Many individuals do not contact a New York City car accident attorney for fear that they cannot afford to retain legal counsel to handle their accident claim. However, the majority of auto accident attorneys in New York City work on a contingency basis. Therefore, there are no upfront fees associated with hiring a lawyer for a car accident case.
What Is a Contingency Fee?
A contingent fee is a type of payment for legal services rendered by an attorney. In general, attorneys charge an hourly rate, a flat rate, or a contingency fee. However, the majority of personal injury attorneys accept injury cases on a contingency basis as opposed to an hourly rate.
With a contingency fee agreement, when you hire a lawyer to represent you, you pay nothing. Instead, you agree to pay the attorney a percentage of your injury claim settlement. When you sign the retainer agreement with the attorney, you and the attorney agree on the percentage.
You owe no fee for the attorney’s services if they are unable to obtain compensation for your claim. Why would an attorney accept a contingent fee case? They believe they can win the case and do not want you to be without legal representation after an accident or personal injury because you cannot afford one.
In addition, the contingency fee implies that the attorney is taking a risk with you. The greater the amount the attorney recovers for your claim, the greater their fee. Therefore, the incentive is to work as diligently as possible to secure you the best possible personal injury settlement.
How Much Does a New York City Car Accident Lawyer Charge?
The amount of the contingent fee is determined by a number of variables. These variables influence the contingency fee:
- The fee charged by other New York City car accident attorneys for similar cases.
- The difficulty of your automobile accident case
- Experience, education, and track record of the attorney
- The involved parties in the case
- The anticipated amount of time the attorney will devote to the case.
In general, a car accident attorney will charge a contingency fee of 33 percent if the case settles prior to trial. Nonetheless, the contingent fee typically increases if the attorney files a lawsuit.
Significantly more resources are required to file a lawsuit and proceed to trial. However, the majority of car accident cases are resolved without the filing of a lawsuit.
Who Pays for the Cost of Pursuing a Car Accident Claim?
In general, personal injury attorneys pay the costs of the case as they are incurred on behalf of their clients. Case expenses may include, but are not limited to:
- Costs for copies and documents
- Accident report fees
- Postage and duplication fees
- Deposit costs
- Honoraria for expert witnesses
- Court processing fees
- Costs of trial preparation
- Expenses for travel and mileage
You must ask the attorney to explain the case costs and how they will be paid. Ask the attorney if you are responsible for paying the law firm’s expenses if the attorney loses your case. The retainer agreement and contingency fee agreement should both contain all of the terms.
Why Should You Hire a New York City Car Accident Lawyer?
Many people believe that if they handle their own auto accident claim, they will receive more compensation. The insurance adjuster would likely concur with this opinion. Nevertheless, many individuals are unaware that their auto accident claim is worth more.
A claims adjuster will not inform you that the actual value of your damages exceeds the offer of settlement. The adjuster’s job is to settle your insurance claim for as little as possible. Therefore, it is advantageous for the insurance company if you are unaware that you could receive compensation for pain and suffering (non-economic damages).
Similarly, if you fail to include out-of-pocket expenses in your economic damages, the insurance adjuster will not inform you that you are entitled to reimbursement. The adjuster will not inform you that you may be entitled to future compensation for permanent impairments, such as a reduction in your quality of life or diminished earning capacity.
A car accident attorney evaluates all damages and determines the claim’s correct value. In addition, your attorney handles all aspects of your claim, such as gathering evidence to establish fault and liability and working with expert witnesses to estimate future damages.
Suppose you represent yourself in a car accident case. In such a circumstance, you are expected to understand the law, including the deadlines for filing lawsuits and the possible defences the insurance company could use to reduce the value of your claim. You are not excused or granted a “pass” for not knowing the law.
Therefore, it is in your best interest to at least take advantage of a free consultation if you can hire attorneys without paying them until they win the case.
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm
Contact Abrams Law Group for a free consultation if you’ve been hurt in an accident and require legal assistance.