Most people who have been struck by a semi-truck do not have the financial resources to pay a lawyer who charges by the hour, and cannot take the risk of losing the money invested in a legal case. For this reason, the vast majority of attorneys charge on a contingency fee basis for all personal injury cases. This allows victims to get the legal representation they need without paying any costs up front. If the attorney does not win the case, the victim does not have to pay any fees at all—and if the case is successful, the attorney will take a portion of the victim’s recovery as payment.
Estimating the Costs of a Truck Accident Attorney
In Illinois and Missouri, there are no limits on the percentage allowed as a contingency fee in personal injury cases, as long as the fee is considered “reasonable.” However, lawyers and clients must agree on a percentage and sign a written fee agreement in contingency fee cases before the attorney begins working on the case.
The amount your attorney charges will depend on the specific factors of your case, including:
- Expenses. Most personal injury lawyers will pay for expenses incurred throughout the case, such as court costs, accident scene investigation, hiring expert witnesses, travel expenses, mail and copying costs, and creation of court exhibits. These are usually paid back to the attorney after the case has been resolved.
- Effort. Tractor-trailer accidents can be extremely complex, involving the intersection of state and federal laws and the interpretation of trucking company regulations. This can require a lot of a law firm’s time and effort—and the more time devoted to the case, the higher the percentage an attorney may charge.
- Trial or settlement. Court cases can take much longer to resolve than cases that settle in negotiation. Law firms may include a stipulation in the fee agreement that allows them to collect a different amount based on whether the case settles or proceeds to trial.
Our attorneys have successfully represented individuals throughout Illinois and Missouri who have suffered serious personal injuries. We listen to your concerns and provide clear options for your next steps, giving you the personal attention you need throughout your case. Simply fill out the short contact form on this page to schedule an appointment for a free consultation, or download your FREE copy of one of our books, When the Rules of the Road Get Broken: A Guide to Illinois Car Wreck Cases or The Missouri Car Crash Guide: Don't Wreck Your Car Crash Case!