How Much Do Motorcycle Crash Attorneys Charge?
When you've been injured in a motorcycle accident, you may feel overwhelmed by the medical and repair bills. If you're thinking about hiring a lawyer, you may not even know if you can afford an attorney. This article will explain how motorcycle crash attorneys charge for their time.
Two Types of Legal Fees
Motorcycle crash attorneys-and all personal injury lawyers-generally charge for their services in one of two ways: contingency fee or hourly rates (also called hourly fees).
With a contingency fee, the attorney only gets paid if he or she successfully wins or settles your case. With an hourly rate, you pay the attorney for his or her actual time worked on the case regardless of the outcome. In both situations, you are also responsible for reimbursing the attorney for expenses incurred while working on your case. (Most contingency fee lawyers waive these expenses if you do not receive a financial settlement or judgment.)
Contingency Fees in Motorcycle Crash Cases
In personal injury cases, including motorcycle crash lawsuits, contingency fees are the most common fee arrangement. With a contingency fee, the lawyer is entitled to a percentage of any money awarded to the motorcycle crash victim. If you do not receive a financial settlement or judgment, you owe your lawyer no money.
The exact contingency fee percentage varies from region to region, but most motorcycle crash attorneys in an area generally charge the same percentage. This percentage will be disclosed before you agree to hire an attorney, and you can try to negotiate a lower percentage at the outset.
It's also valuable to clarify whether the attorney's percentage is calculated based on the gross award (before any expenses are deducted) or on the net award (after expenses are deducted).
There are two major advantages to contingency fees. First, your risk is minimal since you don't need to pay any money up front, nor do you have to pay if the attorney is unable to get an award in your favor. Additionally, because the attorney also stands to gain, he or she is financially motivated to obtain the largest possible award on your behalf.
The biggest downside to contingency fee arrangements is that if a case settles quickly, you may feel as if the attorney earned a bigger paycheck than he or she deserved.
Hourly Fees in Motorcycle Crash Lawsuits
When talking to motorcycle crash attorneys, you may discover that they're only willing to take you on as a client if you pay an hourly billing rate. This is probably a warning sign that the lawyers view your case as weak or not worth very much money. You should certainly feel free to ask a lawyer why they won't take your case on contingency.
Legal Fees for Motorcycle Crash Attorneys
When meeting with motorcycle crash attorneys, ask them to show you some examples that illustrate how much money you'd recover after legal fees and expenses. For example:
- How much is your case realistically worth if you go to trial? If you settle?
- How much of that award would be paid to the attorney?
- How much of that award would go toward paying the attorney's expenses?
- How much of that award would remain for you to cover your medical bills, bike repair bills, lost wages, and other expenses?
It's important to remember that you are obligated to pay your attorney's fees and expenses even if it means you're left with an amount that's less than your medical bills and other expenses.