How much lawyers charge for accident claims can vary depending on the case and the payment structure in use. Many personal injury lawyers handle accident claims on a contingency-fee-basis, where their attorney fees come as a percentage of your settlement offer or court award, if and when you win your case. If you do not win your case, you do not owe your lawyer attorney fees in this arrangement.
According to the American Bar Association (ABA), lawyers frequently charge a contingency-fee rate around 33%, although the exact percentage may be higher or lower depending on the case and the agreement the client and the lawyer make when they start working together.
How Lawyers Get Paid
It is important to note that every law firm works a little differently, and not all of the information below will apply to all firms or even all cases. The only way to know how much a specific lawyer charges for an accident claim is to consult with their firm.
There are three primary ways that a law firm may charge for their services. These are:
- A contingency fee: where you agree to pay your lawyer a percentage of whatever compensation you recover, if and when you recover it.
- A flat fee: where you agree to pay your lawyer a particular amount for a particular service.
- An hourly fee: where you agree to pay your lawyer based on how much time it takes them to complete the job you hired them to do.
In order to keep their services accessible for clients who may be experiencing financial strain from their injuries, many lawyers handling accident claims operate on a contingency-fee-basis.
Once you find a lawyer you want to work with, the two of you may come to an agreement regarding fees and sign an agreement.
For a free legal consultation, call (410)886-6215
Recoverable Damages in an Accident Claim
In a personal injury insurance claim or lawsuit, accident victims may be able to recover compensation for their damages. Damages are usually divided into two categories: economic and non-economic.
Monetary harm is called “economic damages.” This may include accident-related losses with a clear cost or dollar figure, such as:
- Medical bills: if you had to go to the hospital, receive physical therapy, or pay for any other kind of medical treatment. Your estimated future costs of accident-related medical care may also be recoverable.
- Loss of wages: if your injuries forced you to take time off from work.
- Property damage: such as a vehicle or cell phone repair or replacement costs.
“Non-economic damages” are for the non-monetary harm caused by the accident. These damages may include things like:
- Pain and suffering: if your injuries led to physical or emotional pain
- Loss of quality of life: if your injuries prevent you from engaging in favorite activities or performing basic tasks
- Disability: if you lost any of your physical or intellectual abilities as a result of the accident
You may need to produce evidence of each of your damages, and an estimate of their value, to be awarded compensation for them in a settlement offer or court award. A lawyer can manage this task when they represent you.
What You Are Paying a Lawyer For
Although you are allowed to represent yourself in both an insurance claim or lawsuit, a lawyer may provide you with a number of useful services when they represent you. If you choose to work with a lawyer on your case, their roles may include:
- An advisor: your lawyer can help you to understand the legal process and to make important decisions about your case. They can also offer your legal advice, design a strategy for your case, and keep you updated.
- An investigator: your lawyer can investigate your accident and collect evidence of both the responsible party’s liability and the extent of your damages.
- A representative: your lawyer can handle all legal communications, paperwork, and deadlines on your behalf.
- A negotiator: if the liable party’s insurance company does not want to pay what you deserve, a lawyer can meet with them and argue for a fair settlement.
- An advocate: if your case ends up going to trial, your lawyer can represent you and present your case to a judge and jury.
Call the Law Offices of Adam M. Smallow Today
The Law Offices of Adam M. Smallow represents accident victims in Edgewood, Maryland in personal injury, wrongful death, and medical malpractice lawsuits. We work on a contingency-fee-basis. When we represent you, our firm can handle all of the legal work in your case while you focus on your recovery.
For a free consultation on your case with a member of our team, including information on our rates, call the Law Offices of Adam M. Smallow today at (410) 777-8960.
Note that your time to sue in Maryland is limited. Per Maryland Courts and Judicial Proceedings §5-101, a general three-year statute of limitations pertains to personal injury lawsuits.