You may think you can save some money by avoiding legal representation for a car wreck injury claim. But an auto injury attorney can help you get a better settlement, signal your intentions to the insurance company, and ensure the law works to your advantage. In fact, people working with auto accident personal injury lawyers get up to three times more money as those who do not. However, there is one caveat: The injured person filing a claim cannot also be the driver that caused the accident.
How Does an Auto Injury Attorney Get Paid?
Instead of charging by the hour, auto accident attorneys work on contingency. This means that you don’t pay any fees unless and until you receive a settlement. At the time you receive your payment, they get a percentage of that amount. The percentage ranges from 25%-40%, depending on whether the case actually goes to court or not. (Most cases settle without going to trial.) It’s common for lawyers to split the difference at 33%. So if you recover $100,000 from your case, your auto injury attorney gets about $33,000.
Is Retaining an Attorney Worth It?
Yes! CDC data shows the cost of medical care and productivity losses from occupant injuries and deaths from car wrecks was more than $75 billion in 2017. Insurers typically pay less than $20,000 per claim, which covers just over half (54%) of injury-related car accident costs, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Since the average contingency is 33%, you’ll get more working with an auto injury attorney than settling with the insurance company directly.
When talking to auto accident attorneys, pay attention to how much they think your settlement could be worth. Then, calculate how much the contingency fee takes from that amount. Finally, determine if the remaining amount is sufficient to reduce or completely cover your other expenses. In many cases, working with legal counsel is the best way to recover all your expenses — even after legal fees.
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Margot Lester is the CEO of The Word Factory, a content marketing agency based in North Carolina that provides services for international healthcare brands, tech companies and SaaS developers. An award-winning business and brand journalist, she writes for daily and weekly newspapers and business journals, national magazines, in-flight publications and leading websites. Margot is also an in-demand writing coach and organizational communications trainer, helping individuals and teams write more effectively. LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/margotlester.