Most lawyers use a contingency basis to charge for truck accident cases. That means you pay a percentage of the settlement only if you win. Florida law prohibits excessive fees and costs and caps contingency fees at 33 ⅓% of the total settlement up to the first $1 million.
For the second million, the maximum rate is 30%, and it reduces to 20% for any portion of the recovery exceeding $2 million. However, there are other out-of-pocket fees such as court costs and expert witness fees that will also be deducted from the settlement.
A good attorney is upfront about all these charges so that you can make informed decisions. At Lawlor, White & Murphey, we’re skilled Florida attorneys who will handle your truck accident case on a contingency basis. You won’t have to pay anything upfront, and the first consultation is free.
Who Pays Out of Pocket Costs?
When you’re working with a large, reputable law firm with a lot of resources, the firm will likely pay out-of-pocket costs for you and charge them later to your settlement. This is important because there are many expenses for which you may not have the money on hand, such as:
- Investigator fees
- Postage costs
- Costs for acquiring police reports, medical records, and other documentation
- Court costs, such as filing fees and court reporter fees
- Expert witness fees
But what happens if you lose the case? Some lawyers will still require you to repay these fees from your own pocket. Others only require you to repay a portion of the fees. Each lawyer deals with these costs differently, and the important thing is to be open and honest about them.
If a lawyer takes your case on a contingency basis, they should let you know what the fee covers. For example, the fee may not cover appeals if you lose your case at trial.
Hourly Fees vs Contingency Fees for Truck Accident Cases
Some lawyers may charge you hourly fees for a truck accident case instead of a contingency fee. This can happen if your case isn’t too strong and the lawyer isn’t sure you’ll win, so they want to make sure they get paid whether you win or not.
Again, a good lawyer should explain these facts to you so that you can make an informed decision.
If you have a choice between hourly fees and contingency fees, remember that the latter has a cap on how much your lawyer can take. On the other hand, hourly fees can take up almost all of your settlement if you’re not careful, especially if the case drags on and goes to trial.
Plus, contingency fees mean your lawyer gets more money if they get you a bigger settlement, so they have the incentive to work harder and negotiate a bigger amount. Once you have agreed on a fee basis, you’ll need to read through the written fee agreement, check for any hidden terms, and sign the agreement to enforce it.
Do You Have to Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer?
No, you don’t have to be represented by a truck accident attorney when filing claims after a truck accident. You can even represent yourself in court after filing a lawsuit, but that’s a bad idea.
In most truck accident cases, you’re going up against big truck companies and their insurance carriers. These will often fight hard to discredit your claims or minimize the amount they have to pay you. If you’re not well prepared and experienced in dealing with insurers and their lawyers, you will almost certainly lose or receive an unfairly small judgment.
Secondly, truck accidents often involve serious injuries. If it was a fender bender, you could go to a small claims court and get awarded damages for car repair and minor medical treatment. However, when you’re dealing with serious injuries, the case value goes up significantly.
The right truck accident lawyer will give you the best chance of winning maximum compensation by preparing a strong case, collecting evidence, and using their skill to negotiate a large settlement.
Hire a Florida Truck Accident Lawyer, No Retainer Fees Required
Lawlor, White & Murphey is a team of highly experienced attorneys representing clients in South Florida. We handle most truck accident cases and other personal injury cases on a contingency basis, which means you don’t have to pay anything upfront.
During your first free consultation, we’ll review your case and let you know if you have a strong case to take legal action against the truck driver who caused you so much pain and suffering. Call us now or contact us online to schedule your free consultation and we’ll get started.
The skilled lawyers at Lawlor, White & Murphey represent clients injured in Coconut Creek, Plantation, Pompano Beach, and Pembroke Pines, and throughout Florida. Call (954) 525-2345 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 2211 Davie Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312, as well as offices in Pembroke Pines, Weston, Coconut Creek, Plantation, and Pompano Beach.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly