Search thousands of topics on CostHelper.com

BROWSE ALL TOPICS >> appliances babies & children  cars  consumer electronics health & personal care home & garden personal finance  pets  schools small business weddings
CostHelper > Personal Finance  > Legal > Car Accident Lawsuit

Car Accident Lawsuit Cost


How Much Does a Car Accident Lawsuit Cost?

 
low costLow: Small Claims Court Fees Run $20-$320+average costMedium: Personal Injury Attorneys on Contingency Typically Charge 30-40% of the Settlement
post E-mail post Post   Comments (2)

Many car accident claims are settled without legal assistance when it's clear who's at fault and the damages and injuries are minor. However, if the facts are in dispute, you may want to hire an attorney and file a lawsuit.

Typical costs:

  • If the amount in dispute is less than $2,500-$15,000 (the maximum allowed varies by state), you could handle the case yourself in Small Claims Court, usually without lawyers. Filing fees and other costs can run $20-$320 or more.
  • Property damage claims (reimbursement for repairing/replacing your car) are handled separately from injury claims. Because the amounts involved are often much less than medical bills, lost wages and pain-and-suffering costs from injuries, many attorneys do not handle the property damage portion of a claim, but will give you tips about negotiating with the insurance company or pursuing a case in small claims court. In some cases, a lawyer who is handling your injury lawsuit may also handle your property damage claim at no additional charge.
  • For injury lawsuits (where the other driver is at fault), most lawyers work on a contingency basis -- they don't get paid until you do, and then they take anywhere from 30-40 percent of the money received. (Generally the lawyer's percentage is lower if the case is settled pretrial, and higher if it goes to trial or is appealed.) If you don't get any money in a settlement or court judgment, you don't owe any legal fees. Some lawyers charge a percentage of all money received; others take their percentage after the medical bills are paid. In a case with $50,000 in medical costs and a $100,000 settlement, a lawyer charging 33 percent of the total gets $33,000.
  • In addition to your lawyer's fees, there are also court costs, expert witness fees, investigation charges, clerical labor and other expenses. In most states your attorney will pay these and be reimbursed out of the final settlement/judgment. These costs start around $1,000-$2,000 for a simple case but can go much higher, depending on what's involved. A lawyer might also advance you the costs of your medical care, but in some states this is considered unethical. Your medical costs may also be paid by your health insurance and then be reimbursed out of the settlement/judgment.
Related articles: Property Damage Lawsuit, Small Claims Court

What should be included:
  • It's important to keep good records, starting with information about any other drivers involved and any potential witnesses. FindLaw.com explains what to do[1] after an auto accident and lists insurance claim do's and don'ts[2] .
  • During the pre-trial "discovery" phase, both sides exchange information about the case. If the other attorney is trying to show that in some way you contributed to the accident or had pre-existing injuries, your private life and information may become part of the court record. There's also the possibility of an appeal, but it's rare in auto accident cases.
  • Alternatives to court include mediation (voluntarily meeting with a trained mediator to attempt to resolve the dispute) and arbitration (an agreed-upon arbitrator hears the evidence and, judge-like, decides how to settle the dispute). If you'd like to avoid court, ask the insurance company or any other parties in the dispute if they're willing to submit the case to mediation or arbitration.
Shopping for a car accident lawsuit:
  • Car accidents are one type of personal injury law cases. Ask about the attorney's training and experience, particularly with car accident cases. Lawers.com explains how to select[3] a personal injury lawyer. FindLaw.com lists documents to show[4] an attorney after a car accident and provides a checklist[5] for preparing for a first meeting with an attorney.
  • Search for car accident lawyers at FindLaw.com[6] and the American Bar Association[7] .
  • Your attorney should provide you with a written fee agreement. Be sure you understand exactly how and when the fees will be deducted from any settlement/judgment you receive.
post E-mail post Post   Comments (2)
CostHelper News


Forgotten Expenses In a Home Addition Budget
Items like construction costs, permit fees or debris removal aren't the only expenses to consider when calculating the total costs of a home remodeling project. || Posted August 5 2013


7 Ways to Stretch Your Reduced Food Budget
End of the year budgets are tight for everyone, especially in this economy.It's especially hard for the millions of Americans who depend on government programs like food stamps to help make ends meet. || Posted November 11 2013

