When you’ve been in a car accident, the last thing you want to worry about is how you’re going to pay for a lawyer. The good news is that most car accident lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means they only get paid if they win your case. The bad news is that the percentage they charge can vary widely.

However, contingency fees are not the only way that lawyers choose to charge their clients. Depending on the nature of the case, the size of the claim, and the estimated time everything will take from start to finish, personal injury lawyers will decide on a case-by-case basis. Of course, all of this will be spoken about during an initial consultation.

Nevertheless, it’s important to go into any meeting with some basic knowledge about what a car accident claim might cost you. So, in this post, we’ll break down how much you can expect to pay a car accident lawyer.

Contingency Fees

As we mentioned before, most car accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means that they only get paid if they win your case. The contingency fee is typically a percentage of the total settlement or verdict, and it can range anywhere from 20% to 40%.

For example, if you settle your car accident case for $100,000, and your personal injury lawyer charges a 30% contingency fee, they would receive $30,000 and you would get $70,000.

Hourly Rates

In some cases, you may be able to negotiate an hourly rate with your car accident lawyer. This is more common if your case is expected to go to trial or if it’s particularly complex. Hourly rates can range anywhere from $100 to $500 per hour.

When it comes to hourly rates, car accident lawyers tend to charge this only when the client has a smaller caseload, such as a handful of questions or specific documentation to file. If yours is a bigger case, it’s unlikely that hourly will be what you pay, as it would not be a cost-effective option.

Flat Fees

Another option is to pay a flat fee for your lawyer’s services. Flat fees are typically only charged for less complex cases, such as those that are settled out of court. Flat fees usually fall in the $500 to $2,000 range.

During your consultation with a lawyer, you can discuss whether your case will be charged out with a flat fee. This will happen if your claim is slightly more time-consuming than an hourly rate case, but less complex than a case that would be charged with a contingency fee.


The cost of hiring a car accident lawyer depends on a number of factors, including the type of case and the experience of the lawyer. Although most lawyers work on a contingency basis, it’s important to talk about options while you have an initial consultation with a car accident lawyer.

By discussing your case and the possible timeline for settlement, together you will be able to figure out what rate style is the most achievable and cost effective for your claim.

As the senior lawyer at Dunlap Injury Law, Timothy Dunlap has over 30 years experience handling some of Alberta’s toughest cases, making him the trusted choice for those seeking just and fair compensation. Whether you have been injured in a vehicle, motorcycle or pedestrian collision, or have a legitimate personal injury claim, we here at Dunlap Injury Law can offer you the legal advice and support you need. We serve all Alberta, including Grande Prairie, Calgary, Fort McMurray and Edmonton. You’ll get the compensation you deserve with Calgary’s leading personal injury lawyer Timothy Dunlap and his team. Contact Dunlap Injury Law today.