The amount of attorney fees and the type of fee arrangements that people pay in SC vary depending on the type of case and the attorney involved.
The idea of paying attorney fees, especially when you are not sure how it works and how much an attorney will cost you, can be intimidating. In most motorcycle injury cases, however, you will not need to pay anything upfront to get an experienced personal injury attorney on your case.
Below, I’ll cover the basics of how attorney fees work in South Carolina, including:
- How much a motorcycle crash lawyer costs in SC,
- Attorney fees in other types of personal injury cases, and
- Attorney fees in criminal defense and other non-injury cases.
How Much Does a Motorcycle Collision Attorney Cost?
Our clients pay a contingency fee in motorcycle crash cases, like most other types of personal injury cases. But what does that mean? How does a contingency fee work?
When there is a contingency fee in a personal injury case:
- The client pays nothing upfront,
- The attorney only gets paid if the client is paid through a settlement or verdict at trial,
- After settlement, the insurance company pays the funds into the attorney’s trust account,
- The attorney then deducts the agreed-upon attorney fees, any medical liens, and any other litigation expenses, and
- Disburses the remaining funds to the client.
If the case is unsuccessful, the client does not pay any attorney fees, but they are responsible for litigation expenses like deposition costs, filing fees, and medical records.
In most cases, the amount of attorney fees is one-third of the client’s recovery, although this can vary from case to case depending on the attorney’s experience, the difficulty of a particular type of case, and the likelihood of success.
The details of the exact percentage the client must pay and the types of litigation expenses a client will be responsible for should be contained in a retainer agreement that is signed by the attorney and client.
Attorney Fees in SC Personal Injury Cases
As with a motorcycle crash case, the attorney fees in a SC personal injury claim are usually a contingency fee of one-third or more of the client’s recovery, agreed to by the attorney and client in a fee agreement at the outset of the representation.
This includes most kinds of personal injury cases, including:
- Car crashes,
- Motorcycle collisions,
- Pedestrian injuries and deaths,
- Dog bites or animal attacks,
- Assault and battery claims,
- Premises liability claims (slip and falls), and
- Wrongful death claims.
Attorney Fees in a Civil Rights Case
What are the costs of an attorney in a civil rights case?
As with other types of personal injury claims, civil rights attorney fees can be based on a contingency fee of one-third, 40%, or even 50% depending on the difficulty of the case, the attorney’s experience, and the likelihood of success.
In some civil rights cases, the client is also entitled to recover attorney fees as part of their settlement or verdict.
How Much Does an Attorney Cost in Other Types of Cases?
In non-injury cases, the attorney fees are usually based on an hourly rate or a flat fee, although the method of payment can vary based on the type of case. For example, criminal defense lawyers will often require payment of a flat fee upfront, while other types of attorneys may require the payment of a retainer upfront that must be replenished periodically.
Attorney Fees in a Criminal Defense Case
In most criminal defense cases, the attorney will charge a flat fee for representation which often must be paid in full before the attorney begins work on the case.
The amount of the fee depends on many different factors, which could include:
- The severity of the criminal charges (attorney fees will be much higher for a murder charge than for a shoplifting charge),
- The attorney’s experience and reputation for success,
- The amount of time that the attorney estimates will be spent working on the case,
- The likelihood that the case will be dismissed or go to a jury trial, and
- Many other case-specific factors.
Family Law, Business Law, Corporate Attorneys
In most other types of cases, attorney fees are based on an open-ended hourly rate.
For example, if you are retaining a divorce lawyer, you might pay a retainer fee that the attorney deposits in their trust account. The attorney then bills on an hourly basis, paying themselves periodically from the retainer. When the retainer is used up, the client must then replenish the retainer.
Business lawyers and corporate attorneys might also charge clients using this procedure, ensuring that the attorney is paid a fair hourly rate as the case progresses.
Questions About Attorney Fees in South Carolina?
Whether you need help recovering damages after a motorcycle collision, car crash, or other personal injury, or you need help fighting criminal charges, your attorney at the Boles Law Firm will explain the attorney fee arrangement in detail and provide you with a written fee agreement that explains how the attorney fees work.
Call us at 843-576-5775 to schedule an appointment for a free consultation at our North Charleston, Walterboro, Greenville, or Walhalla offices, or send us a message through our website.