Your car is mangled, your medical bills are piling up, and you are ready to go to court and make the driver who hit you pay.
But, how much will that cost you up front?
Often, the answer is very simple: Nothing.
When you file a personal injury lawsuit after an auto accident, your attorney will handle payment through what is called a contingency fee.
This means you pay the attorney a percentage – usually one-third – of whatever amount you recover in the lawsuit. And one-third of zero is zero, meaning that if your attorney fails to win the lawsuit, you don’t have to pay attorney fees.
How are Contingency Fees Good for You?
Contingency fee arrangements offer many advantages to our clients, including:
- You don’t have to settle for less: Not having to pay out-of-pocket allows you to seek the best legal help you can find and the right attorney for you. If you don’t have a lot of money, that doesn’t mean you have to settle for an attorney that you are not comfortable with.
- Built-in incentive: Contingency arrangements create a strong incentive for your attorney to win your case and get the largest settlement possible. Because your attorney receives a percentage of the damages you recover, your attorney has every reason to make sure the recovery is as large as possible.
How are Contingency Fees Good for Your PI Attorney?
So, why would an attorney put in the work, and possibly invest money, to help you build a case? Simply put, it’s because your attorney should be confident he or she can win your case.
Critics of contingency fees claim that these arrangements encourage frivolous or meritless lawsuits. But, when your attorney is investing time and money up front, they are not likely to take on a case that they don’t think has any merit.
Your SC injury lawyer at Coastal Law is here to help you and your family, but our goal is also to earn a living – this means that we are only interested in legitimate cases that we believe we can win for you. It also means that we are motivated to maximize your recovery.
Sometimes You Have to Pay Attorney Fees Up Front
Contingency fee arrangements work well for personal injury cases, but they don’t make much sense if you’re facing a criminal trial or if you are retaining an attorney to help you incorporate your business.
Because you’re not collecting money at the end of a trial, in some types of cases you will have to pay up front for legal services.
Attorneys use different payment arrangements for different kinds of cases, including:
- Hourly fees: How much you pay will depend on how much time your attorney puts into your case, and it will be billed against a retainer that you pay up front. Hourly fees are used in most business or corporate cases.
- Flat fee: If you’re facing criminal charges, your attorney will usually charge you a set amount based on the complexity of the case and the workload that is anticipated. Flat fee arrangements are also used in other types of cases depending on the circumstances.
Auto Accident Attorneys in Myrtle Beach, Columbia, Charleston, and Conway SC
In most cases, our SC auto accident attorneys at Coastal Law help our clients on a contingency fee basis and they do not have to pay attorney fees up front.
Call us now at (843) 488-5000 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation and case evaluation.