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How Much Do Illinois Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Charge?

The price of Illinois motorcycle accident attorneys depends on several factors, including:

  • Whether the lawyer charges an hourly fee or a contingency fee
  • Whether your case settles or is resolved in court
  • Whether and how much money you receive from the party at fault in your motorcycle accident
  • How much money your attorney spends on related expenses while handling your case
  • Of these, the biggest influence on the cost of an attorney is the type of fee arrangement. When you hire a lawyer for a contingency fee, the lawyer receives a percentage of any financial award you are paid, plus expenses. You owe the lawyer nothing if the case cannot be won or settled. When hire a lawyer for an hourly fee, you pay the lawyer for the actual time he or she works on your case, regardless of outcome, plus expenses.

    Hiring a Lawyer on Contingency

    Most Illinois motorcycle accident attorneys work on contingency. Contingency fees offer several advantages to Illinois motorcycle accident victims. Among them:

    • You pay the attorney no money at the outset of your case
    • You only pay the lawyer if the case is resolved in your favor
    • Because the lawyer has a vested interest in your case, he or she should work hard on your behalf to secure the largest possible award

    If there is a disadvantage to contingency fees, it's that if your case settles quickly or for a large sum, you may feel as if the lawyer didn't fully earn his or her fee.

    When negotiating to hire an Illinois motorcycle accidents lawyer, you can try to negotiate 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. Any fee negotiations should occur before you agree to hire an attorney.

    Hiring Illinois Motorcycle Accident Attorneys for an Hourly Fee

    Hourly fees (also known as hourly rates) are common in many areas of law (including divorce and criminal cases), but are fairly uncommon in personal injury cases including motorcycle accidents. With an hourly fee, you pay for all of the time the attorney spends on your case, including expenses, regardless of whether you win or lose the case.

    The lawyer will probably ask you to make a deposit, called a retainer fee, before he or she starts working on your case. You'll also be asked to regularly pay the lawyer's fees and expenses.

    When meeting and interviewing Illinois motorcycle accident lawyers, you may discover that none is willing to take your case on contingency. If attorneys are only willing to represent you for an hourly fee, this may be a sign that your case is worth little money or is weak. Before hiring a lawyer for an hourly fee, consider asking the lawyer why he or she is unwilling to represent you on contingency.

    Hiring an Illinois Motorcycle Accident Attorney

    Before agreeing to hire a lawyer, make sure you thoroughly understand how much you will be paying if your case settles, if you win at trial, and if your case is ultimately unsuccessful. For example, ask the lawyer:

    • How much money will I owe you if we do not win or settle my case?
    • How much money do you estimate my lawsuit is worth if we settle the case? If we win at trial?
    • Using those estimates, how much would I pay in legal fees if we settle the case? Win the case?
    • How much would I owe you in legal expenses if we settle the case? Win the case?
    • How much money would remain after fees and expenses if we settle the case? If we win the case?

    Once you have a complete understanding of estimated legal fees and expenses, you'll have a much more accurate estimate of how much money would realistically remain to pay your motorcycle accident-related expenses.