In Florida, when you or someone you know has been involved in a car crash, it’s important to understand the cost of hiring an attorney. Securing legal assistance can be imperative to recovering damages and protecting your quality of life. How will you know what is the right price to pay for legal services?
Thankfully in Florida, most car accident lawyers work on a contingency basis. This means that clients are only charged if and when their lawyers are successful at recovering damages. To learn more about how this works, contact us at The Law Offices of Scott J. Senft. All initial consultations are free, and we look forward to helping to empower all potential future clients
Contingency Fees and What to Expect Once a Lawyer is Hired
The standard amount that a car accident lawyer receives for their services is around 33% of the money recovered from settlements, and up to 40% for damages awarded from trials and jury verdicts. So on a pre-trial settlement of $120,000, an attorney will keep $40,000, and on the same amount coming from a settlement, an attorney could charge up to $48,000.
Anyone seeking legal assistance for a car accident will want to insist on having comprehensive conversations concerning contingency fees. Once a point of understanding is reached, then it’s time to go to work. It’s also imperative that if there’s something that you don’t understand about the fee structure at any time, you do not hesitate to ask.
In cases where the evidence that supports a client’s claim is overwhelming enough to give you leverage, you can negotiate the contingency fee with your prospective attorney. There’s no shame in this tactic, this is a normal part of the professional landscape.
Compared to other areas of law, attorney fees for car accident cases are fair and affordable. This is especially true against the billing hours presented by firms charging hourly rates. Within the contingency fee structure, there is also added incentive for the attorneys to succeed on your behalf, because if they do produce a favorable outcome they will not be paid for their work.
Legal Fees and Expenses
Many personal injury lawyers and firms may insist that clients cover expenses like:
- Court fees
- Securing witnesses
- Court reporter fees
- Police reports
- Securing medical records
Whether you experience this depends on who you hire and the conditions you agree to. To avoid hidden charges, request to have a contract lawyer review the proposed terms on your behalf.
Please note that the aforementioned scenario is a special case. This is because most law firms cover all upfront expenses and fees, which are later deductive from the settlement. This presents another area where clients may want to try negotiating with their lawyers. For example, when awarded an exceptional payout, a client could negotiate a fee waiver or 50% fee discount.
Additional Fee Arrangements
There are other fee arrangements to know about. For example, some Florida car accident lawyers will require clients to pay a retainer to begin work on the case. This retainer can be deducted from the contingency fee once the case is settled. If the case does not result in a favorable outcome, the lawyer keeps the retainer fee for having prioritized your case.
Let’s say that you were awarded $200,000, and you paid a $5,000 retainer. 33% ($66,000) plus the retainer ($5,000) equals $71,000.
Is the Cost of a Car Accident Lawyer Worth it?
In a word, probably. The answer depends on the extent of your injuries. When a car accident is resolved with little to no injuries, then it may be more reasonable to settle without a lawyer. On the other hand, when there are more serious injuries that require medical attention or will probably have long-term effects, then the value of your case rises.
Increased Chances of Success
Statistically speaking, there is no comparison between the value of what a lawyer will likely do for you versus what you can do without one. A veteran car accident lawyer will have seen enough during their career to be surprised or caught off guard by very little. Meanwhile, the average car accident victim won’t understand the intricacies of personal injury law.
An insurance adjuster will attempt to convince you to settle at an amount they suggest. That amount will almost certainly be lower than a lawyer could get. This is part of why having a lawyer work on your behalf can change the landscape of your car accident settlement. A veteran lawyer’s help is often vital for ensuring you don’t accept a lowball settlement offer.
The value in this scenario speaks for itself. Working with a law firm like The Law Offices of Scott J. Senft can save you the pain and suffering of negotiating a sub-par settlement on your own. Increasing the chances of a higher financial payout should be a no-brainer. Contact us today to explore the details of what legal options are presenting themselves within your case.
Thankfully we live in an age where technology affords us transparency. A simple web search can uncover testimonials from past clients, and other information too. Prospective clients can examine the ratio of positive to negative testimonials, examine and discern the tone of negative reviews, and examine similarities between past cases and their prospective cases.
When a prospective client sees that a legal firm has a high rating on a platform, this can quickly help bring questions about the value of legal services to a close. This is especially true when a firm has serviced hundreds or even thousands of past clients, and received positive testimonials at a rate much higher than negative testimonials.
Our Florida car accident attorneys are in your corner to ensure that you have more than a fighting chance at recovering from your injuries at a price that’s worth it. We look forward to speaking with you today.