How Does Your Indianapolis Accident Lawyer Get Paid?

If you’ve ever seen a commercial for an Indianapolis accident lawyer, then you know they offer their clients a free, initial consultation. They do this so they can review your case before agreeing to handle it. It also gives you a chance to meet with an experienced attorney who can answer any questions you may have. 

One fear a lot of our clients have is that it’ll cost too much to hire an attorney. They figure after the consultation is over, their Indianapolis accident lawyer will start charging an hourly rate. The good news is that it doesn’t work that way.

With a car accident lawsuit, your attorney doesn’t get paid until your case is over. And they only get paid if you win. If you lose, they get nothing. This is why they’re very careful about which cases they accept. If they don’t think your case has merit, they’ll tell you upfront.

If they believe you have a valid claim, they can likely give you a ballpark idea of what it’s worth. Just keep in mind that every case is unique. Nobody can guarantee you that you’ll receive a certain amount of money. In fact, nobody can guarantee that you’ll get anything at all.

Your Attorney is Paid on a Contingency Basis

Indianapolis accident lawyers are paid on a contingency basis. This means that they get paid nothing upfront. They keep track of any costs or fees associated with your case. They will deduct these costs from any settlement proceeds you receive. 

One question you may have is exactly how much your attorney will be paid. All personal injury cases are handled on a contingency basis. You’ll sign a retainer agreement that outlines the contingency fee at the end of your free consultation.

Typically, an Indianapolis accident lawyer will collect 1/3 of your judgment or settlement proceeds. If, however, your case goes to trial, this percentage will go up to 40%. Since the attorney will be dedicating more time and money to your case for a trial, it’s only fair that they are compensated for this.

It’s important to note that very few car accident cases actually make it to trial. Trials are expensive and time-consuming. In fact, the civil court calendar was behind for quite some time due to COVID-19. You can look at the calendar and see just how busy the civil division is. It could be well over a year before your case goes before the judge.

What if You Settle for Less Than the Full Amount?

Most car accident cases settle for less than the amount listed on the complaint. Your Indianapolis accident lawyer will start negotiating a settlement of your case from the very start. They understand that it’s in everybody’s best interest to settle the case. They’ll look to see which insurance company is handling the claim.

This may give them an idea of what kind of settlement they will offer. For example, some of the large insurance companies would rather go to trial than pay a large claim. They have unlimited legal resources so it won’t cost them extra to fight the claim.

Some of the smaller companies would rather settle than have the case dragged out through the courts. They don’t want to spend more money to defend a claim than they’d spend to pay or settle the claim.

You Have to Reimburse Your Indianapolis Accident Lawyer for Any Costs and Fees

When your case settles, your Indianapolis accident lawyer is the first one to get paid. Their fee will come right off the top. So, if you settle for $100,000 and their fee is one-third, they will subtract approximately $33,333 from your monies. Then they need to reimburse the firm for any costs and fees that were expended for your case. This could include any of the following:

  • Expert witness fees
  • Postage
  • Copy fees
  • Courier fees
  • Court recorder fees
  • Filing fees

Once this is added up and deducted from your settlement, there are still other people who expect to get paid. This includes any hospital bills or monies that were paid out by your private health insurance provider. They have a right to file a lien against your lawsuit to ensure payment.

Reach Out to a Skilled Indianapolis Accident Lawyer Now

If you’re in need of an experienced Indianapolis accident lawyer, then you should call our office right away. Talk to one of the secretaries or paralegals and set up a date and time to come in. The consultation is free so you have nothing to lose.

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