Indianapolis car accident victims often avoid hiring legal help because they fear the costs. It is true that, in some cases, Indianapolis car accident attorney fees can reach substantial amounts. However, most of the time, the amounts are not just worth paying but payable upon recovery.
It all depends on the attorney the accident victim works with and the type of payment agreement they have. There are several types of payment agreements available. They determine when, how, and how much an attorney gets paid. We will review the most common ones in the following lines.
Three Common Types of Payment Agreements Indianapolis Car Accident Lawyers Use
1. Flat Fee
Some auto accident lawyers will review a case and set a flat fee for handling it. They will charge their client no matter if they win or lose. Some will apply the same fee no matter if the case settles of they go to court. Others will establish additional fees for representing their clients in court.
While a flat fee agreement allows the accident victim to control costs from the beginning, it provides few to no guarantees. If their claim is rejected, the claimant will pay the attorney out of their own pocket.
This can be a huge financial burden for someone recovering from severe injuries, who lost wages and incurs huge medical expenses. Moreover, payments often begin upon signing the agreement and continue until the case is resolved, no matter the outcome.
2. Hourly Rate
Quite a few Indianapolis car accident attorneys charge their clients by the hour. Their fees usually reflect their experience and reputation. As a result, going for the lowest rates could be dangerous.
This payment agreement may seem convenient in easy cases but it is also risky. After all, the accident victim has no way of anticipating the number of hours of service their case will require. If the insurer rejects their claim, costs can skyrocket.
Moreover, they will need to pay no matter if they win or lose. In fact, lost cases are often the most costly when this type of agreement is used. It is not uncommon for some personal injury lawyers to charge their clients for a full hour after working on the case for only 15 minutes.
3. Contingent Fee
Luckily, there are also auto accident lawyers who understand what their clients are going through. They accept to be paid based on results, and this type of agreement usually benefits both parties. It is called a contingency fee, and it represents a percentage of the compensation the lawyer obtains for their client.
Contingency fees usually start at 20-25% for simple cases and may reach 40, even 45% for court trials. They may seem high, but most accident victims consider them worth paying for several reasons:
- The fee covers all case expenses (filing fees, expert fees, transportation costs, investigations, etc.)
- The payment only takes place at the end, from the compensation the victim receives
- Victims who do not recover their losses do not pay any fees
- The agreement motivates the lawyer to seek the maximum compensation
- The fee is directly proportional to the compensation, so the victim does not risk owing more than they obtain
One of the most important aspects to consider is that this is the only agreement that covers case expenses. With the other agreements, the claimant has to pay those expenses out of their own pocket, as they arise. Even better, many car accident attorneys help their clients pay for medical care and car repair services when they recover.
For all these reasons and more, contingent fee agreements are the most beneficial for both parties. They are risk-free for the accident victim and quite enticing for the Indianapolis car accident lawyer. Most of the times, such agreements bring about record compensations.
Even after paying the attorney fees, accident victims are left with enough money to pay off their debts and start fresh. Of course, the fact that an attorney accepts contingent fee agreements does not mean that they are the right person for you. The only way to tell is to meet them in person and talk to them.
Schedule a Free Consultation with an Indianapolis Car Accident Attorney
Stewart|Phelps|Wood Injury Lawyers not only accepts contingent fee agreements but provides free case reviews as well. This means you can find out how much your case is worth and how to approach it without paying. Call our office or fill in the contact form and let our Indianapolis auto accident attorney provide the solutions you need!