Car accidents are an unfortunate reality on American roads every single day and Wilmington, North Carolina is not an exception. No matter how safely you operate your vehicle, drunk, reckless, distracted, or otherwise negligent drivers can cause you to crash.
If you have been injured in a Wilmington car accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact our Wilmington, North Carolina auto accident lawyers today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation and case evaluation.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Wilmington Car Accident Lawyer?
If you have been involved in an auto accident in Wilmington, the decision of whether or not to hire a car accident lawyer is a big one you have to make. Hiring a lawyer can be the difference between a large settlement or receiving just a fraction of what the case is actually worth.
In North Carolina, car accident lawyer fees are usually based on a contingency arrangement as opposed to hourly fees. Still, the lawyer is also compensated for some of the reimbursable costs and expenses associated with the case.
Car Accident Lawyer Compensation Structure
Car accident lawyers in North Carolina generally charge a contingency fee as previously explained. This means that they will receive a percentage of the settlement if they manage to win the case. Other payment terms include a retainer fee and a flat fee.
A flat fee is used when you only need the lawyer to do a specific task for you, such as writing a demand letter. A retainer, on the other hand, is basically an advance to the attorney – you provide them with funds upfront from which they have the option of withdrawing their portion of the settlement in case you win.
Your attorney will most likely charge an hourly fee if you are a defendant in a car accident case. This means that the lawyer will charge a set amount for every hour worked on your case. Lawyers who are more experienced will generally charge more hourly than those with less experience.
Contingency fees are the most common form of payment when you hire a car accident lawyer. With a contingency fee agreement, your lawyer will only be paid if they actually win a settlement. The contingency fee is paid as a percentage of the total amount of the settlement.
A contingency fee arrangement is usually a good option if you have a challenging case or don’t have too much cash on hand to obtain legal representation upfront. It also incentivizes the lawyer to work diligently to win your case.
What Factors Influence the Percentage Charged for a Contingency Fee?
When the client first hires the lawyer, they agree that the lawyer will receive a certain percentage of the client’s compensation. If the lawyer wins the client’s case or obtains a settlement, the lawyer takes their fees from that sum of money.
The contingency is usually between 25 and 40 percent of the client’s final compensation. A variety of factors impact how much a lawyer may charge as a contingency fee, including:
- The lawyer’s education, resources, skills, and experience
- The complexity of the car accident case
- The location or region of the law firm
- Whether the lawyer has acquired any certifications or specializations
- The lawyer’s record and trial experience
- The facts of the case – whether the case involves wrongful death, children’s injuries, multiple vehicles, government entities, a commercial truck, catastrophic injuries, etc.
It may be helpful to remember that you may have to pay slightly more for a lawyer with more experience and resources. However, doing so could also mean a more significant settlement amount for you.
Case Expenses and Costs
Case expenses and costs may sound very generalized, but a good car accident lawyer will gladly explain what additional fees are associated with moving a case forward using an accident claim. By representing you without any costs upfront, your lawyer agrees to use their resources on your behalf and take their payment after recovering compensation.
A car accident lawyer will typically incur the following case expenses and costs:
- Court filing fees
- Travel and mileage expenses
- Copy and postage costs
- Expert witness fees
- Process servers
- Costs of obtaining records, such as car accident reports and medical records
- Deposition fees and costs
How much the final cost of the case will be depends entirely on the nature of the accident and how much litigation took place. Ensure that you discuss the costs of the case with your lawyer before hiring the law firm to handle your case.
Wilmington law firms typically pay the costs of the case, but those costs are reimbursed from your settlement proceeds. It can also be a good idea to find out from the lawyer whether you will be responsible for these costs if they fail to recover money for your claim.
Hurt in a Car Accident in Wilmington?
Our Wilmington injury lawyers want the legal system to be as accessible as possible to all Wilmington residents regardless of the amount of money they have. We also know that many people that require a lawyer the most following a crash that wasn’t their fault are usually people facing the greatest financial struggles.
If you or a loved one was hurt in an auto accident in Wilmington, don’t hesitate to contact us today at (844) 387-8677 for your free consultation and case evaluation. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you recover the compensation you are rightfully entitled to.