How Do Auto Accident Attorneys Work on a Contingency Fee?

Have you been involved in a car accident, but think you can’t afford to hire an attorney? Here’s why you don’t need to worry.

If you are unfamiliar with the term “contingency fee“, this term means that a lawyer will only get paid if you win your case, rather than the conventional system of charging hourly.

contingency fee car accident lawyer

The conventional method that many lawyers use to bill clients is by the hour. This fee structure is what you would pay if you were getting a divorce or obtaining counsel for almost any other legal matter. It is very straightforward, as the attorney gives you an hourly rate and bills you for each hour worked. The only area of confusion might be what constitutes work, as a quick phone call may or may not be worthy of payment. No matter what, this method is easy to understand and widely used by legal professionals

How Personal Injury Cases are Often Different

If you are the injured party in a car accident claim, there is a good chance that you won’t adhere to the hourly guidelines we presented above. Instead, your lawyer will likely take a percentage from your final settlement. For some attorneys this may mean paying a small upfront cost called a “retainer.” Aside from this fee, every other dollar you give your attorney will come from the final settlement that you win in your case

Why Attorneys Use This Structure

The reason why many lawyers use this structure is that it is more friendly to the client. Take the following hypothetical series of events as an example.

  • You get injured in a car accident.
  • You hire a lawyer at an hourly rate.
  • Your attorney wins you your case, but with a much lower settlement than you expected.
  • The end result is you losing money on your claim.

The above situation is not one you want to go through, and lawyers know that. What they offer instead is sharing your final prize with you, so you don’t lose anything in the event of a disappointing result.

What it Means For You

The primary takeaway from this discussion is that you take on minimal risk when you pursue personal injury compensation. The reason is that your consultation will be free, your retainer fee will be manageable, and you don’t get billed for that lawyer’s hourly work. While you still might pay that professional a considerable sum at the end of your case, you will not lose money throughout as you would in many other legal niches.

Involved in a St. Louis Car Accident?

One more benefit of the typical personal injury pricing structure is that you and your St. Louis auto accident attorney have the same goal. Both of you want to get the full amount of compensation you are entitled to, as that means more money for everyone involved. This effect makes it so attorneys can’t take advantage and rack up hours for extra payment. Instead, they win when you win, and that is precisely what should happen in your case.

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Updated: July 12, 2021