How Car Accident Lawyers Charge For Their Legal Service

When it comes to attorney’s fees, know that there is no one-size-fits-all model. That’s especially true when it comes to personal injury attorneys. Let’s learn how car accident lawyers charge for their legal services and how this can impact the services you receive.


Contingency Fees

Many personal injury attorneys charge a contingency fee. A Houston accident attorney could charge a fee of anywhere from 25 to 40 percent of your settlement in the case. Their contingency rate is their way of ensuring that they are paid from the cases that they win. This approach benefits many clients, since you don’t pay anything if you lose your case. It also gives the attorney a vested interest in your case, generally resulting in a higher settlement. On the flipside, it means that the car accident attorney may not take a small case or one they’re likely to lose. On the other hand, attorneys who take cases on a contingency bases typically don’t charge for an initial consultation.

Contingency fees may be on a sliding scale. For example, contingency fees are typically lower if the case can be settled before they go to trial. This means you may only pay one third if they settle with the insurance company but forty percent if it goes to trial. This reflects the greater amount of work required for jury trials and offsets the greater risk they take when they go to trial. Know that you can shop around, finding attorneys who will charge a different contingency fee for your case.


Flat Fees

Some attorneys will work for a flat fee. They will base this fee on how much work they think they case will require relative to their nominal hourly rate. If the attorney has a flat fee, you know how much you have to pay. On the other hand, you have to pay the fee whether or not they win your case. If you pay a flat fee and the attorney can resolve things quickly, you overpaid relative to someone who billed you an hourly rate. And you may owe additional fees associated with your case. For example, this could include court filing fees and medical record copying fees.

You can learn more here about the types of cases that would require you to pay flat fees.


An Hourly Rate

Some attorneys charge an hourly rate. They may ensure that you can pay their expected total bill by charging a retainer, a set amount from which they’ll deduct their billable hours. You’ll owe them money if they spend more time than that working on your case. You might be able to reduce the legal costs by cooperating with the attorney, getting police reports and pulling medical records yourself. Yet your attorney has a good reason to insist on doing the work themselves; they’re paid more for it. An attorney may lower their total bill by using a paralegal or legal researcher. Unfortunately, this makes the bill you receive that much more complicated, and it creates the opportunity for their team to pad the bill by paying everyone who sat around reading your police report and medical records. Or you’re required to pay them for the meeting where they tell you that they won’t take your case.