Most personal injury lawyers who handle car accident cases charge no upfront fees for their services. How much you owe them when the case concludes can vary significantly on a case-by-case basis. Several factors impact the cost of a car accident claim, including the severity of your injuries. An experienced attorney will address the fee process during your initial consultation.
What Is a Contingency Fee?
Working on contingency is standard for car accident lawyers. A contingency fee is a payment arrangement in which the lawyer’s fee is contingent upon the outcome of the case. Under this arrangement, the lawyer receives a predetermined percentage of the settlement or court award if the client wins the case.
The client and lawyer enter into a written agreement that outlines the percentage the lawyer will receive. Following this agreement, the lawyer takes on the responsibility of representing the client, which encompasses everything from initial investigations to negotiations and, if necessary, proceeding to trial. If the case results in a settlement or a court awards damages, the lawyer will deduct their agreed-upon percentage from the total amount received. A distinguishing feature of this arrangement is that if there’s no financial recovery, the lawyer does not receive a fee. However, the client might still be accountable for certain out-of-pocket expenses.
Benefits of the Contingency Fee Policy
For victims, the benefits include financial accessibility, shared risk, no substantial financial burdens in the end and less stress. Victims do not need to pay upfront or hourly fees, and the lawyer has a vested interest in winning the case and aligning their goals with yours. Lawyers are more likely to take cases they believe have a strong chance of winning, ensuring that the legal system works for genuine claims. Additionally, you can focus on recovering from your injuries and know that your lawyer has the motivation to achieve the best possible outcome for your case.
How Do You Know the Value of Your Case?
The value of a car accident case primarily comes from compensatory damages, which aim to financially restore you to the position you were in before the accident. These losses can include economic and non-economic damages. Factors like the clarity of fault, evidence quality, witness credibility, the potential for settlement and the jurisdiction hearing the case also influence your claim’s worth.
Economic Losses You Can Recover
Economic damages include definitive financial losses you sustained from your injuries and property damage. For example, you can recover the cost of your current and ongoing medical expenses and lost wages. If your injuries result in a long-term disability or disfigurement, the court will consider the future impact of your accident.
You can also request compensation for damaged property and replacement services. Some injuries may require assistance during recovery. For example, if you are the primary childcare provider, the at-fault party would be liable for the cost of childcare services during your recovery. They also must pay to repair or replace your vehicle or any other personal property damaged during the crash.
Non-Economic Losses You Can Recover
You can also claim compensation for the psychological impact of your accident. Examples of common non-economic losses associated with auto accidents include:
- The physical pain and suffering caused by your injuries
- Any adverse effect the injuries have on your relationship with your spouse
- The loss of your ability to enjoy life as you did before the accident
- The mental anguish and emotional distress that commonly follow a severe accident or injuries
Non-economic damages are more complex to value. An experienced car accident lawyer will ensure you identify every available damage to recover and demand adequate compensation for them.
When Do You Need a Car Accident Lawyer?
You can always contact a car accident attorney if you have questions. However, you may consider hiring one if your injuries are severe, you deal with fault disputes or when you encounter resistance from insurance companies. Legal representation helps navigate complex legal procedures, ensuring you receive fair compensation and have someone protecting your rights. Additionally, your case may require expert witnesses, negotiations or potential litigation, making a lawyer’s expertise valuable.
Where Can You Find an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer in South Carolina?
If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a car accident resulting from the careless actions of another driver, you likely have questions about your right to compensation. At Jeffcoat Law Firm PI, we work on contingency because we understand the sometimes devastating financial consequences of these cases and believe you deserve experienced legal representation without adding to your burdens. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation with a car accident lawyer today.