A very nice woman called me recently after getting in to a car accident in Chicago. She has a pretty big injury, and the other car that hit her is clearly at fault.
Her concern was that she had just hired a personal injury lawyer in Chicago who advertises a lot. By a lot, I mean you have all seen the terrible commercials. He was charging her a fee of 40% based on whatever recovery they get for her. She had talked to some friends after hiring them and was told that their fee seemed high. Her question was, is a 40% fee normal for a Chicago car accident lawyer?
The answer is that while there are a lot of attorneys who charge that much, it’s not normal. Most accident lawyers we know, certainly the best car accident lawyers we know, typically charge 1/3 of what they recover. In big cases that can be the difference of tens of thousands of dollars in your pocket in the end.
So why does this firm and some others charge more?
It’s not because they do a better job. The biggest reason they do it is because they think they can get away with it. They’d charge a client 50% if they thought they could line their pockets more. Attorneys like this, in my opinion, don’t care as much about their clients as they do about their own bottom line.
Another reason they do it is because they have huge overhead. All of that TV, radio, internet and billboard advertising isn’t cheap. So they have to recoup as much of the costs as they can.
What’s crazy about this one particular firm is that car accident cases aren’t really what they do and certainly not what their main lawyer has done for most of his career. Of course their clients don’t realize that. They also don’t understand that many of their cases are handled by very young lawyers.
The reality is that most of the prestigious law firms in Chicago would never do this and in many cases they will cut their fee to 28-30% depending on the facts of your case.
You can get a great lawyer on your case and at the same time not get ripped off by that attorney. If you have any questions about law firm fees in Illinois car accident cases or simply want to speak with a lawyer for free, call us at 312-346-5320 or fill out our contact form and we will call you ASAP.