‣ All CostHelper Blog Posts


What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
att. ken nugent in augusta ga
Amount: $4,500.00 total
Posted by: rebecca newman in lincolnton, GA.Posted: October 6th, 2009 05:10PM
Firm: ken nugentPercentage of Settlement: to damn much
allow me to say he got more than he deserved i only got 2,500 he didn't even pay any of my medical bills like he said he did because they contacted me and i had to pay them the insurance company that was being sued said that what i was suppose to get was 4xs larger than what i got that is why i don't trust lawyers and i was in an accident sept. 14 of this year and the guy who hit me was at fault that lawyer screwed me and it won't happen agian
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
Attorney
Amount: $0.00 total
Posted by: Gene in Brooklyn, NY.Posted: February 4th, 2009 07:02AM
Firm: anyPercentage of Settlement: 33.3
You don't pay unless attorney wins or settles your case.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam


 

Comment On Your Experience With a Car Accident Lawsuit
 
Subject:  *
Amount Spent:  * total
Firm: Percentage of Settlement: 
Comments: 
Purchased:  Year: 
City:  * State:  *
 
Information about you:
Email:  * Email addresses are not displayed.
Name:  This is the name we'll display with your post.
me on this computer
*=required field.
 



External Resources:
  1.  injury.findlaw.com/car-accidents/after-a-car-accident-first-steps.html
  2.  injury.findlaw.com/car-accidents/car-insurance-claims-dos-and-don-ts.html
  3.  personal-injury.lawyers.com/Personal-Injury-Basics/Personal-Injury-Selecting-a-Good-Law...
  4.  injury.findlaw.com/car-accidents/documents-to-show-your-attorney-after-a-motor-vehicle-...
  5.  injury.findlaw.com/car-accidents/checklist-preparing-to-meet-with-your-attorney-after-a...
  6.  lawyers.findlaw.com/lawyer/practice/Motor-Vehicle-Accidents----Plaintiff
  7.  apps.americanbar.org/legalservices/findlegalhelp/home.cfm
More Personal Finance Topics
Check Out All Costs for Personal Finance How Much Do Funeral Flowers Cost? How Much Do Tax Returns Cost? How Much Does Closing a Home Cost?

Search Thousands of Topics on CostHelper.com




Today's Featured Cost Articles

About CostHelper
CostHelper is based in Silicon Valley and provides consumers with unbiased price information about thousands of goods and services. Our writers are experienced journalists who adhere to our strict editorial ethics policy.

CostHelper Community
simple re-keying turned into outrageous replacements
Paid: 1100.00
I wanted locks rekeyed for a purchased home. I found a locksmith who runs his own business and is a one man team. $40 fee, $25 each lock for labor, and parts. Fair enough. I told him I wanted 3 locks rekeyed and one broken lock replaced... [more]
-expensive lesson
Door Lock Cost
Braces 12 yr old son
Paid: 5100.00
Insurance will pay 2000. Try not to deal with a office accepting Horizon NJ Health /Medicaid. Your child may end up waiting over 30 minutes over the scheduled appointment because Medicaid pts. need to be seen first... [more]
-LavenderBlue
Braces Cost
Child 2 surface Cavity Fill
Paid: 170.00
My dentist charges $170 for a 2-surface filling on an elementary aged child. Total bill for 9 cavities and 6 sealants is $1900... [more]
-
Cavity Filling Cost
Shingles Vaccine
Paid: 162.50
Presented at Dr. Office with mild shingles diagnosis. Was given vaccine to treat possible post shingles neuralgia. Poster in exam room showed CDC FDA protocol guidelines changed from age 60 to age 50... [more]
-Flyngator
Shingles Vaccine Cost
Air duct and furnace cleaning
Paid: 320.00
Found a deal on groupon for $59, for duct cleaning. Two guys came out a week later. They cleaned all the vents then stuck a vacuum in the main vent, they said, and let the machine go to work... [more]
-Torro
Duct Cleaning Cost
timing chain replacement
Paid: 2000.00
2001 F150 timing chain, I'm getting quoted a grand more everyone on this site, why is that?... [more]
-Chris Clingshoff
Replacing a Timing Chain Cost