If you have just been in an accident, you will probably wonder how much a personal injury lawyer in Macon would charge for car accident claims. This is a valid question and one that has no direct answer. Pursuing compensation soon after a car accident will be one of the many things you will have to do to get your life back in order. An accident involves property damage, injuries, and probably more than one person being out of work for several weeks while recuperating. It is not uncommon for the situation to spiral out of control and lead to civil suits. Hiring a car accident lawyer in Macon, GA, can put you in the best position to get the compensation you need and deserve.
Auto Accident Attorney Fees
If you are worried that you will have to break the bank or bleed through your nose to pay an attorney to represent you, we have good news! You do not need to pay any money upfront when working with a reputable auto accident attorney in Macon. Instead, most experienced and reputable attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This is very beneficial to you as a client.
This brings us to the question, what is a contingency fee? As mentioned above, personal injury lawyers will gladly work on a contingency fee basis – this means your lawyer will not get paid until he or she wins your case. This means as a client, you are in a win-win situation and do not have to risk the costs of having to take a complex case to trial.
Contingency Fee – Explained
When a personal injury lawyer in Macon, GA, takes on a personal injury claim on a contingency basis, he will receive compensation only if the court awards the client money or the insurance company pays the client compensation after the case is closed. The lawyer is paid a set percentage of the compensation that the plaintiff is awarded.
Contingency fees can vary from anything between 25% and 40% of the claim award. But, in most cases, lawyers ask one-third or 33% of the compensation that their client receives. This percentage can vary depending on the complexity of the case. For instance, the percentage may be lower when both parties agree upon a settlement before the case can go to trial. However, if the defendant challenges the case and the case goes to court, this percentage can vary depending on the amount of work that the attorney will have to put in the case. That said, the contingency fee is negotiable.
An important thing to remember when it comes to contingency fees is that this applies only to the driver who is not at fault in the accident. The liability insurance of the party at fault will typically arrange for an attorney to defend them, but not all at-fault drivers are likely to have insurance. In such cases, if the defendant needs an attorney to represent his case, he will have to pay out of pocket. This can cost the defendant several hundred dollars per hour of service, depending on the attorney that is hired.
Personal Injury Case Fees
In certain cases, a claimant may be required to pay for other expenses such as court fees related to the case, medical records, expert witness fees, or obtain police records. Even the most reputable firms expect their clients to cover these types of fees and will not continue their service unless the fee is paid. Some other firms cover these costs upfront for the plaintiff but expect it to be paid back once the case is over and the client receives his settlement. It is, therefore, important to establish with your attorney if you will have to pay any additional fees as needed or will pay it once you receive the compensation.
Likewise, personal injury-related expenses and medical bills also fall upon the claimant’s shoulders. In a typical car accident, a claimant can receive up to approximately $30,000 in a settlement. This amount can, however, vary based on the damages sustained due to the accident. A personal injury attorney will help you calculate the total compensation that you can receive by considering the total cost of your medical bills and multiplying it with a number between 1 and 5, depending on the severity of your injuries and the extent of property damage. This number will be the base compensation from which you can pay your medical bills and any other resulting fees from the accident. After subtracting medical bills, lawyer fees, and any other miscellaneous fees, the final figure will be your final payout.
Other Fee Schedules
Certain personal injury attorneys or medical malpractice lawyers in Macon, GA, may offer alternative fee schedules to their clients based on a case-to-case basis.
Hourly – Certain attorneys charge you a fixed rate that can fall between $100 and $500 per hour, no matter the case’s outcome.
Flat Fee – Some other attorneys may charge you a set price for completing specific tasks. For example, you could solicit an attorney’s counsel to write a demand letter to the insurance company for which you will pay a flat fee.
Retainer Plus Contingency – Under this option, a claimant will have to pay a retainer fee which will be an upfront fee to secure the services of the attorney and a contingency fee if they win the case. The retainer fee, in most cases, is subtracted from the total amount of the contingency fee and is reimbursed to the claimant for the initial out-of-pocket fee.
If you have been in an accident, you will do good in hiring a personal injury attorney to represent your case. Personal injury attorneys have years of experience and know the laws. They can help you navigate the often complex and overwhelming court process. The negotiability factor of a contingency fee will prevent an attorney from taking away from you an unfair portion of your compensation.
Will the Contingency Fee Be Based on the Gross Award or Net Award?
There are two ways to calculate an attorney’s fee – 1. Based on your gross award. 2. Based on your net award. Your gross compensation or award is the amount you will accept or receive from a judge or jury or the money you accept to settle your case. On the other hand, your net award is the compensation after any cost-related expenses are deducted. Therefore, calculating your attorney’s fee can greatly affect how much money you will walk away with once your case is closed.
Let us take an example. If you are awarded $100,000 as compensation, and you agreed to pay your personal injury attorney 30% of your award. Here is what you will pay and walk away with, assuming you have $10,000 of case-related expenses.
Gross Award: Since you agreed to pay your attorney 30% of the gross award, he will get 30% right off the amount you receive before the expense of $10,000 is factored in. This goes to say that his fee will be $30,000, leaving you with $70,000. You may also be liable to pay any court costs and fees depending on the agreement you had with your attorney.
Net Award: If you agreed to pay your attorney 30% of the net award. First off, the $10,000 in expenses will be subtracted from the award. This will leave you with a net award of $90,000. Now you will have to pay your attorney 30% – or $27,000. Since all expenses have already been taken care of, you’ll walk away with $73,000.
A car accident can change your life. If you or someone you love has been in an accident, waste no time and contact The Hurt 911 Injury Group. Our personal injury attorneys are committed to helping all our clients. Our attorneys understand that life soon after an accident can be challenging. With medical bills that add up every day, and injuries keeping you from working, it may be near impossible for you to foot a huge attorney bill. By working on a contingency fee, our firm allows you the flexibility to attend to recovering from your injuries while your attorney will work hard on helping you win the case. Call us today at 1-800-522-2277.