When you start looking for an attorney to represent you in a car accident case in Texas, one of your first thoughts may be, “How much is this going to cost me?” This is a fair question, especially if you cannot work due to an accident. How are you going to pay for an attorney? What is the cost? 

What Are Contingency Fee Agreements? 

Accident attorneys understand this concern and the difficulty potential clients may have in paying upfront or as the case progresses. This is why most Texas accident attorneys work on a “contingency fee” basis. This means that your attorney will not get a fee unless he or she recovers money for you, either through settlement or as an award following a trial. No money, no fee.

The fee that the attorney earns is a percentage of the money recovered for you. The percentage varies depending on many factors: your location, the extent of your injuries, the complexity of establishing liability (who is responsible for the accident), the lawyer’s education and experience, the usual fee charged for your kind of case, the need for experts to prove your case, and other factors. 

How Much Is the Attorney Paid? 

Usually, contingency fee agreements allow the lawyer to be paid between 33% and 40% of your recovery. The higher percentage most often comes into play if the lawyer has to go beyond settlement negotiations and file a lawsuit to get your compensation. Litigating a case is significantly more complicated and time-consuming than settlement and justifies the higher percentage. The fee agreement will set out in detail how the attorney is to be paid.

How much the attorney receives from the money they secure for you depends on the percentage of the contingency fee and the amount recovered. For example, if the fee agreement provides for a 33.33% contingency fee and the attorney is able to settle your case for $90,000, the attorney’s fee will be $30,000, and the amount paid to you will be $60,000. If you are awarded $90,000 following a trial and the fee agreement provides for a 40% contingency, the attorney’s fee will be $36,000, and the amount paid to you will be $54,000.

The fee agreement will tell you the percentage that the attorney will recover. It may be a flat 33% no matter how the money is recovered, or it may be 33% if the case is settled and 40% if the case goes to trial. You should read the fee agreement carefully and make sure you understand how you are going to pay your attorney. Go over different scenarios with the attorney to see how the fee percentage will affect your recovery.

A contingency fee arrangement allows you to engage an attorney without having to pay fees upfront. Only when the attorney recovers money for you will you owe a fee. The percentage set out in the agreement takes into account the fact that the attorney receives no pay while working on your case and doesn’t collect a fee until the end.

Feed and Costs

A Texas accident attorney most often works on a contingency fee basis, taking a percentage of the  money recovered. However, there is a difference between “fees” and “costs.”  While the fee for the attorney is paid at the end, costs incurred in settling the case or taking it to trial may have to be paid as the case goes on. 

Costs can include paying for a copy of medical records, copying costs, postage, court costs, paying a court recorder, paying for an expert to review your records, and other payments. These are costs that you will pay out of pocket. They do not go to the attorney as a fee; they are paid to the doctor’s office, expert, court reporter, or other person charging you for services. 

Sometimes, a law firm will front these costs and then bill you for them. The firm may also enter into an agreement with you to reimburse the firm out of the money recovered at the end of the case.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Car Accident Lawyer to Learn More About Fee Agreements 

You should read the fee agreement carefully and understand how you are to pay the costs and fees incurred in your case. Your lawyer may be able to estimate the costs involved (although they are dependent on many factors) so you can plan for payment. This will impact your determination of how much it will cost you to hire an attorney for your accident case.

Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in Texas

If you’ve been injured in an accident in Fort Worth or Dallas and need legal help, contact our car accident lawyers at Anderson Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation. We proudly serve Tarrant County, Dallas County, and throughout Texas.

Anderson Injury Lawyers – Fort Worth Office
1310 W El Paso St, Fort Worth, TX 76102
(817) 294-1900

Anderson Injury Lawyers – Fort Worth Office (Secondary)
6618 Fossil Bluff Dr # 108, Fort Worth, TX 76137
(817) 631-4113

Anderson Injury Lawyers – Dallas Office
408 W Eighth St Suite 202, Dallas, TX 75208
(214) 327-8000

Anderson Injury Lawyers – Dallas Office (Secondary)
6301 Gaston Ave suite 610, Dallas, TX 75214
(469) 457-4711