm will fight to help recover compensation after an accident. There are a few perks to working with a car accident or personal injury lawyer after car accidents occur:
- Auto accident attorneys have a deeper understanding of Florida law. Auto accidents are stressful enough, and trying to learn the law on top of that can be overwhelming. Let us take that off of your shoulders.
- When you hire a car accident lawyer, they can negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. This is useful when dealing with the other driver’s insurance company to settle.
- Your car accident attorney will investigate all of the auto accident facts for you. We take your injury case seriously and will work with you on every step regarding the paperwork and breaking down all the information.
Settling Your Case vs. Going to Trial
The car accident lawyers’ cost may vary depending on if you settle your case rather than going to trial.
Settling Your Case
A settlement means you have accepted an insurance company’s offer and do not take it to court. There are two major benefits to settling your case: it’s much faster, and it can be more cost-efficient.
Most cases reach a settlement within six to twelve months. During this time, you and your car accident attorney maintain more control when working with insurance companies. This is recommended if you are in need of money to help pay your medical expenses.
You might not recover as much in a settlement than you would if you were to go to court, and offers are final once accepted. However, you’ll face fewer fees and be able to pay off medical bills quicker.
Going to Trial
Going to trial over your car or motorcycle accident case can take much longer than a settlement. Cases that go to trial can take more than a year to reach a resolution. There’s also the risk that you could lose a trial case.
However, if you do not need the money right away, you could see more financial recovery than you would if you were to settle outside of court. The jury verdict may result in you receiving additional funds for pain and suffering and other noneconomic payouts for accident victims.
How Lawyer Fees are Calculated
Our Tampa car accident attorneys charge contingency fees. A contingency fee means that you don’t pay an attorney’s fee unless we win your case. Most car accident attorneys and personal injury lawyers charge this way instead of charging an hourly fee.
Every contingency fee agreement can vary based on the case between 25 to 40%. The standard contingency fee percentage is 33% of the final settlement.
For example, if you recover $100,000 from the at-fault driver, and your attorney’s fee is 30%, then your attorney will receive $30,000.
Other Costs Involved to Consider
Beyond personal injury attorney fees, there are other costs to consider in a car accident case.
- Filing fees
- Court reporter fees
- Expert witness fees
- Medical bills and working with medical providers
- Missing work due to injuries
- Property damage
Generally, a personal injury law firm will charge extra for any out-of-state expenses incurred on your behalf.
Additionally, if you end up having to go to trial instead of settling out of court, the trial attorney fee is generally higher than the one for negotiating a settlement agreement because more work is involved on their part.
Get a Free Consultation for Legal Services
At Denmon Pearlman, we fight for your maximum compensation while prioritizing the attorney-client relationship. It’s important to us that this experience is as stress-free for you as possible.
Contact us today for a free consultation about your case with an experienced lawyer from our team. Our legal services include automobile accidents, truck accidents, and drunk driving accidents. We service the Tampa, Saint Petersburg, and New Port Richey areas.
Can my personal injury attorney make me pay back their fee if my case doesn’t settle/isn’t successful?
When working on a contingency fee basis, you only pay if we win. Since most Florida car accident lawyers work with a contingency fee arrangement, this means you don’t have to worry about that percentage until after the case is settled with a fav. If your case is unsuccessful, you will not be required to pay anything.
Will my insurance company pay for my legal expenses as part of the settlement?
Florida law mandates all drivers have liability insurance. However, how much is covered can depend on your insurance company. Some insurance companies will pay for your legal expenses as part of the settlement, but others will not. If you’re not sure whether or not your insurance company will pay for your legal expenses, you should ask them before you hire a lawyer.
If you are the liable party in a car accident, it is likely that your auto insurance policy will cover your lawyer’s fees. However, if you are the victim of a car accident, speak with your lawyer and talk about claiming compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
What is a contingency fee agreement, and what does it mean?
A contingency fee agreement means a lawyer takes a percentage, typically one-third, of your settlement cost. You do not pay until after the case is settled and only pay if you are successful. These are common in personal injury lawsuits, including with an auto accident lawyer.
When does your personal injury attorney get paid?
When working with a contingent fee, personal injury attorneys in Florida are typically paid after the case is settled with a favorable verdict. This means all negotiations have been completed and all involved parties have signed written releases in your car accident or personal injury settlement.
Remember: because most car accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, this is only if your case settles successfully. This means that if you do not recover any money in your case, the lawyer does not get paid. However, even if you do not recover anything from the defendant, the lawyer may still get a portion of what the insurance company pays to settle your claim.
Can I get paid prior to winning my case against the defendant(s)?
This is a common question that potential clients ask us, and the answer is, unfortunately, no. We understand that you may be struggling to pay your bills and support yourself or your family after an accident, but we cannot front the costs of litigation. If you are in need of the money recovered from your auto accident sooner, then we recommend settling versus going to court.
How do I know if my case is likely to settle or go to trial?
The first step is to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer. They will be able to review the facts of your case and let you know what they think the chances are of settling out of court or taking the case to trial. If you have a strong case, the insurance company may be more likely to settle so that they don’t have to go through the expense and hassle of a trial.
However, if you suspect that the other driver was at fault for the crash, it’s usually worth fighting for as much money as possible. Even if you can’t recover all of your damages this way, it’s still worth going to trial because it means you’ll have less debt to pay off when everything’s said and done.