It's natural to want to consult a motorcycle accident attorney after being injured in a motorcycle accident that was someone else's fault. But you may be wondering how much one costs. This article will explain.
The good news, it often costs nothing to talk to a motorcycle accident lawyer, Most are willing to sit down with you to review your options and introduce themselves. This first meeting is called an initial consultation and is for your information only. There is no obligation to hire the first lawyer you meet.
In talking to motorcycle accident attorneys, you will discover that they typically bill in one of two ways: Either on contingency or by the hour, called an hourly fee. The two work very differently, so let's take a close look at each.
With a contingency fee, you pay your attorney a percentage of any compensation your receive for your motorcycle accident injury. This is true whether you settle with the other motorist or win at trial. Lawyers may charge different contingency rates, so it's helpful to comparison shop.
It is possible to ask a motorcycle accident attorney to lower his fees, but only before you hire one. Once you have hired a lawyer, it is too late to renegotiate fees.
Many clients like the contingency fee, because they often don't have to put any money up front. Also, if your motorcycle accident lawsuit is unsuccessful, you often don't owe anything, so the risk is all with the attorney.
Because the attorney's payday is tied to your case's success, your motorcycle accident lawyer will be highly motivated to get you a result you deserve. This is another attractive aspect of contingency fees.
On the other hand, if you manage to settle very quickly, you may feel your attorney has done little to earn his paycheck.
If your lawyer bills by the hour, you're going to likely pay a retainer fee. A retainer is a large first payment from which the attorney withdraws his hourly fees. When the retainer is depleted, some motorcycle accident lawyers will ask you for another retainer, while others will switch you to monthly billing.
Hourly rates may vary for many reasons. For example, a lawyer who has a lot of experience, whose office is in a tony neighborhood with high rent and a large staff may charge more than a sole practitioner who's just starting out in a neighborhood where the going rate is not as high.
However, don't assume a more expensive lawyer will cost you more. If you find a highly experienced lawyer with an excellent reputation, your case may wrap up more quickly.
If you've visited several lawyers who bill a contingency fee but don't want to take your case, it may be a sign that your case is weak or worth little money. If you decide to then hire a lawyer by the hour, make sure you get a detailed assessment of your case's chances and estimated costs.
Finally, no matter which billing method your motorcycle accident attorney prefers, you may also have to pay for other related legal expenses. These could include court fees, the use of a paralegal, the use of an investigator and photocopying.
When you talk to motorcycle accident attorneys at initial consultations and ask them the specifics about their billing methods, then you'll know how much a motorcycle accident attorney costs.