What Is the Average Fee for a Car Accident Attorney?
The last thing people want to think about after being involved in a car accident is legal fees. Medical bills and repair costs are already scary to think about, so adding a lawyer on top can feel very overwhelming. That said, hiring a St Louis car accident lawyer to fight on the behalf of a victim makes a huge difference to not only their recovery but also to the average settlement amount.
Having a basic understanding of what to expect from car accident attorney fees may help a person decide if it is worth it or not in their specific case.
Average Costs: An Overview
Usually, car accident attorneys do not work on an hourly fee. Instead, they take a percentage of the overall settlement payout. Most lawyers working with personal injury cases of any kind do not take fees (other than basic expenses) unless the case is won.
On average, a car accident attorney takes between 30-40% of a settlement (an even third is a popular contingency fee). It may sound like a lot, but the payouts tend to be significantly higher with a lawyer on the team on average than those who do not have one.
It is difficult to state an average figure as every case is unique and therefore so are the settlements. However, based on the fact that an average payout for a car accident with non-serious injury is between $14,000 and $28,000, the average attorney fee would be between $4700 and $9300.
Please note that cases with property damage only settle for much less and have much lower fees, whereas car accidents resulting in severe personal injury settle significantly higher.
What Is a Contingency Fee?
A contingency fee is what most car accident attorneys use in personal injury cases. It means that the lawyer is paid only upon the confirmation of a payout. Sometimes known as ‘no win, no fee,’ this approach is highly beneficial for clients. There are usually some basic fees involved, but it varies from firm to firm.
Car accidents can cost a lot of money, leaving the vast majority of people in a difficult financial situation. Lawyers who work with a contingency fee can immediately start working on behalf of the client with an agreement that a set percentage of the payout goes directly to them.
The average contingency fee cost for a car accident attorney is 33% of the final settlement.
What Is a Retainer Fee?
Retainers are applied by some firms to cover costs regardless of the outcome. They ask for money upfront, and it goes towards the final payment. Even with a retainer, the average fee is 33%, but only the difference is taken after the fact.
What Is a Flat Fee?
Some car accident lawyers charge a flat fee before taking on a case; however, it is very uncommon for this type of payment structure in car accident cases. It means that the charge is set regardless of how long the case takes or what settlement is reached, so it is not a popular choice for attorneys.
Is It Worth the Cost?
In a nutshell, hiring a car accident lawyer is worth the cost based on the settlement statistics. Without a lawyer, there is roughly a 50/50 chance that a victim can receive a payout at the end of a case. With one, those chances are significantly increased. Although part of the settlement amount goes to the lawyer to cover legal fees and expenses, the victim still walks away with monetary compensation.
The question is, is it better to have 100% of nothing or an average of 60-70% of a good sum of money? It is also worth noting that, statistically, car accident victims who hire a lawyer get settlements of roughly $30,000 more on average than those who do not.
Anyone who has experienced the trauma of a car accident and the difficulty that ensues can testify to the benefit of hiring a car accident attorney to assist with the proceedings. Healing and recovering should be the primary concern for a victim of an accident, not the ins and outs of property damage and personal injury law.
Contact a car accident attorney at Powell Law for a free consultation to discuss specifics and find out how we can make a difference to your case. We believe in fairness and fighting for the best payouts for everyone.