Refraining from talking to a Utah auto accident attorney might just be the biggest mistake an injured victim can make. Research shows that those who work with an attorney tend to obtain much more money than victims who try to recover damages on their own. Going without legal assistance can put a personal injury claim in jeopardy, keeping victims from receiving the compensation they deserve.
But what about the cost? Could you even afford legal representation?
Actually, a lack of funds doesn’t have to be a problem. Choose a Utah auto accident attorney who works on a contingency fee basis – like the legal team at William R. Rawlings & Associates – and you won’t have to pay any upfront fees. Here’s what you need to know about contingency fees.
What is a Contingency Fee?
Basically, a contingency fee payment arrangement is one where an auto accident attorney represents a client for free until their claim is resolved. Payment of legal fees is contingent upon a successful case outcome – meaning that the client only has to pay the lawyer if they receive compensation.
What if no damages are awarded? In the event a case ends without a win, the client pays no legal fees. As such, experienced car accident attorneys make every effort to ensure that doesn’t happen.
What is the Customary Contingency Fee for an Auto Accident Attorney?
When it comes to personal injury claims involving car wrecks, there is no standard contingency fee. However, the payment is typically between 25 and 40 percent of the damages awarded. The average rate is 33 percent.
The amount a Utah auto accident attorney charges depends upon several factors, but as a general rule, the more complicated a case, the greater the contingency fee. As an example, let’s say a lawyer is able to reach a fair settlement for a client, and the total is $100,000. In this situation, the legal fees may amount to $33,000 (33 percent). But if the case proceeds to trial instead and $100,000 in damages are awarded, the attorney may charge $40,000 (40 percent) of the recovery.
Whether a settlement is reached or a case ends with a jury award, a car accident attorney doesn’t send the client a bill. Instead, the legal fees and case expenses are taken directly from the winnings.
How are the Costs Associated with a Car Accident Case Handled?
Car accident attorneys often offer a zero-fee guarantee or say that if they don’t win a case, the client doesn’t pay. This isn’t exactly accurate, however – what this really means is that the lawyer doesn’t collect any legal fees.
Other expenses associated with a personal injury claim – such as document fees, court filing fees and payment for expert witnesses — may be initially covered by an accident attorney, though many ask the client to handle expenses as they arise. Either way, the client remains responsible for these costs, as they aren’t contingent upon of the outcome of their case.
When a lawyer wins compensation for a client, any case expenses incurred are deducted from the settlement or jury award along with the agreed-upon contingency fee. If the case doesn’t settle or succeed in court, the client can expect to receive a bill. That said, reading the fine print of a contingency fee agreement is the only way to know exactly how case expenses will be handled.
Is Hiring a Utah Auto Accident Attorney Worth the Cost?
As we mentioned earlier, working with a car accident attorney tends to result in a higher payout. Having legal representation can make all the difference in whether or not an injured victim obtains a full financial recovery.
Some people say that with a minor car wreck that causes little or no injuries, hiring a lawyer isn’t necessary. That may be the case, but given that physical injuries and emotional trauma related to an accident may not be immediately apparent, scheduling a free attorney consultation is always worthwhile.
With a serious car wreck, one that results in injuries that require extensive medical treatment, the value of a claim is higher – and that makes hiring a Utah auto accident attorney well- worth the cost. The insurance adjusters involved will do everything they can to minimize the amount of compensation, and an experienced lawyer will know how to fight back and get every dollar an injured victim deserves.
Schedule a Free Consultation at William R. Rawlings & Associates Today
If you’re ever in a car wreck in Utah and need legal advice, give William R. Rawlings & Associates a call. Discussing your case won’t cost you a dime, and you can count on us stand up for your rights.
After negotiating settlements and taking cases to court for decades, we’ve become a trusted Utah law firm, and we’re proud of our many client referrals. For more details on our legal team, or to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a highly skilled and knowledgeable Utah auto accident attorney, contact William R. Rawlings & Associates today.