Car Accident Claims How Much Do Lawyers Generally Charge

Car Accident Claims: How Much Do Lawyers Generally Charge?

If another motorist caused a vehicular accident and injured you or damaged your property, you have a proper recourse in court.

First, you can seek compensation to cover your injury losses, which include medical costs and lost earning capacity. You can also recover damages for the pain and suffering you endured.

Typically, the guilty party will offer a settlement. However, as in many cases, this may not be enough compensation for the damage sustained. You can go to court to seek fair compensation.

The same is true where the guilty party disputes and is not willing to pay for damages. You can file a case in court for damages.

In these contentious scenarios, getting a lawyer is a good idea.

A competent car accident attorney can fight for your rights, seek redress, and obtain the full amount of damages possible.

This begs the question: How much do lawyers typically charge when filing car accident claims in court?

Settlements and Judgments in Car Accident Cases

In general, there are two ways to resolve car accident cases.

First, when the victim agrees to settle with the guilty party. 

Second, the victim decides to file a court case and gets the damages award.

On the other hand, the court may decide against the victim, and he gets nothing. 

If you are the victim, you want to get an experienced auto accident lawyer to get a good chance of winning the case.

What Are Contingency Fees

When hiring a car accident lawyer, you can ask the latter if he accepts a contingency fee arrangement.

You may be wondering what that is.

In many auto accident cases, crash victims arrange for a contingency fee basis with their attorney. 

This means the victims will not pay their lawyer’s fees at the start of their attorney-client relationship. The fees are contingent if the lawyer can secure recovery of damages for the clients.

In a contingency fee arrangement, the lawyer gets a percentage of the victims’ compensation. The specific rate depends on the agreement between the lawyer and the client-victims.

Typically, a car accident attorney charges 25 to 40 percent of what the victims get in compensation. Here’s how it works. The lawyer may charge the 25 percent rate if the case settles quickly. But if the case lasts longer, the lawyer may charge as much as 40 percent.

These amounts are just for the attorney’s fees. They don’t include other litigation expenses like the payment of docket or filing fees.

A reputable attorney will prepare a written contract before engaging you as a client. This formal document will define the services and the fees he will charge you.

Other Legal Costs and Expenses

Before engaging a car accident attorney, learn his policies regarding legal expenses. 

It’s true that, in most cases, the clients will not pay any attorney’s fees at the start of a contingency fee engagement. However, the clients are expected to cover other legal costs. These expenses can include the following:

  • Court filing fees
  • Costs to obtain medical records and police reports
  • Expert witness fees

Some car accident lawyers will cover these costs and include them as part of the billable amount when there is a settlement on the case. 

Payment Methods Other Than Contingency Fee Basis

Is a contingency fee not an available option for you?

While it is the most common arrangement, there are other payment methods that you can explore.

Here are some of the payment structures that your attorney may introduce to you.

1. Hourly Basis

This means the car accident lawyer will keep track of the time he spent working on your case. He will bill you based on the number of hours worked.

If the case won’t take too long to settle, choosing the hourly Basis would be to your advantage. This includes needing a little help reviewing the guilty party’s offer.

But if you think the case can go on forever, it’s best to stick with another payment schedule. If not a contingency fee arrangement, you can go for a flat fee rate.

2. Flat Fee

You and your lawyer can agree on an upfront flat fee rate. This is a fixed amount that your attorney will charge to represent you. So it doesn’t matter how much time he spent on your case. You’re still going to pay the fixed amount.

Under the fee schedule, you must make an initial payment and then pay the rest of the amount following a payment plan.

3. Retainer Fee

Some auto accident lawyers may require you to prepay a certain amount. This is called a retainer fee.

The pre-payment will cover a certain number of hours. You will be billed if your attorney performs work beyond the prepaid time.

4. Hybrid Setup

This means a combination of two or more payment schedules.

For example, you and your lawyer could start with an upfront flat fee at the onset to cover a portion of the entire attorney’s fees. 

But he may collect a percentage of your compensation to cover the balance. This portion, however, is contingent upon securing a favorable judgment.

Typical Recoverable Damages in a Car Accident Claim

Like all personal injury lawsuits, the aggrieved party can pursue a claim for damages, which have two categories: economic and non-economic.

Economic Damages

Economic damages pertain to losses with a clear cost or dollar figure. Examples of economic damages include medical bills, property damage, and loss of wages.

In a car accident, the victim may likely sustain physical injuries which require medical treatment. In severe cases, there may be hospitalization and rehabilitation.

Who is going to pay for the medical bills?

Generally, it should be the guilty party. So the victim must pursue a case in court to recover the costs of accident-related treatment, hospitalization, and rehabilitation.

In the same way, the guilty party has to shoulder the expenses for auto repairs. If other personal belongings got lost or destroyed during the accident, the guilty party should also pay for them.

Lastly, the victim may claim compensation for losing his earning capacity if he had to take time off from work due to his injuries.

Non-Economic Damages

These damages refer to any non-monetary harm the aggrieved party sustained after the accident. Examples of non-economic damages include pain and suffering, disability, and loss of quality of life.

Damages for the pain and suffering will be for the injuries sustained, which led to the physical or emotional distress of the victim.

Similarly, the victim can recover more if he has any disability. Whether permanent or temporary, the victim can claim more if he loses any physical or intellectual abilities.

The victim can also recover damages if the injuries prevent him from performing essential functions or engaging in his favorite activities. For instance, he can no longer stand up alone or walk unaided.

Production of Evidence in Support of the Claim for Compensation

The victim must produce evidence in support of his compensation claim. 

He should have an estimate of the value of the lost or destroyed personal belongings to be awarded actual damages for them.

For his medical costs or hospital bills, the victim must show actual proof in the form of receipts or invoices issued by doctors, hospital personnel, or other medical professionals.

The court may decline a claim for compensation if unsupported by any proof.

This is where a car accident attorney can help.

What to Expect from a Car Accident Attorney

Did you sustain injuries in a car accident due to another person’s fault or negligence?

There may be instances where you can represent yourself in a lawsuit or insurance claim.

However, there are downsides to this.

For one, you could lose your case—not because you don’t have the right to recover compensation but because you don’t know how to properly present your case for the court to appreciate in your favor.

Working with a car accident lawyer can boost your chances of getting a favorable judgment and consequently recovering damages.

But that’s not it.

A car accident attorney can also provide other valuable services not confined within the four walls of the courtroom.


A car accident lawyer will handle all communications and paperwork to recover compensation out of court. Whether from the guilty party or the insurance company. Of course, when the need to file a case arises, he can represent you in court.


With his expert knowledge of the legal process, an auto accident lawyer can make crucial decisions about your case. This legal advice is vital to creating a fool-proof strategy to win your case.


Gathering evidence and testimony from witnesses is crucial to winning a case. This is where a car accident lawyer can help. 

He can take care of the investigation by contacting the people at the accident scene. He can also collect all the proof you need to establish the other party’s liability.


An auto accident lawyer can also act as an intermediary to help you find a fair settlement. So if the guilty party decides to settle, this lawyer can meet with them and negotiate a fair and reasonable deal.

Call the Morgan Legal Group

We represent car accident victims in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits. 

For your free consultation, please click here.

Wind Farm Accident Attorney Houston, USA