Auto AccidentsHow Much Does a Lawyer Cost for a Car Accident?

June 28, 20240

The cost of a lawyer does not come out of your own pocket. Arkansas Car accident attorneys typically offer contingency fees, which means you pay nothing to begin your case. Instead, your lawyer will receive a percentage of any settlement or verdict they secure for you, and they will do substantial work to earn the fee.

Contingency fees can benefit car accident victims in several ways. Your attorney will pay for case costs, volunteer their time and effort, and invest resources in your case. They can often obtain a larger sum than you might secure without an attorney, which justifies their fee.


Why Car Accident Attorneys Use Contingency Fees (For Your Benefit)

Contingency fees can be beneficial to everyone involved in car accident cases, especially the client, because:

  • You don’t have to pay any direct fees or expenses to your lawyer: Money is often in short supply after a car accident. You likely do not want to have to pay from an emergency fund or go into debt to retain legal services. With a contingency fee arrangement, you don’t have to.
  • Your law firm accepts the financial risk associated with your case: Sometimes, those who hire a lawyer pay money to their attorney but don’t see the results they hope for. With contingency fees, you don’t face this risk. Your attorney will pay for all case-related costs and expenses, meaning you face no direct financial risk when hiring an attorney.
  • Your lawyer has a clear financial motivation to obtain fair compensation for you: Your lawyer’s payment will be contingent upon them obtaining compensation for you. Obviously, this means your attorney will be highly motivated to obtain a settlement or judgment.
  • The lawyer gets paid fairly for successful performance: You will have no worries about your lawyer earning their fee. They are paid based on their performance, which is about as fair as a legal arrangement can be.

The more compensation you receive, the more compensation your attorney receives. This means your and your lawyer’s motivations will be totally aligned.

How Your Car Accident Lawyer Will Earn Their Fee

Your car accident attorney will do everything your case requires.

Investigating the Accident (and Gathering Evidence)

The lawyer you hire to lead your case will quickly begin investigating the accident, determining:

accident investigation

  • When and where your accident happened
  • How your accident happened
  • Who caused your accident
  • Who has financial responsibility for your accident-related damages

As they investigate, your attorney will secure all evidence that fits within your case, which may include:

  • Video of the accident
  • Eyewitness accounts of the accident
  • A police officer’s report
  • An expert’s reconstruction of the collision
  • Relevant cellular records
  • Any other evidence that suggests who is at fault for the accident

Establishing fault is one of the first steps in obtaining compensation for liable parties, and your lawyer will complete this critical step for you.

Reviewing All Applicable Insurance Claims

Insurance may prove to be the means to a fair settlement. Your lawyer will work to gain a masterful understanding of every insurance policy related to your claim, specifically noting:

  • The conditions under which each policy provides coverage
  • The amount of coverage the policy provides
  • Who is covered by the policy (including you)
  • Coverage limits for each applicable policy
  • Any other details that are relevant to your claim

Lawyers are fluent in the language of insurance policies. This will allow your attorney to quickly gather and analyze all policies related to your car accident.

Developing a Case Strategy

You may be seeking tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even more compensation depending on the severity of your accident-related injuries. Your lawyer will create a personalized strategy designed to deliver the compensation you deserve, and this may entail:

  • Filing a claim with your insurer
  • Filing a claim with a third party’s insurer
  • Filing a lawsuit against parties responsible for your accident

Every car accident victim faces different circumstances regarding the cost of their damages, the availability of insurance coverage, and other relevant factors. Your lawyer will build their strategy around your unique circumstances.

Documenting Your Accident-Related Damages

As part of your case, your lawyer must prove the exact nature of your damages. Useful documentation can include:

  • X-rays, brain scans, MRIs, and other medical imaging
  • All medical records detailing your accident-related injuries
  • Your doctor’s explanation of the treatment you’ll need for your injuries
  • A mental health professional’s evaluation of any anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other forms of pain and suffering you’ve endured
  • Invoices related to vehicle repairs and temporary transportation

Your attorney will contact anyone who can provide documentation of your damages. By the time they begin negotiating a settlement, they will have ample proof of the harm you have suffered.

Calculating the Value of Your Damages

Your case value will include both the economic and non-economic damages you’ve suffered due to the collision. Attorneys are uniquely qualified to calculate non-economic damages, like pain and suffering, which do not have an obvious financial value.

Your lawyer may use the multiplier or per diem method to calculate non-economic harm. Other damages, like medical bills and lost income, may add up the cost of your expenses as they occur (and project any future damages you’ll face after your case is complete).

Negotiating Your Settlement

Attorneys most often obtain settlements for car accident victims. Settling may be to your benefit because:

  • Settling is the quickest way to obtain compensation
  • Trials have uncertain outcomes while negotiating a settlement provides a certain resolution to your case
  • You may obtain all the compensation you need through a settlement, which will render the time and risk of going to trial unnecessary

Lawyers’ negotiation experience is valuable to their clients. Let a lawyer who has often negotiated with insurers fight for the compensation you deserve.

