How Much Does an Ohio Auto Accident Attorney Cost?
The cost of hiring an Ohio auto accident attorney will vary depending on several factors. Among the most significant factors affecting the price of Ohio car accident attorneys: whether the lawyer charges you an hourly fee or a contingency fee.
If a car accident lawyer charges you an hourly fee, you pay for the actual time your attorney works on your case-regardless of the outcome-plus any expenses the lawyer incurs on your behalf. When you hire an attorney on contingency, you only pay the lawyer legal fees if money is recovered from the person at fault in your accident, plus expenses.
Other factors that may affect the cost of hiring an Ohio auto accident attorney:
- The hourly rate or percentage contingency fee that your lawyer charges
- How much money you receive from the party at fault in your accident
- Whether your case settles out of court or is resolved through litigation
- How much money your lawyer spends on legal expenses when negotiating a settlement and/or presenting your case in court
Hiring an Ohio Auto Accident Attorney on Contingency
Contingency fees are more commonly used in personal injury cases, including automobile accident cases. A contingency fee offers accident victims several advantages:
- You pay no money up front, nor does the lawyer bill you while the case is in progress
- You'll pay no legal fees if you do not win a financial settlement
- Because your automobile accident attorney also stands to benefit financially from a large award, he or she should be motivated to work hard on your case
The major disadvantage to contingency fees is that you may feel as if your attorney didn't earn his or her full fee if your case settles quickly or for a substantial sum of money.
You'll probably find that all of the Ohio personal injury attorneys you meet quote you the same percentage contingency fee. When negotiating a contingency fee, you can attempt to negotiate a lower percentage rate than the lawyer originally quoted. You can also negotiate with the attorney to calculate the contingency fee based on the net award (after expenses have been deducted) and not the gross award (before expenses have been deducted). Any fee negotiations should occur before you agree to hire a lawyer, not after.
Hiring Ohio Automobile Accident Attorneys for an Hourly Fee
Hourly fees are standard in many areas of the law, including divorce and corporate legal work. However, they are used infrequently in personal injury work. If you are unable to find an Ohio auto accident attorney who will accept your case on contingency, this may be a sign that your case is weak or worth very little money.
When you hire a lawyer for an hourly fee, you'll probably be asked to make an up-front payment, also called a retainer. You will also be responsible for paying your lawyer's fees and expenses on a regular basis (often monthly). You'll owe this money regardless of whether you win or lose your case.
Before hiring a personal injury lawyer for an hourly fee, ask the lawyer to give you a thorough assessment of your case. What is the likelihood that you'll recover money from the party at fault in your automobile accident? How much money are you likely to recover? Approximately how much will it cost-in legal fees and expenses-to recover that money?
Remember, you're making an investment when you hire a lawyer for an hourly fee. Before agreeing to hire the attorney, you should be fairly confident the investment will pay off.
Understanding the Cost of an Ohio Injury Attorney
Before agreeing to hire an Ohio auto accident attorney, make sure you fully understand the various factors that will have an influence over costs.
You should ask the lawyer:
- Do you charge a contingency fee or an hourly fee? What is your hourly rate or contingency fee?
- How much do you estimate my automobile accident case is worth if it settles? If it goes to trial?
- Based on those award estimates, how much will you be paid if we settle? Go to trial?
- Approximately how much will I owe in legal expenses if we settle? Go to trial?
- How much money will I have left, after fees and expenses, if we settle? Go to trial?
- Will I owe you any money if I do not receive a financial award? Approximately how much will I owe you?
Once you have a detailed understanding of the legal fees and expenses, as well as your likelihood of successfully recovering money, you'll better understand the cost of hiring an Ohio auto accident attorney.