If you have been injured in a car accident in California, you may be wondering how much it is going to cost you to retain the services of an attorney to represent you. A number of families go through significant financial stress especially because the injured victim may have been out of work as they recover from injuries after a crash.
It is important to know that when you retain a personal injury lawyer after a car accident, you do so on a contingency fee basis, which means the lawyer's fee is deducted from the money they recover for you. If you have a reputed, experienced and skill car accident lawyer on your side, you can focus on healing from your physical and emotional injuries instead of worrying about how you will pay your lawyer.
There is a lot at stake when you file a car accident case. Your car accident case could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, for example if you have been seriously injured and other party was negligent. Insurance companies are likely to employ various strategies to try and pay you as little as possible. Getting a Los Angeles car accident lawyer on your side early in the process can put you in the best possible position to secure maximum compensation for your losses.
What Do Car Accident Lawyers Charge?
Here are some of the factors that could affect what lawyers charge for a car accident case:
- The complexity of your car accident case
- The possible duration of the case and the amount of time, money and resources the lawyer anticipates to spend on your case
- The lawyer's and/or law firm's experience level, skills, track record and resources
- The geographic area where the law firm is located or the case is to be heard
- The number of parties involved in your case
- The lawyer's success rate with regard to verdicts and settlements
When it comes to personal injury cases, a vast majority of personal injury attorneys offer free consultations. At the Vaziri Law Group, APC we provide complimentary initial consultations where you can discuss your case and get a clear and comprehensive idea of what to expect. The most important thing to remember is to hire a lawyer who has a solid tack record of handling cases similar to yours.
How Do Contingency Fees Work?
Some lawyers may charge an hourly rate for working on your case. This arrangement may not work out for many because the fees, which also often pay for support staff's time, can add up very quickly. Some others may charge a flat fee to provide a particular service or complete a specific task that is not expected to take a lot of time.
However, a vast majority of car accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means they only get paid if they recover compensation for your losses. In this arrangement, there is no upfront cost or fee such as hourly fees or retainers. This is often an ideal arrangement for many clients because they may be in dire straits financially with mounting medical expenses and no source of income as they recover from injuries.
In a contingency fee arrangement, the personal injury lawyer is paid a percentage of what you recover as compensation through a verdict or settlement. In California, this rate is typically between 30% and 40% of the total amount you receive. This means that if you do not receive any compensation, you do not pay your lawyer anything.
Other Costs Associated with a Car Accident Case
Some of the other fees and costs associated with a car accident case may include:
- Copy fees
- Cost of obtaining medical records, accident reports and other records necessary for your case
- Cost of securing expert witnesses
- Expenses related to independent car accident investigations
- Deposition costs and fees
- Postage costs
- Other miscellaneous costs related to trial preparation
Many attorneys pay the costs as they arise and the law firm is typically reimbursed for fees from the car accident settlement after the attorney's fees are deducted. Before you retain the lawyer, ask them to give you an estimate of what your case is going to cost. Be very clear on who is responsible for paying those costs, if the attorney does not recover compensation for you.
Do You Need a Lawyer in Your Case?
If you have not suffered injuries that need medical attention or require you to take time off work, you may not need an attorney to represent you. However, if you have suffered injuries that required treatment or hospitalization, and had to take time off work, you do need an experienced lawyer on your side as soon as possible. Your lawyer will handle all issues related to your case. This includes dealing with insurance adjusters and those who are investigating the claim. In California, the statute of limitations in a car accident case is two years, which means you have a limited amount of time to file your case.
As an injured accident victim, you do not have an unlimited time to file your claim. California has a specific period of time you have to file your claim after a car accident. Don't delay your claim. Consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
If you've been injured in a car accident, please call the Vaziri Law Group, APC for a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation. We also work on a contingency fee basis, giving our clients peace of mind and the space to heal from their injuries and trauma. Call us to find out how we can help you.