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How Much Do Illinois Boat Accident Attorneys Charge?

Illinois boat accident attorneys typically charge clients either an hourly fee or a contingency fee. The total cost to hire a lawyer may depend on the type of fee arrangement that's used as well as:

  • Whether your case settles or goes to court
  • How much your lawyer incurs in legal expenses on your behalf
  • How much money you receive from the party at fault in your boating accident

When you hire an attorney on contingency fee, you are agreeing to pay the lawyer a percentage of any money received from the party at fault in your boating accident, plus expenses. You owe the lawyer nothing if he or she cannot settle the case or win money in court.

When you hire an attorney for an hourly fee, you're agreeing to pay the lawyer for the actual time he or she works on your case, regardless of outcome, plus expenses. A retainer fee, or deposit, is usually paid to the attorney at the outset, and you'll be responsible for paying the lawyer's fees and expenses on a regular (probably monthly) basis.

Hiring Illinois Boat Accident Attorneys on Contingency

Most personal injury lawyers, including Illinois boat accident lawyers, represent clients on contingency fee. That's because contingency fees offer Illinois boat accident victims a few advantages:

  • You don't have to pay the lawyer any money up front
  • You don't have to pay the lawyer any money while the case is in progress
  • The attorney's entire fee is paid from money recovered on your behalf
  • You pay nothing if the lawyer cannot win or settle your case
  • The lawyer is motivated to obtain the largest award possible because he or she also benefits financially if your case is successful

The main disadvantage to contingency fees is that you may not feel as if the lawyer earned his or her entire fee if your case settles quickly or for a large amount of money.

Before agreeing to hire Illinois boat accident attorneys, you may be able to negotiate a lower percentage contingency fee. You can also ask the lawyers to calculate their fee based on the net award (after expenses are deducted) and not the gross award (before expenses are deducted). Any fee negotiations should occur before you agree to hire an attorney, not after.

Hiring Illinois Boat Accident Lawyers for an Hourly Fee

Hourly fees (also known as hourly rates) are used in many types of legal practices, but are seldom used in personal injury work. That's because an hourly fee requires an Illinois boat accident victim-who may already be strapped for cash because of lost wages or expensive medical bills-to pay money out of pocket before the case is resolved. Many accident victims would be unable to afford an attorney if required to pay legal fees while the case is in progress.

If you are unable to find a lawyer who is willing to represent you on contingency, this may be a sign your case is weak or worth little money. Before agreeing to hire a lawyer for an hourly fee, make sure your case stands a relatively good chance of being successful. Most lawyers will give you a case assessment. Ask about your case's strengths and weaknesses, as well as an estimate of how much money you can reasonably hope to recover.

The Cost of Hiring Illinois Boat Accident Attorneys

When meeting with Illinois boat accident attorneys, discuss the financial aspects of your case. There are several key pieces of information you need to know in order to calculate the true cost to hire an attorney. Ask the lawyer:

  • Does he or she charge a contingency fee or an hourly fee?
  • How is the fee calculated?
  • How much money, if any, will you owe the lawyer if your case cannot be won or settled?
  • Will you be required to make an upfront deposit? Will you be required to pay legal fees and expenses on a regular basis?
  • How much does the attorney realistically expect you could receive if the case settles? If it is decided in court?
  • Approximately how much would you pay in attorney's fees if the case settles? If it is decided in court?
  • Approximately how much would you pay in legal expenses if the case settles? If it is decided in court?
  • Based on those estimates, how much money would remain, after fees and expenses, if the case settles? If it is decided in court?

Once you have a better understanding of how the lawyer charges for his or her time, and the estimated award amount, legal fees, and legal expenses, you'll know how much Illinois boat accident attorneys charge.

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