Interviewer: Let's say someone is Googling and comparing attorneys. Once they had their accident and they're looking for an attorney to represent them, what signs and qualities should they look for? What should someone ideally want to have and, at the same time, what are some red flags?
Kevin Roach: You want an attorney who is knowledgeable in the area of law that you're looking for. If you're involved in an auto accident in Missouri, you want a Missouri personal injury lawyer. Obviously you don't want a bankruptcy lawyer. You don't want a divorce lawyer. You want someone that does lot of personal injury cases in Missouri and who is familiar with the courts.
You want an attorney that's been practicing for a while. I'm sure there are plenty of great attorneys that have only been practicing for a few years, but it's probably a safer bet to go with a more seasoned attorney that's been practicing for at least 10 years and who knows the ins and outs of that area of law so you can be represented properly.
How Attorneys Are Compensated In Auto Accident Cases?
Interviewer: If I were to hire an attorney, how does one get paid? What are they entitled to? Is there a typically contingency split? How does it work?
Kevin Roach: The way it works for auto accidents and all personal injury is a contingency fee. My office does not charge anything upfront for attorney's fees or costs. The only way that we get a fee is if we recover a settlement for you on your accident case. Some cases are easier than others to get recovery; some cases are very challenging and it may be hard to get a settlement, but there is no fee unless there is recovery.
Typically the contingent attorney's fees really range. For workers compensation injuries, the typically contingent fee is 25%. For auto accident cases, the contingent fee is usually 33.3% percent. On some cases where you have to go to trial or you have to file suit and go to trial, the attorney's fees are a little more than 40%. That's generally what most of the cases fall into: 25%, a third, or 40%, depending on what kind of case it is and what has to be done on the case.