A train accident can be terrifying and tragic, especially if you or a loved one was hurt. In the aftermath of such a disaster, people need answers. Each train accident case is unique and all differ in terms of severity, responsibility, and what kind of compensation you can recover for your injuries.
This is why it’s so important to find an experienced attorney who can handle your situation. Many people believe that finding a good lawyer can be difficult because they all tend to charge a lot for their services. It’s normal to be concerned about the cost of a train accident lawyer. Fortunately, this isn’t always the case.
Many reputable personal injury and wrongful death attorneys experienced in train accident cases will take your case on a contingency fee basis. At Morgan & Morgan, you never pay us anything until we win your case, so you don’t have to worry about paying anything upfront. For a free case consultation, contact Morgan & Morgan today.
Cost of A Train Accident Lawyer
The cost of a train accident lawyer will vary depending upon who you hire. Some lawyers require that you pay them upfront, which could cost hundreds of dollars per hour. However, most reputable train accident lawyers will charge on a contingency fee basis. This means that you don’t ever pay anything upfront. If you are awarded compensation as a result of the trial or from a settlement, your attorneys will get paid a percentage of that money. You will usually receive the balance of the available funds, depending on the agreement you have with your lawyer. This is ideal because if you don’t win anything, you don’t pay anything.
Most states have laws regarding the amount of money an attorney is permitted to charge in a contingency fee basis case. The standard percentage is usually anywhere from 33 percent to 45 percent of the awarded compensation. While this might sound like a steep price, the attorney essentially takes on all of the risks when filing the lawsuit. They’re the ones who spend money upfront to file the case, hire experts, and gather all of the necessary evidence for the trial. So if your case is not successful, they will be the ones losing money. It can be expensive to file a train accident lawsuit due to all the costs involved in preparing for the case to settle or go to trial.
Additionally, working on a contingency fee basis is ideal for clients because it assures them that the lawyers will work as hard as possible to get an appropriate settlement or win in court. If a lawyer charges you hourly, while it’s required that they do everything they can to be successful in your case, they get paid no matter what. Therefore, there’s less risk and therefore less incentive for them to win your case. If you hire an attorney who works on an hourly basis, it’s normal to be more concerned about the cost of a train accident lawyer than if you find one who works on a contingency fee basis.
Further, almost all personal injury and wrongful death attorneys will offer free case evaluations. During this case evaluation, you can explain the facts of your case, and the lawyer and their firm can determine if they believe you have the opportunity for a positive outcome or not. If they take your case on a contingency fee basis, this means they believe your case will be successful. Otherwise, they wouldn’t take it because they don’t get paid unless you win.
Contingency Fee Agreements
When a firm takes your case on a contingency fee basis, you’ll have to sign a contract. This contract will state all the information about the cost of the train accident lawyer that you are hiring, including the percentage that they receive if your case settles or they win at trial. Additionally, other fees need to be determined as well. This includes the costs of any expert witnesses, court fees, costs for certified records, such as hospital records or insurance information, and more. The fee agreement will outline who is responsible for these charges. Does the lawyer pay these out of their percentage, or will it come out of the award? It’s important to discuss these issues up front so you aren’t surprised at the end of the case by the total compensation you receive. If you ever have questions, ask. Don’t hesitate to speak up. A reputable firm will be happy to discuss these issues with you, as they want all of their clients to be successful and satisfied with the outcome of a case.
Factors That Can Affect The Contingency Fee
While there are usually laws regarding the maximum percentage an attorney can charge, that doesn’t mean they will automatically charge that amount. For some cases, a lawyer might be happy to accept 30 percent, but for another case, they might insist on 45 percent. Several factors could affect this decision.
Time and Effort
If a lawyer looks at a case and can tell right off the bat that it will take a significant amount of time, effort, and research, they may decide to ask for a higher percentage. Of course, there’s no way to know definitively how much research and time a case will take, but more experienced attorneys will have an idea of the time that will be needed during the initial consultation. For example, a case that has a lot of supporting documents and evidence corroborating the claim may not be as time-consuming and research-heavy as a case where it’s solely based on a victim’s testimony. While cases can be won based on testimony alone, it’s much more difficult.
Settlement vs. Trial
If an attorney believes they will be able to quickly and easily receive an adequate settlement, they might be willing to take on your case at a lower percentage. Again, there is always risk involved because there’s no way to know for sure what the outcome will be. In this situation, it should mean the cost of a train accident lawyer is a bit lower than what you might typically expect. However, if an attorney knows that a particular defendant is generally unwilling to make reasonable settlement offers, they can anticipate that a trial will occur, which almost always means more time and research will go into the case. In this situation, the lawyer may negotiate a higher fee.