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How Much Do North Carolina Boat Accident Attorneys Charge?

The total cost of hiring North Carolina boat accident attorneys to represent you in a personal injury case will depend on a number of factors. Chief among these is the type of fee arrangement you have with your attorney.

Most personal injury lawyers, including North Carolina boat accident lawyers, charge their clients either a contingency fee (meaning you pay the lawyer a percentage of any money you receive) or an hourly rate (meaning you pay the lawyer for the actual time he or she works on your case regardless of your case's outcome).

Other factors affecting the cost of hiring North Carolina boat accident attorneys include:

  • The lawyer's hourly billing rate or contingency fee percentage
  • Whether the case settles or goes to trial
  • The amount of money you receive from the party at fault in the boating accident (if you've hired a lawyer on contingency fee)
  • How much your lawyer spends on legal expenses in connection with your case

Contingency Fees

Contingency fees are most commonly used in personal injury cases. When hiring a lawyer on contingency, you do not need to make a deposit nor do you pay the lawyer while the case is ongoing. If you successfully win or settle the case, your lawyer is paid a percentage of any money you receive, plus expenses. If the case cannot be won or settled, the attorney receives nothing. Because your lawyer stands to benefit financially from a large award, he or she will be motivated to work hard on your case.

When negotiating a contingency fee arrangement, you can try to see if the lawyer will accept a lower percentage contingency fee. You can also ask the lawyer to calculate his or her fee based on the net award (after expenses have been deducted) and not the gross award (before expenses have been deducted).

Hourly Fees

Although hourly fees (also known as hourly rates) are common in many types of law practices, they are relatively uncommon in personal injury cases. Most North Carolina boat accident victims prefer not to hire attorneys for an hourly fee because you'll have to pay money up front and make regular payments while the case is in progress. If money is already tight because you've had to pay medical bills or take time off of work as result of your injury, this may create a hardship.

If you are unable to find a lawyer who is willing to take your case on contingency, this may be a sign that your case is weak or worth little money. Before investing money to hire a lawyer, make sure you get a thorough assessment of your case and understand what size award you could realistically expect to receive.

The Cost of Hiring North Carolina Boat Accident Attorneys

As you meet with North Carolina boat accident attorneys, ask each one to explain, in detail, how much they cost. Among the information you want to know:

  • Do they charge an hourly fee or contingency fee?
  • What is their fee?
  • How much money can you realistically expect to receive from the party at fault in your boating accident? Is that amount the same regardless of whether you settle or go to trial?
  • Based on that amount, how much money would you owe the lawyer if you settle? If you go to trial?
  • How much would you pay in legal expenses if you settle? If you go to trial?
  • How much money would remain after you pay the legal fees and expenses if you settle? If you go to trial?
  • Would you owe any money if you cannot win or settle the case?

Once you have this information broken down, you'll have a much more accurate estimate of the cost of hiring a North Carolina boat accident lawyer.