Filing a Lawsuit, If You Choose To

Though settlements are the most common outcome of car accident claims, filing a lawsuit is another option. You may sue liable parties if insurers do not offer a fair settlement.

Your attorney will discuss the ramifications of filing a lawsuit before you choose to do so. You can still obtain a settlement after filing a lawsuit, as initiating a court case may motivate responsible parties to reach an agreement.

Going to Trial, If You Choose To

If you file suit and liable parties continue to refuse your settlement demands, your attorney will gear up for trial. Going to trial will extend the timeline for your case, but it may be the right decision for you.

Managing Every Other Aspect of Your Case

Car accident claims present countless unforeseen challenges and responsibilities. In addition to the duties already listed, your attorney will manage every other detail of your case.

Reasons Why You May Choose to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer

You may have many reasons for working with a car accident lawyer, including:

Filing Lawsuit

  • The attorney’s familiarity with car accident claims: Your lawyer will not hesitate to do what is necessary to lead your case. They have been in these circumstances before. Your lawyer will not be shaken by any challenges or headaches during your case, as they will be well-versed in completing car accident claims and lawsuits.
  • The law firm’s no-risk fee structure: Your attorney will not ask you to pay any upfront fee or cover case-related costs. Your firm will be paid based on its case results. If your attorney negotiates a settlement or secures a judgment for you, they will receive a percentage of the recovery. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about the cost of hiring an attorney.
  • The importance of your health and recovery: When we choose to do one thing, we lose the opportunity to do another. If you handle your own case, you choose not to spend that time resting, receiving treatment, or following your doctor’s other recovery-specific directions. Put your health first by hiring a car accident lawyer.
  • The protection your attorney provides: Hiring an attorney means no insurance representative will contact you directly. This will ensure you can’t be negatively affected by attempts to have you admit fault for the accident, lowball settlement offers, or any other bad-faith tactics.

These are just some of the many reasons why hiring a lawyer can be a winning decision for car accident victims. Perhaps most importantly, your decision to hire a lawyer can lead to you receiving the settlement or jury award you deserve.

Your Lawyer Will Seek Maximum Compensation for Your Accident-Related Damages (Which May Include These)

While you may be fortunate that you survived your car accident, you may find yourself far worse off than before the accident happened. Your lawyer will work to secure compensation that helps you overcome the effects of the accident. Damages your lawyer will seek compensation for include:

All Accident-Related Medical Expenses

The driver, vehicle manufacturer, or other party responsible for your accident (or their insurer) should pay for every medical expense related to the car accident. Your attorney will account for all accident-related medical services from X-rays to hospital services and rehabilitation.

Pain and Suffering

Your accident-related pain and suffering may include:Medical Expenses

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Lost quality of life
  • Lost sleep
  • Scarring
  • Other forms of disfigurement
  • Physical pain

Everyone involved in a car accident experiences different types of pain and suffering. Trust your lawyer to work with a mental health professional and identify all forms of pain and suffering that entitle you to compensation.

Professional Damages

If your injuries require you to scale back your professional responsibilities or stop working for some time, you may:

  • Lose your usual income
  • Lose earning power
  • Be unable to earn bonuses
  • Be unable to progress toward promotions
  • Suffer other professional damages

Your attorney will include these and all other professional damages in their settlement demands to insurers or other liable parties.

Vehicle Repair Costs

Your case will include the cost of repairing your vehicle, repairing or replacing other damaged property, and securing transportation while you are without your vehicle.

Experienced lawyers know that every client has a different array of damages. Your legal team will evaluate your unique profile of damages, calculate the cost of the harm you’ve suffered, and seek fair compensation from liable parties.

Should I Hire My Car Accident Lawyer Right Away?

It is wise to hire your car accident attorney as soon as possible. Some of the most pressing reasons not to wait any longer to hire your lawyer are:

  • The statute of limitations: State laws determine when you must file a lawsuit after a car accident. There may also be deadlines for filing insurance claims and reporting injuries. The sooner you hire a lawyer, the less you risk missing critical filing deadlines.
  • Time-sensitive evidence: Municipalities may erase video from traffic cameras at regular intervals. Witnesses may not reliably recall accident-related details once a significant amount of time passes. These are just two examples of how evidence can be extremely time-sensitive, which is another reason to hire your lawyer as soon as possible.
  • Threats to your case: Insurance companies, at-fault motorists, and other liable parties often try to avoid paying car accident victims. The moment you hire a lawyer, you ensure that nobody can interact with you in any way that harms your case.

Attorneys are available all the time, offering free consultations at all hours. There is no apparent reason for you to wait before speaking with law firms you’re considering hiring.

Hire Your Car Accident Attorney as Soon as Possible

Car accident attorneys want to secure justice for victims of negligence. All you have to do is speak with prospective attorneys and explain what has happened, and they will explain the next steps in your case.

For many clients, hiring a lawyer provides an immense sense of relief and often leads to impressive financial recoveries. You want to find a law firm with a stellar reputation and impressive case results, and let that firm fight for you.

The first step is to schedule a free initial consultation with a Arkansas Personal injury lawyer to ask questions and allow them to assess your options.