When our Athens accident lawyers meet with a client for the first time, they have a lot of questions. One of the first things they ask is how much their case is worth. The second thing they ask is how much it’s going to cost them to retain our services.
Accident Attorneys in Athens Work on a Contingency Basis
Like other personal injury lawyers, our accident attorneys in Athens work on a contingency basis. This means that they don’t get paid until you win or settle your case. They could spend over a hundred hours on your case only to walk away with nothing.
Conversely, you know that your accident attorney in Athens is doing to do everything they can to settle your case. Their ultimate goal is to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
You need to remember that it takes a lot more work if your attorney needs to file suit. While they may still negotiate a settlement, it will take a lot longer than you may think. This is why your lawyer’s rate will go up if legal action is necessary.
Your Athens Accident Lawyer Isn’t Paid Unless You Settle Your Case
As briefly mentioned above, if you lose your case, or if there isn’t enough evidence to file suit, your lawyer gets nothing. This is a risk that all Athens accident lawyers must take. Even if your case seems strong at the outset, that doesn’t mean the defendant will settle.
The good news is that if your case does settle, both you and your Athens accident lawyer will benefit. You’ll receive the compensation you deserve, and your lawyer will receive a respectable fee in exchange for their hard work.
Your Attorney Will Receive a Percentage of Your Settlement Proceeds
The way your contract with your Athens accident lawyer works is rather simple. Imagine you settle your case for $100,000. Your attorney will take their fee off the top. If they were able to settle it without the need for legal action, their fee would be 33%.
This means they would get $33,000 first. Then any costs and fees that were paid by the law firm would be paid. Imagine this was another $5,000. There would still be $62,000 left.
Out of this $62,000, your outstanding medical bills will have to be paid. Whatever is left after this will be yours. Just keep in mind, if your attorney needed to file suit to achieve the settlement, their fee would be closer to 40%, not 33%.
Accident Attorneys in Athens Charge a Contingency Rate Anywhere Between 30% and 40%
The reason we say that accident attorneys in Athens charge anywhere from 30-40% is that every law firm is different. Some of the less experienced attorneys may be willing to charge a lower rate. They may be more willing to take on a case that isn’t as strong as some others.
For more experienced lawyers, those with the skills and resources needed to handle your case, the fee may be higher. You also have to consider that more experienced attorneys may have better working relationships with insurance carriers and defense lawyers.
Your Athens Accident Lawyer Will Spell This Out in Your Retainer Agreement
One thing you don’t have to worry about is being surprised when your case settles. Your Athens accident lawyer will spell everything out in your retainer agreement. They will also answer any questions you have before they accept your case.
The order in which things will be paid will also be explained in your agreement. Throughout the course of your case, your accident attorney in Athens will explain what is happening so you are kept in the loop the entire time.
Your Athens Accident Lawyer Will Charge a Higher Rate if You File Suit
It is important to remember that your contingency fee will be higher if your attorney needs to sue. Not only is it more expensive to file suit, but it also requires a lot of hours.
Not only will your lawyer have to prepare your case, but they’ll also have to prepare for what the defendant will say. Once they start the discovery process, they’ll have a better idea of how strong your case is.
Your Lawyer Will Need to Dedicate Additional Resources
Depending on how strong your case is, your Athens accident lawyer may have to hire experts or consultants. For example, you may need to hire an accident reconstructionist to testify about who caused the crash.
You may also need to pay your doctors to testify at trial. If the defendant’s attorney is unwilling to cover the future medical care you say you’ll need, a medical expert can testify that it is necessary.
It Will Also Take a Lot Longer if You Need to Sue the Other Driver
The other thing you need to consider is that it will take much longer if your accident attorney in Athens has to file suit. It could take months or even years for your case to go to trial.
While you’re waiting for this to happen, your attorney has to deal with mediation, discovery, and settlement negotiations.
Speak With an Experienced Accident Attorney in Athens Before You Make Any Final Decisions
It may be scary to think about giving more than a third of your settlement to an Athens accident lawyer. However, either way you look at it, walking away with 60% of a settlement is a lot better than walking away with nothing. When you consider the time and effort your accident attorney in Athens will need to invest, it is a fair tradeoff.
You also need to remember that your lawyer is taking a big risk as well. If you lose your case, your Athens accident lawyer will receive nothing.
They are going to spend a lot of time on your case, especially if it goes to trial. This will leave them very little time to work on other cases.
We always suggest that you meet with an accident attorney in Athens before you make any firm decisions. You may decide that it’s worth hiring an attorney if it means the difference between getting compensation for your injuries and getting nothing.
We do offer all new clients a free, initial consultation. You can sit down with a seasoned Athens accident lawyer and find out if your case is even worth pursuing. They may even be able to give you an idea of what your case is worth.