After a catastrophic accident, your finances can feel very uncertain, especially if you cannot work. Personal injury attorneys know this, and most won’t charge you a fee unless they recover money on your behalf. However, many crash victims are still nervous about the cost of hiring a lawyer, and some victims even try to handle their complicated injury claims on their own.
At Crosley Law, we have a “no-fee policy.” That means our clients never pay attorney’s fees unless we win at trial or recover a settlement. In this article, we outline everything you need to know about attorney’s fees and costs.
What Is a Contingency Fee?
Most car accident lawyers do not charge an hourly fee for their work. Instead, they work under a contingency fee arrangement. When a personal injury lawyer charges a contingency fee, they take a percentage of your settlement or jury award as payment. If you do not receive compensation from the insurance company, your lawyer will not get paid for their work. Most contingency fee arrangements charge between 33% and 40%.
In most cases, if your personal injury claims settle before your lawyer files a lawsuit, they will charge one-third of your recovery. If a lawsuit is necessary and the case goes to court, the attorney’s fee will usually rise to 40%. This is because there is a lot of extra legal work involved when a case goes into litigation.
What Are Case Costs?
When injury lawyers investigate claims and prepare their cases for trial, they have to spend money. Typically, your law firm will advance these costs so you don’t have to pay them upfront. We refer to these expenses as “case costs.”
Depending on the complexity of your claim, your case costs may include:
- The cost of ordering and copying your crash-related medical records
- Expert witness fees, including engineering studies or medical doctor testimony
- Court reporters’ charges when they transcribe depositions and other testimony
- Filing fees collected by the court during your lawsuit
- Travel expenses associated with investigating and litigating your claim
- Costs associated with jury presentations, like “day in the life” videos, jury focus groups, and other tools
At Crosley Law, we never ask for a retainer or any upfront payment to cover case costs. Instead, we will carefully track our expenses and, if you recover compensation, our team will deduct them from your settlement or jury award.
What Happens After I Get a Settlement or Jury Award?
Soon after you agree to a settlement or receive a jury award, your injury lawyer will receive a check from the insurance company. The law firm will deposit it into a dedicated client trust account. Then, your lawyer will calculate their attorney’s fees, deduct their costs, and pay any liens and medical bills you have. Once this is all done, you’ll get the remaining money, and you’ll also receive a detailed accounting of any payments your lawyer made on your behalf.
Suppose you suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in a truck wreck. When the insurance company refused to offer a reasonable settlement offer, your lawyer aggressively prepared your case for trial. They consulted with TBI experts, took your doctors’ depositions, and hired a jury focus group to refine their strategies. All that hard work paid off. During mediation, the insurance company finally agreed to pay you $1 million for your injuries.
Let’s assume you had $150,000 in unpaid medical bills, which your injury lawyer negotiated down to $75,000. Your lawyer spent $20,000 on case costs. Here’s how the law firm would probably break down your settlement:
- 33% attorney fee: $330,000
- Case costs: $20,000
- Payments to medical providers: $75,000
- Remainder to client: $575,000
Is Hiring an Injury Lawyer Worth the Investment?
Insurance industry think tanks report that people who are represented by attorneys receive, on average, two and a half times more than unrepresented crash victims. And injury victims who are represented by specialized injury attorneys do even better. If you have an injury from a motor vehicle crash caused by someone else’s negligence, then you are almost always better off hiring a lawyer. The more serious the injury, the more important it is to hire the right lawyer.
Here are four reasons why car accident lawyers provide a good return on investment.
1. You Need Time and Space to Heal
When you file an injury claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, they’re going to demand a lot of information, including your medical records and copies of your bills. Then, you’ll need to negotiate back and forth about the value of your car crash claims. It’s a time-intensive and stressful process.
Most crash victims would rather spend their time and energy on their healing process, family, and weekly doctor’s appointments instead of responding to insurance company letters and attending court hearings. When you hire a personal injury lawyer, they take over the legal responsibilities so you can focus on what matters most.
However, that doesn’t mean you should be kept in the dark about your injury claim. At Crosley Law, we value communication and education. Our clients get regular updates on their cases, and we patiently explain complicated legal concepts to them, empowering them and enabling better decision-making. But, we also give them space and time to heal by taking the legal burden off their shoulders and placing it on ours.
2. You’re Probably Not a Legal or Technical Expert
Personal injury claims require significant expertise. You’ll need to evaluate how Texas’ laws impact your case, meet the court’s strict rules, assess the strength of your medical evidence, and cross-examine the insurance company’s expert witnesses. Most people do not have the necessary knowledge.
At Crosley Law, we’ve earned a reputation for our cutting-edge approach to car accident claims. When you work with us, we’ll take care of the technical details, like calculating your damages, hiring the right expert witnesses, opening an estate in a wrongful death case, or anticipating your future need for medical treatment. We have relationships with nationally recognized experts and have recovered record-breaking compensation for our clients. If you’ve been seriously injured and need to file claims, you’ll need that kind of experience and insight.
3. You May Have Unidentified Legal Claims
Sometimes, it’s easy to identify the at-fault driver in a negligence claim. But what if you were involved in a multi-car pileup? Or, what if the other driver was underinsured? What if a vehicle defect caused the crash?
In these cases, a lawyer can help you identify parties or insurance policies that may be responsible for your injuries. Our team has also helped clients uncover product liability claims when a dangerous or defective product contributed to their injuries.
4. There’s No Upfront Risk
With a contingency fee arrangement, you don’t have to worry about paying hourly legal fees or getting overwhelmed with bills from your lawyer. We want to make your life easier, not more stressful!
At Crosley Law, you’ll never have to pay your attorney’s fees or costs in advance. We only get paid if you recover compensation. Since we’re taking on the risk of litigating your case and preparing for trial, you can rest assured we have every incentive to fight for you. Plus, we offer free case evaluations, so you can always get a risk-free assessment of your case before you decide to hire us.
“At Crosley Law, you’ll never have to pay your attorney’s fees or costs in advance. We only get paid if you recover compensation. Since we’re taking on the risk of litigating your case and preparing for trial, you can rest assured we have every incentive to fight for you. Plus, we offer free case evaluations, so you can always get a risk-free assessment of your case before you decide to hire us.”
Crosley Law: Getting Texas Accident Victims the Compensation they Deserve
Concerns about legal fees should never prevent you from contacting an injury lawyer. Any reputable accident attorney will offer you a free consultation, and you shouldn’t have to pay for their services unless they recover compensation for you.
We look forward to learning more about your situation and providing practical advice for you and your loved ones.
Paying for Auto Injuries: A Consumer Panel Survey of Auto Accident Victims. (2004, August 19). Insurance Resource Council. Retrieved from https://www.insurance-research.org/research-publications/paying-auto-injuries-consumer-panel-survey-auto-accident-victims-2004-edition
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.
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Crosley Law Firm, PC is a professional corporation of trial lawyers focused on representing individuals and families who have suffered serious personal injuries or wrongful death. If you’ve been injured, fill out the form for a free consultation, or call 210-LAW-3000.