Can't afford a car accident lawyer? Most people think they can't because the idea is that you can't have any more expenses when you have all this property damage and your medical bills. That's not exactly how car accident attorneys work, though. Instead of charging you per hour, or some outrageous retainer fee, car accident attorneys' fees vary depending on your claim. Basically, they will charge a small portion of what you're recovering through your insurance claim or lawsuit.
That means you could end up paying nothing at all, to a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars. The more you win in compensation, the more you pay because car accident attorneys use a contingency foundation for charging their customers.
Contingency Fees – Explained
How can a fee be contingent upon anything? Well, many personal injuries and car accident attorneys make their fees contingent upon their success on the case. It's the only way to make widespread legal support available for all who need it. However, the situation itself isn't as clear as explaining an hourly rate, or even a retainer.
To start, a car accident attorney, nearly anywhere in the U.S., will charge a set percentage of what you'll receive in compensation. That percentage varies on a few elements, but by and large, most attorneys charge in the early 30 percentile. So you should expect a contingency fee of 30-34%, with 33% being the most common on a large scale.
However, that fee may go up and down depending on which lawyer you talk to, how easy your case is, and whether you have to go to court. Almost all contingency fee agreements have some type of statement that says if the case moves forward to court, the contingency fee goes up to 40%.
Are Car Accident Lawyers Affordable?
Yes! Car accident attorneys almost always use contingency fee agreements because it means that the victim of the crash isn't paying anything directly out of pocket. If they don't win the claim, then there's no pressure to produce thousands of dollars for services that didn't result in anything. Additionally, clients aren't expected to put up hundreds of dollars for a retainer or pay their attorney per hour.
Not only do contingency fee arrangements make attorneys affordable, but it also makes them work harder. Imagine if you showed up to work, knowing that you'd only get paid if you did an outstanding job. That's exactly the situation with a contingency agreement. They're affordable because they want your business, they stay affordable after they get it so there is the best chance possible of getting paid.
What Happens If You Don't Win?
It's a common fear. What if you don't win? Well, initially, the entire process depends on negotiations and evidence. So you'll start with evidence from the scene, then maybe use expert witnesses to validate or invalidate some elements of the crash. Afterward, these attorneys start negotiations with the involved insurance companies.
Now, the insurance companies have a few choices too. They could agree to a realistic and fair settlement. Or, they could disagree with the settlement and decide to move forward to court. Then in rare and unfortunate circumstances, they can choose to deny compensation due to partial fault.
If you don't win, no matter what, you don't have to pay your attorney for their services. However, you might still have to pay fees that come with filing court documents and such. Alabama has a pure contributory fault policy, which means that if you contributed to the crash at all, then you may not get any compensation. A car accident lawyer can help you understand if you have a poor chance of winning from the start.
How To Start Your Search For a Birmingham Car Accident Lawyer
Know that you know that a car accident lawyer is not only affordable but a very reasonable part of any settlement process, find one for yourself. Starting the search for a car accident lawyer isn't difficult thanks to the internet, but it can be hard to find a good attorney or the right one for your claim. The Mike Bell Firm has a wealth of experience, resources, and a diverse team to fight for fair compensation.
We'll fight for you, knowing that if you don't get compensation, we don't get paid. Contact the Mike Bell Firm now to start discussing your case and what you hope to get regarding compensation. Our Birmingham car accident law firm will go through the many different types of damages you can recover and explain whether you should expect full compensation or not.