So you have been in a car accident in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Another car ran a stoplight and into you.
You know you need a Tulsa car accident lawyer, but you just don’t have any savings socked away for legal fees right now. What should you do?
Attorneys’ Fees Can be Paid in a Number of Ways
Attorney fee agreements govern your relationship with the Tulsa car accident lawyer you hire to represent you, and these agreements come in various forms.
In some instances, attorneys will charge a standard retainer amount with hourly fees billed against that retainer amount. This type of contractual arrangement is usually used in family law, civil defense, business law, and criminal defense cases.
However, in plaintiff’s litigation, especially, in personal injury cases, an attorney will often only accept a case if the attorney believes that you can prevail, whether in a settlement, or at trial. This is normally called a contingency agreement.
Paying a Tulsa Car Accident Lawyer
In a contingency agreement, you and your Oklahoma personal injury attorney will agree to a fee that equals a percentage of the total settlement or jury verdict awarded.
It is typical for a contingency agreement to contain two tiers of percentages, one for the work done by your attorney up through a certain date before your trial date, and another percentage if your case moves closer to the trial date or goes through trial.
For example, let’s say that you and your attorney decide on fees at 33.3% up to 30 days before trial and 40% for any settlement after that.
If your case settles two months before trial, your attorney will take 1/3 of the total settlement amount in attorneys’ fees.
If your case settles anytime after 30 days before the trial date, your attorney will take 40% of the total amount.
As a case moves closer to trial, the work your Tulsa car accident lawyer must perform increases enormously. The figures above are representative, but you and your attorney can settle upon a percentage that works for both of you.
Contingency agreements often work well for you and for your attorney since your interests and your attorney’s interests are aligned.
In addition, the costs of litigation must be subtracted and paid out from your settlement award. This costs can include such items as filing fees for filing the complaint and any other motions before the court, deposition and court reporter fees, copying fees, postage, and other fees associated with trial.
The closer you are to trial, the more costs you will incur. All contingency agreements should specify that these costs are not a part of the attorneys’ fees and that they must be paid separately.
Free Consultation: Tulsa Car Accident Lawyer
To get help after a Tulsa car accident, contact an Oklahoma personal injury attorney at the Personal Injury Law Office of Tulsa today.
For a free, no-obligation consultation, call 918-924-5528 or send your question using the email form on this page.