Attorneys generally charge the same fees for all types of auto accident claims. These are “contingency” fees, which means you only pay if you win. Most attorneys charge contingency fees in the range of 33 percent, though fees can range from 25 percent to 40 percent. Even taking these fees into account, you can probably still expect to take home more with an experienced attorney representing you, because the amount of compensation you’ll get for the car accident will be significantly higher with an attorney’s help than without, and this larger car accident settlement amount will often cover the entirety of the lawyer’s contingency fees, and more.
There is another instance when you’ll definitely want to enlist the help of an experienced auto accident attorney – if your case goes to trial. This is often a good idea when you’ve been the victim of a drunk driving accident for a couple of reasons:
- Punative damages in a car accident lawsuit can exponentially increase the amount of your payout. Punative damages are only available in jury trials, not in settlements negotiated directly with the insurance company. These are additional monetary fines ordered by the court as a way to punish a criminal, reckless, or negligent behavior, and as a deterrent for future offenders. Drunk driving would defintely fall into this category, along with speeding, road rage, drag racing, etc.
- Publicize the damage, and punishments, done by drunk driving. Drunk driving is one of the most pernicious and deadly crimes in our society today. By dragging this bad behavior out into the open, you can bring more attention to both the dangers, and the punishments, associated with driving under the influence. Hopefully with increased awareness and more caution will come less drunk driving accidents.