How Much Do Trucking Accident Lawyers Cost?
Between recovering from the trauma of a trucking accident and dealing with the bills, a trucking accident injury can be overwhelming. You may have thought about hiring a lawyer, but not know whether you can afford to hire one. This article explains how trucking accident lawyers charge for their services.
Most truck injury lawyers charge their clients either a contingency fee or an hourly fee. The contingency fee is the more common in personal injury cases, which would include cases involving trucking accident injuries.
When you hire an attorney on contingency you pay the lawyer nothing upfront, and you pay the lawyer nothing if he or she is unable to obtain a financial settlement or judgment in your favor.
If the truck accident lawyer recovers money on your behalf, he or she is paid a percentage of that money. Percentages vary from region to region, and you'll want to negotiate the percentage before deciding whether to hire an attorney. Any expenses the attorney incurred in obtaining the money will also be deducted from the award. You'll want to know whether the trucking accident lawyer's percentage will be deducted from the gross award-before expenses are deducted-or from the net award-after expenses are deducted.
When you hire an attorney on contingency, that attorney has a financial incentive to get you the biggest settlement or judgment possible.
As you meet trucking accident lawyers, you may find that some of them are unwilling to represent you on contingency, but offer to take your case and bill you an hourly rate for the work they do. You would be obligated to pay the attorney's fees and expenses regardless of whether you win or lose your trucking accident case.
While hourly fees are common in many types of legal work-such as divorce cases-they are uncommon in personal injury cases. You should be wary if attorneys are not interested in taking your trucking accident lawsuit on contingency because it probably means you do not have a strong case.
Selecting Among Trucking Accident Lawyers
When interviewing trucking accident lawyers who charge a contingency fee, there are several pieces of critical information that you should ask for:
- What is your contingency fee? (In other words, what percentage of a settlement or judgment would you owe the attorney?) Is that fee calculated based on the gross or net award?
- How much do you realistically think you could obtain for me in a settlement or judgment?
- How much do you expect to incur in expenses?
Of course, you'll want to be skeptical of attorneys who suggest you could obtain a settlement or judgment that's significantly higher than other attorneys' estimates. You'll also want to be skeptical if an attorney suggests that total expenses will be substantially lower than other attorneys' estimates.
With those three pieces of information, you'll be able to estimate how much money you would receive if your lawyer is successful in obtaining a financial settlement or judgment on your behalf. This should help you chose a truck injury lawyer to handle your case.