How Much Does a South Carolina Motorcycle Accident Attorney Charge?
A South Carolina motorcycle accident attorney usually charges for his or her services in one of two ways: contingency fee or hourly fee (also known as hourly billing rate). A contingency fee is the most common way for an accident victim to pay his or her personal injury lawyer.
When you hire an attorney on contingency, you pay the lawyer a portion of any money you receive from the party responsible for your accident. If you receive no money in a settlement or judgment, you do not owe the lawyer any money. Contingency fees are typically calculated as a percentage of any award.
When you hire a lawyer for an hourly fee, you pay the lawyer for the time he or she actually works on your case, regardless of the outcome.
Contingency Fees & South Carolina Motorcycle Accidents
Contingency fees offer motorcycle accident victims several advantages:
- You pay no money up front
- You pay no money if your case is unsuccessful
- Because your South Carolina motorcycle accident injury lawyer will also benefit from any settlement or judgment, he or she is motivated to work hard on your behalf
If the attorney is able to obtain money on your behalf, you'll also be responsible for reimbursing the lawyer for any expenses incurred on your behalf.
As you speak to South Carolina motorcycle accident attorneys, you'll discover that most probably quote you approximately the same contingency fee percentage rate. Before agreeing to hire a lawyer, you can try to negotiate a lower percentage rate. You can also ask the lawyer to calculate his or her fee based on the net award (the amount of the award after expenses are deducted) and not the gross award (the amount of the award before expenses are deducted).
If you hire an attorney on contingency, the cost of hiring your lawyer will depend on the size of any award you receive as well as how much your lawyer incurs in legal expenses.. Your legal expenses will be smaller if you settle the case quickly and larger if the dispute goes to trial.
Hiring a South Carolina Motorcycle Accident Attorney for an Hourly Fee
With an hourly fee, you pay the lawyer a set billing rate for the actual time he or she works on your case, regardless of whether you win or lose. You will also be responsible for paying all of the legal expenses your lawyer incurs in conjunction with your case.
Although hourly billing rates are popular for many types of legal work (such as divorces or in criminal cases), they are not used frequently in personal injury work. If you are unable to find a lawyer who is willing to represent you on contingency, this may be a sign that your case is weak or not worth much money. Ask the attorneys why they are unwilling to represent you on contingency. If you have a weak case, it may not be worth the cost to hire a lawyer.
Calculating the Cost of Hiring a Lawyer
Before agreeing to hire a South Carolina motorcycle accident attorney, ask the lawyer to walk you through the estimated legal fees and expenses to handle your case. You want to know:
- How much will you have to pay if you do not receive a financial award from the party responsible for your accident?
- How much does the attorney estimate your case is worth if you settle? If you win at trial?
- Based on these settlement and trial estimates, approximately how much would you pay in legal fees if the case settles? If it is decided at trial?
- What are the estimated legal expenses if the case settles? If you go to trial? Will you have to pay any legal expenses if you do not win your case?
Having a thorough understanding of the costs will help you when hiring a South Carolina motorcycle accident attorney.
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