Lawyer Fees On Greensboro Car Accident Cases are Often Contingent
Almost all Greensboro Car Accident and Greensboro wrongful death cases in the are handled on a contingent fee basis. That’s how we handle our Greensboro Car Accident Cases . This means that the lawyer is paid only a proportionate amount to the amount gained for our clients. If there is not a recovery, the lawyer does not get paid. If money is recovered from the insurance company, the attorney is paid an agreed-upon percentage of the recovery plus reimbursement of the law firm’s expenses they paid up front.
Years ago, when I was handling business litigation cases for businesses in my hometown of Greensboro, I consistently gave those business clients the choice of paying me per hour or a percentage of the money I collected for them. Those clients always seemed to choose the percentage fee, even though I always earned an hourly rate quite a few times what the client would have paid my firm if the client had taken the other option. But the client still chose the % fee each time.
Over the years, I have often offered new clients in my Greensboro Car Accident and Greensboro Wrongful Death cases the option of paying an hourly rate each month instead than a % of the recovery payable from the check from the insurance company when the case is over. Because no one has ever agreed to that, I quit offering this option.
I can count 4 advantages of agreeing to a contingent fee.
- The contingent fee is the one option in the legal practice that gives injured people of limited financial power a fighting chance in court against massive insurance companies. Almost nobody dealing with the effects of a big-time injury could afford to pay an experienced lawyer $200 to $400 per hour or more for 2 or so years of hard litigation.
- Contingent fees help to take out cases that lack a good deal of merit. Experienced attorneys will not waste their time on litigation that does not have sufficient merit to justify them investing their time. We might take a risk on hard cases where there is an honest but untested legal idea. However, any attorney who repeatedly bets on legal cases of no value may soon lose all income.
- Contingent fees place the lawyer’s financial incentive in alignment with results for the client, and the attorney’s goes up when the results obtained for the client go up. An attorney who knows he will not get paid unless he is successful is very motivated to get the best result. On the other hand, an hourly fee agreement can encourage lawyers to take unnecessary action. When lawyers set billable hour minimums, it makes it bad for clients.
- Lawsuit expenses and fees can be extremely high for negligence victims. Attorneys who work on contingent fees often also pay the expenses of litigation up front and out of pocket (e.g. lawsuit filing fees, reconstruction experts, other expert witnesses, courthouse reporters, video professionals, etc.), understanding that most clients are unable to pay for this sort of thing, and are paid back for the costs out of the funds recovered from the insurance company for the client. Because they are experienced in estimation of costs and potential winnings, and understanding they will get that paid back only if win for the client only, smart lawyers are interested in being prudent and spending as little as necessary.
Contingent fee agreements vary among lawyers and also vary amongst types of injury cases, but a range of 33 1/3% to 40% is normal. At times but rarely, a lower % may be offered for cases that may resolve early and a higher percentage might be appropriate for a case that is more risky or might involve an appeal after the trial is over.
Contact our Greensboro Car Accident Lawyers today if you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident in Greensboro, High Point or Asheboro.