How Expensive Is It to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer in Florida?
Paul Brannon | June 9, 2022 | Car Accident
According to the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), over 17 million drivers in Florida get into almost 400,000 accidents annually. Approximately one-third of these car accidents result in injuries.
Between vehicle damage and injuries, almost a million people might need a car accident lawyer. If you are one of those people, you probably wonder how expensive that lawyer will be.
The Cost of a Lawyer Depends on Your Case
Nearly all car accident lawyers charge contingency fees. With this method of charging legal fees, your attorney only gets paid if they can get money for you. Until you receive money, the lawyer covers all expenses involved in the case. The lawyers take a set percentage of your award as a fee if you are paid.
The Average Contingency Fee
Regardless of the exact fee structure, your attorney will tell you in advance exactly what percentage they will take when you are awarded money. If you don’t like the deal they are offering, you can take your case to a different lawyer. In most cases, the percentage is around 33%.
Cases that Are Unlikely to Win Money
Because attorneys that work on contingency are only paid if they get you money, they will evaluate your case before agreeing to take it. If they don’t believe you can win or don’t believe you can get any meaningful amount of money (even if they do win), they are likely to refuse your case.
Some attorneys will agree to accept hourly fees for these types of cases, but that could end up costing you thousands of dollars, with no meaningful award at the end of the case.
How Do Lawyers Know What Cases to Take?
The simple answer is that lawyers don’t always know what cases they should take. Lawyers will evaluate your case based on the evidence available and make an educated guess on whether it is worth taking your case.
From experience in the field and from interacting with insurance companies, they can usually make a pretty good estimate about how much money you will be able to get either from a settlement or from a trial.
But sometimes, that guess proves wrong. And when it does, the attorney simply doesn’t get paid for any of the work they do. If an attorney realizes early enough that the case isn’t likely to result in monetary awards, they may drop your case and eat the losses.
However, at a certain point, the attorney is bound by law to see it through to the end.
Except for not getting compensation, you won’t be financially harmed if your attorney can’t get you a monetary award.
The single exception is if you lied to your attorney about the details of the case. If your lies convinced the attorney to take a case that was unlikely to result in a monetary award, you could find yourself liable for attorney costs and fees. You might even be sued by your attorney.
Win More, Pay More
As a simple rule of thumb, the more you win in a car accident settlement or trial, the more your attorney makes. This encourages your attorney to try to get you as much money as possible, so it usually works out well for you. That’s one of the primary benefits of the contingency fee system, as is the fact that you’ll pay nothing upfront for your legal representation.
Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in Northwest Florida
We have two convenient locations in Northwest Florida:
Brannon & Brannon Personal Injury Attorneys – Destin Office
4507 Furling Ln Suite 214
Destin, FL 32541
Brannon & Brannon Personal Injury Attorneys – Fort Walton Beach Office
975 Mar Walt Dr
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547