How Much Does Hiring a Car Accident Attorney in Dallas Cost?
- April 22, 2015
- Car Accidents
After an accident, there are two things on virtually everyone’s mind: health and cost. Everyone involved wants to be sure that their injuries are addressed immediately, but then they realize how much the accident is going to cost them. Medical bills, property damages, and insurance are always at the forefront of the average person’s mind. Then, when they consider whether they should hire an attorney, they may automatically dismiss the idea because they assume a lawyer will be far too costly on top of their other bills and obligations. However, victims should never think this way; an auto accident lawyer’s fees are structured in a unique way that is designed to conform to the needs of victims.
The Contingency Fee Agreement
Instead of charging an hourly fee, a victim’s (or plaintiff’s) attorney will usually structure their agreement based on a contingency fee. A contingency fee assumes that the lawyer will not get paid unless they win your case. Their payment is “contingent” on winning your case for you. That also means that if you do not get any money, then neither do they. This is not the only fee arraignment available, but it is by far the most common.
The attorney will take a certain percentage of the overall damages (compensation) awarded. Usually that percentage is right around 1/3 of the total settlement or damages award, but some attorneys will charge as much as 60 percent of the total settlement, especially if they think that the case will be complicated. Be sure to check your agreement careful to find the contingency fee percentage before signing it.
Limitations and Expenses
Some states cap the percentage that a personal injury attorney can receive based on the stage of litigation. For example, the percentage may be less if the attorney can settle the case without ever having to file a lawsuit. This assumes that it is less work for the attorney to make a few phone calls or send a few letters compared to doing the paperwork to actually file the case.
Attorneys will also likely include expenses in their contingency on top of the agreed upon percentage. That means that if the attorney had to invest any money in your case, then those expenses will be charged out of the overall settlement or damages award total. Example expenses include: filing fees, costs to obtain police records, costs to obtain medical records, expert witness fees, and court reporter fees. The attorney will usually cover these costs for you so that your case can move forward, but that is not always the case, especially with smaller firms. Check with your car accident attorney to be sure you understand what is and is not covered before the attorney even begins to work on your case.
A Quick Auto Accident Case Example
Suppose that you were in a wreck, and you hire a car accident attorney in Dallas to help you with your case. Your attorney will take 1/3 of the award as his compensation. After a long trial, you are awarded $100,000. Your attorney will receive $30,000 of the settlement right away. Then, he also has to take $1,000 to cover filing fees and report expenses. You also needed an expert witness, and her services cost $7,000. Thankfully, those were the only two extra expenses in your case. That means that your settlement will be somewhere in the neighborhood of $62,000.
Obviously, this is just a quick example and your case is likely to be much more complicated. Hopefully, though, this has given you a better idea of what to expect. Each case is unique and our legal team will take all factors into account in order to come to the best possible outcome for you and your loved ones. If you have been involved in an accident, we urge to call 972-774-9800 or contact us online today for your free case evaluation.