According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were an estimated 628,370 lawyers employed in the United States in 2017, which does not include self-employed attorneys, and in Georgia alone, the American Bar Association estimates that there were over 31 thousand lawyers in 2017. Like any industry, there are certain practices that are standard in the majority of law firms in our state.
These standards are generally formed by the rules established by the Georgia Bar Association and the Georgia Supreme Court. They govern most areas involved in the practice of law such as an attorney’s conduct, financial practices, and interactions with clients to name a few. Moreover, they also give certain guidelines that govern what fees an attorney can charge.
Attorney’s Fees in Car Accident Cases in Georgia
In car accident cases and some other areas of personal injury law, attorneys typically utilize a contingency fee structure. A contingency fee agreement is a contract between you and your lawyer, and contingency fee contracts must contain certain elements according to the rules for contingency fee agreements established by the Georgia Bar Association. According to those rules, a contingency fee contract must contain the following pieces of information pertaining to contingency fees and costs:
- A contingency fee contract must always be in writing.
- The agreement must specify how the fee is calculated in the event of a settlement, trial, appeal, and litigation.
- The agreement must specify what expenses will be deducted from any recovery and whether or not the attorney’s fee is calculated before or after the deduction of expenses.
What are the Benefits of Contingency Fees?
Contingency fees are standard in car accident cases, because they provide you with a number of benefits that are crucial to the successful conclusion of your case. Some of these benefits include:
- You are not required to pay any money up front or through the life of your claim.
- Your attorney is ultimately paid based on their performance, which in turn motivates them to secure the largest recovery possible in your case.
- You are not required to pay for any expenses out of pocket, and expenses are ultimately deducted from your recovery.
- You can focus on recovering from your injuries without the stress of trying to figure out how you will pay your legal fees.
How are Contingency Fees Normally Calculated?
Normally, a contingency fee is a percentage of the settlement or award amount secured on your behalf by your lawyer. Typically, the percentage charged by an attorney will change if the case moves into various parts of the litigation process. For example, the amount you pay your lawyer for securing a settlement on your behalf, without filing suit, will be less than if the attorney has to formally file a lawsuit in your case. The reason being, filing a lawsuit is complex and requires a higher degree of time and effort on the part of your lawyer to be successful. Therefore, the contingency fee contract will usually declare that the amount charged by the lawyer will change in the event that filing suit is needed.
What Types of Costs are Normal in a Car Accident Case in Georgia?
There are costs associated with every legal matter, but one benefit of a contingency fee arrangement is that the costs associated with your claim are paid for by your lawyer initially. Once a settlement or award has been received in your case, the attorney will deduct the value of the costs, that were paid for by your lawyer on your behalf, from your settlement proceeds. Typical costs in a car accident case include fees for medical records, expert witness testimony, court reporter services, and serving subpoenas.
Car Accident Lawyer in Atlanta, GA
If you are involved in a car accident, a contingency fee arrangement with your attorney can prove to be an invaluable asset that allows you to focus on your physical recovery, as opposed to how you’re going to afford your legal fees. At Cambre and Associates, we have been working under a contingency fee structure in car accident cases for years, because we believe that this system benefits our clients. Moreover, if we don’t secure a recovery in your case, you won’t owe us an attorney’s fee at all. So call our office today for a free consultation with a car accident lawyer that is dedicated to helping you.
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