When you first consult with an attorney to decide if you want them to handle your case, you should ask them about their fee structure. Most lawyers charge what’s known as a “contingency fee” for handling auto accident cases. At Robinette Legal Group, PLLC, we are ready to evaluate your case, explain the services we provide, and answer any questions you may have about our fee structure. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation. Read on to learn more about attorneys’ fees in car accident cases.
What Is a Contingency Fee?
A contingency fee is by far the most common form of payment in personal injury cases, including those involving auto accidents. So, how does this fee structure work?
A contingency fee is calculated as a percentage of the amount of money a personal injury victim receives through an out-of-court settlement or court judgment as compensation from the at-fault party. Importantly, the client pays nothing until the case is closed. There are no surprises because the percentage is negotiated before anyone enters into an attorney-client agreement. The fee is “contingent” because it depends entirely on the ultimate outcome of the case.
What Is a Reasonable Contingency Fee for Handling an Auto Accident Case?
According to the American Bar Association (ABA), a national organization responsible for setting the ethical standards governing the legal profession, explains that a contingency fee in personal injury cases should normally be set somewhere between 33-40% of the amount of compensation ultimately secured in a case. These rates are fairly standard across jurisdictions, and the precise percentage may vary depending on how much work an attorney expects it will take to handle a case.
Again, the percentage is set before anyone enters into an attorney-client contract. However, it is also important that you ask your prospective attorney whether they charge separately for things like court filings and other administrative costs.
At Robinette Legal Group, PLLC, we are proud to uphold the ethical standards and integrity of our profession. To that end, we are committed to full transparency with our clients when it comes to fees, as well as all other aspects of their case. We are happy to fully address your questions and concerns in a free initial consultation.
What Are the Benefits of Contingency Fees?
This payment structure serves two purposes. First, contingency fees allow injury victims to obtain legal services without making an upfront payment and running the risk of making no financial recovery in their case. This is particularly beneficial to clients who could not otherwise afford the cost of hiring an attorney. In other words, it helps ensure that all accident victims have access to the justice system and legal services.
Second, because the actual value of a contingency fee in a case is directly tied to the amount of money ultimately secured on behalf of the client, attorneys using this payment structure are incentivized to deliver high-quality services. The more aggressively they advocate on behalf of their clients, the more likely they are to be well-compensated for their services.
Other Payment Methods
Rarely, law firms may choose to use something other than the contingency fee when handling a personal injury case. For example, they may charge a flat fee for handling a case from start to finish. They may also choose to bill by the hour.
However, it is worth emphasizing again that the contingency fee is by far the most common structure used in auto accident cases. If an attorney offers to take your case using another fee structure, you should think carefully and potentially seek a second opinion.
Is Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer Worth It?
Of course, you are not required to hire an attorney to handle your car accident case. That said, the probability of securing the full and fair compensation you deserve nearly always goes up significantly if you do.
Your attorney’s job is to act as your closest ally during the life of your case. They will thoroughly investigate the accident, help you navigate the governing law, negotiate with the at-fault party on your behalf, and advocate for you in court if a reasonable out-of-court settlement cannot be reached. Because they lack the training and experience of a lawyer, most personal injury victims cannot realistically manage all of this by themselves.
Call Our West Virginia Car Accident Lawyers to Schedule a Free Consultation
For over three decades, Robinette Legal Group, PLLC, has worked to help accident victims pursue the full and fair compensation they deserve when injured at little to no fault of their own. Let us do the same for you. Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation with an experienced West Virginia personal injury attorney.
The Robinette Legal Group, PLLC is a West Virginia personal injury law firm based out of Morgantown, WV. It was founded in 1999 and is highly rated, with many honors and awards of excellence.