Some car accident victims know they need a Miami accident attorney but don’t think they can afford to hire one. The truth is that, for this kind of case, you will not have to pay anything upfront. Instead, your lawyer will be paid a contingency fee when your case settles.
In this blog, we will explain how a contingency fee works. We will also describe the case costs you will have to pay once your case settles. If you have specific questions about your car accident, contact our office today.
Miami Accident Attorneys Work on a Contingency Basis
Unlike other types of lawyers, such as divorce attorneys, car accident lawyers in Miami do not charge an hourly rate. Instead of paying a large retainer upfront, your Miami accident lawyer works on a contingency basis.
What does this mean? It means that your lawyer is not paid until – and if – you win or settle your case. Not only does this make things easier for you. It also gives your attorney an added motivation to work tirelessly on your case.
What Percent of Your Settlement Will the Attorney Receive?
When you first meet with your attorney, they will explain what the exact percentage is. Typically, a car accident lawyer’s contingency percentage will range from 33-40%. It depends on several factors:
- Will they have to take your case to trial?
- Are there multiple defendants?
- How long it will take to prepare your case
- The strength of the evidence
- The complexity of your case
Many times, the percentage will increase if you have to go to trial. You should ask any questions you have about your attorney’s fee during your free consultation.
You Will Not Have to Pay Any Fees Upfront
Car accident victims do not have to pay anything upfront. In most cases, you won’t even have to cover any of the fees or costs associated with your case.
As long as your lawyer thinks your case is strong enough to pursue, they’ll be willing to pay these costs upfront. They’ll be reimbursed when your case settles.
How Much Will You Have to Pay in Filing Fees and Costs?
It can be rather expensive to take a case to trial. Thankfully, less than 5% of car accident cases actually make it that far. However, even if you settle your case, there are still a lot of costs that creep up along the way.
Some of these costs and fees include the following:
- Filing fees (court)
- Postage fees
- Costs for personal service
- Photocopying fees
- Expert witnesses
- Deposition expenses
- Trial exhibits
- Investigator’s fees
These add up. It is estimated that case costs make up about 2-3% of your total settlement proceeds. They will have to be paid to your lawyer’s firm before any other bills are paid.
Your Car Accident Lawyer is Paid When You Settle Your Case
When your case settles, the insurance company will usually send payment within 30-45 days. Once the check is deposited into your Miami accident attorney’s trust account, it should clear quickly.
Once it clears, your settlement proceeds will be distributed in the following order:
- Your lawyer’s contingency fee is paid first. Whatever their contingency fee is, it will be determined based on your total settlement amount.
- The law firm must be reimbursed for any case costs next.
- Any outstanding liens or medical bills will have to be paid before you receive your share of the proceeds. Your attorney will do their best to negotiate reduced payments with the various providers.
- Any other outstanding bills related to your case must also be paid.
Once all of these bills are paid, the remaining amount will be yours.
What if Your Case Doesn’t Settle?
If your case doesn’t settle, you’ll have no choice but to go to trial. If this is the case, your attorney’s contingency fee will likely increase. Of course, this will be outlined in your agreement.
If you win at trial, the insurance company (or the driver) will have to pay your judgment. Your lawyer will receive a percentage of this money.
Your Lawyer Only Gets Paid If You Win Your Case
Your lawyer will do whatever they can to win your case. If you do lose, your attorney receives nothing. You will not have to pay them any of the costs or fees related to your accident case.
Call Today to Schedule Your Free, Initial Consultation
If you were injured in a car accident, you may want to hire a Miami accident attorney. However, you may be afraid that it will cost too much money. The good news is that you won’t have to pay your lawyer anything upfront. Their fee is not paid until you settle your case.
We offer a free case review for new clients, so contact our office at 954-915-7405 today.