How Much Does a Lawyer Cost for a Car Accident?

Car accidents can lead to debilitating injuries, medical expenses, lost income, and other serious complications. Moreover, if you suffered injuries in a car crash and go to file a claim with an insurance company, you will quickly find out that the insurance company, even your own, is not on your side. Consequently, you need a skilled car accident attorney to advocate for you every step of the way.

Unlike many lawyers who charge hourly fees, most car accident attorneys operate on a contingency fee basis. This means that the lawyer will not collect a fee unless they recover favorable monetary compensation for their client through settlement or litigation. If they do not recover any monetary damages for their client, they will not collect an attorney fee.

The amount of an attorney’s fee depends upon the specific percentage stated in the lawyer’s contingency fee agreement, or CFA. According to the CFA terms, at the end of the car accident case, a lawyer will collect a certain percentage of the accident victim’s gross settlement award, jury trial verdict amount, or binding arbitration award.

Generally, a lawyer’s contingency fee percentage will increase if they take the case to a civil jury trial or binding arbitration hearing rather than settle it out of court.

When retaining a car accident attorney to represent you, you should ask questions about the CFA and the percentage the lawyer will receive under the circumstances.

Once you sign a CFA and your attorney enters an appearance in your case, they can begin aggressively advocating for you and your legal interests. Specifically, your lawyer can file a car accident claim with the appropriate insurance company, negotiate with insurance company adjusters for favorable settlement compensation, or, if necessary, file a lawsuit in court and efficiently litigate your case to a resolution.

Your attorney can address all of your legal concerns, handle the legal process for you, and work to maximize the monetary damage award that you receive for all of your accident-related injuries and losses.

Who Causes Most Car Accidents?

How Much Does a Lawyer Cost for a Car Accident?

Most car crashes result from the negligent and reckless behavior of other drivers. For example, some car crashes happen when other drivers violate traffic laws, especially regarding speed limits, turn signal use, and right-of-way laws. A driver might also cause an accident by failing to use their rearview or sideview mirrors while driving or when backing out of a parking space in a parking garage or parking lot.

Car accidents also frequently result from distracted driving. A driver behaves distractedly when they do not watch the road in front of them attentively but instead focus on someone or something in their vehicle.

For example, drivers may become distracted when they fiddle with an electronic device, such as a cellular phone, tablet, or GPS navigation system. Other vehicle occupants may also prove distracting for drivers, especially if they make a lot of noise or engage in horseplay or roughhousing. In addition, drivers may become distracted when they apply makeup, comb their hair, or otherwise take their eyes off the road while behind the wheel.

Another common cause of traffic accidents is road rage or aggressive driving. Drivers frequently drive aggressively to move ahead of other vehicular traffic and arrive at their final destination sooner.

Common reckless driving maneuvers include:

  • Failing to use turn signals.
  • Aggressively weaving around traffic.
  • Tailgating other vehicles.
  • Speeding.
  • Cutting off other vehicles in traffic, especially at highway exits and merge lanes.

When a driver engages in these reckless driving maneuvers, they may inadvertently cause a single-vehicle crash or initiate a multi-vehicle pileup.

Finally, motor vehicle accidents may happen when drivers are intoxicated while behind the wheel. Drug and alcohol intoxication can lead to various physical and mental symptoms that affect a driver’s ability to drive safely and carefully. An intoxicated driver may experience multiple physical symptoms, including blurred vision and dizziness. As a result, they may not see another vehicle or a pedestrian in the vicinity.

Similarly, an intoxicated driver may experience various mental symptoms, including limited concentration, inability to judge distances, delayed reaction time, and delayed reflexes. Consequently, even if they see another vehicle or pedestrian, they may be unable to react in time to avoid a collision.

You are not alone if you suffer injuries from another driver’s reckless behavior in a car crash. Your personal injury attorney can explore all of your legal options and begin pursuing the favorable settlement compensation you deserve by filing a timely claim with the appropriate insurance company on your behalf.

What Happens When Another Driver Is Negligent?

When other drivers engage in careless and reckless driving, they may bring about accidents that leave other drivers and passengers with serious injuries.

Some of the most common types of car crashes that result from driver negligence include:

  • Rear-end accidents, where a driver negligently causes the front of their vehicle to hit the back of another vehicle, usually because they are speeding or tailgating
  • T-bone or broadside accidents, where a driver negligently fails to yield the right-of-way at a highway merge lane or four-way traffic intersection, causing the front of their vehicle to strike the side of another vehicle
  • Head-on collisions, where a driver passes another vehicle in a no-passing zone or otherwise crosses the double centerline, causing the front of the vehicle to hit the front of a vehicle approaching in the opposite direction
  • Sideswipe accidents, where a driver negligently causes their vehicle to drift into an adjacent travel lane, striking the side of another vehicle

If you suffered injuries in one of these accidents because of a negligent driver, you should immediately consult a personal injury lawyer about your legal options. Your lawyer can explore all of your options and select the one that best suits your individual needs and the needs of your case.

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What Are the Most Likely Car Crash Injuries?

Drivers and passengers in car accidents frequently stand to suffer severe injuries, depending upon the accident circumstances. The more forceful a collision, the higher the chances that an accident victim will suffer permanent and debilitating injuries.

Broken Bones in a Car Accident

Head-on collisions, where the front of one vehicle hits the front of an oncoming vehicle, are the most likely to cause permanent injuries and fatalities. However, other accidents may result in equally serious injuries that necessitate long-term medical treatment and care.

The injuries that a car crash victim suffers will usually depend on the amount of force involved, the type of accident that happens, how their body moves at the time of the accident, and whether a part of their body strikes a part of the vehicle, for instance, the steering wheel, window, door, or headrest.

Common accident-related injuries include soft tissue muscular contusions, traumatic head and brain injuries, rib fractures, eye injuries, mouth and teeth injuries, bone fractures, spinal cord damage, complete and incomplete paralysis injuries, internal bleeding, internal organ damage, open cuts, and lacerations, bruises from airbag deployment or seatbelts, and death.

After suffering one or more of these injuries in a car crash, your top priority should be immediately obtaining the medical treatment you need.

Suppose you follow up at a hospital emergency room or urgent care facility. In that case, you need to complete your medical treatment regimen, undergo the necessary medical procedures, and attend all physical therapy sessions per the treating medical provider’s recommendation.

By failing to treat consistently for your injuries or discharging yourself prematurely from treatment, you seriously jeopardize your health and the strength of your personal injury claim.

When accident victims are not treated continuously for their injuries, or if they self-discharge from treatment, the insurance company may become skeptical about the seriousness of their injuries and refuse to compensate them fairly and reasonably. However, if you complete all of your medical treatment, you show the insurance company that your injuries are severe and that they deserve significant monetary compensation.

Your car accident lawyer can begin working on your case when you are treated for your injuries. Specifically, they may begin gathering your medical treatment records, police reports, medical bills, lost-wage documentation from your employer, and other documentation to file a claim on your behalf as quickly as possible.

Filing the Proper Insurance Claim After a Car Accident

Filing Insurance Claim After a Car Accident

The type of insurance claim you file following a car accident will frequently depend upon the jurisdiction where your accident happened. For example, the state of Florida follows no-fault insurance laws when it comes to motor vehicle crashes. Therefore, in most instances, Florida accident victims will need to file a personal injury protection or PIP claim with their own insurance company.

As part of a PIP claim, accident victims may be eligible to receive compensation for medical expenses and lost earnings. Since PIP claims are not fault-based, it does not matter how or who caused the accident. Accident victims may still recover some monetary compensation. However, accident victims in these jurisdictions may file a third-party personal injury claim if they suffer a permanent or disabling injury in their accident.

In-fault-based jurisdictions like Washington state, accident victims typically need to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company from the onset.

Accident victims must typically satisfy a legal burden of proof to recover monetary damages as part of a third-party personal injury claim. Specifically, they must show that the other driver behaved in a reckless, careless, or negligent manner under the circumstances and that, as a result, the accident and their injuries both occurred.

Recovering Damages in a Third-party Personal Injury Claim for Negligence

If you can file a third-party personal injury claim seeking monetary damages, you may be entitled to recover additional compensation for your losses. Specifically, you can recover compensation for your medical expenses, loss of earnings, loss of earning capacity, and other out-of-pocket losses.

Additionally, you can recover compensation for your intangible losses. Those damages may compensate accident victims for their loss of spousal consortium, lifelong disability or disfigurement, pain and suffering, mental distress, inconvenience, lost quality of life, loss of the ability to use a body part, and long-term care costs.

Since every third-party personal injury case differs, not all accident victims can recover the same types and amounts of monetary damages. A car accident attorney in your case can determine your eligibility for filing a third-party claim or lawsuit.

If you move forward, your lawyer can aggressively negotiate with insurance company representatives on your behalf or, if necessary, litigate your case to a conclusion in court. If your case must proceed to litigation, your lawyer can represent you at all legal proceedings and advocate aggressively for your legal interests.

Talk with an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Right Away

If you sustained injuries in a car accident case, time is of the essence. Therefore, consult a local personal injury attorney as quickly as possible. Your lawyer will explain how their contingency fee arrangement works, and you should ask them any questions you may have.

Tatiana Boohoff - Attorney for Car Accident
Tatiana Boohoff, Car Accident Lawyer

After you sign a CFA, your lawyer can begin aggressively advocating on your behalf by filing the appropriate claim, negotiating with insurance company representatives, and pursuing the compensation you need and deserve for your car accident losses.

In your initial consultation with a car accident attorney, expect a thorough discussion of your case. You’ll share details about the incident, injuries, and any communication with insurance companies.

The attorney will assess your claim, explain legal options, and outline potential strategies. They’ll also discuss their fee structure and how they can assist you in pursuing compensation. This meeting provides a valuable opportunity to establish trust and determine if the attorney is the right fit for your needs. Bring any relevant documents, such as accident reports and medical records, to help facilitate the discussion.

Do not delay in beginning the claim process. The sooner you start, the sooner you might receive the compensation you need.

November 5, 2023
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