auto accident lawyer in los angeles

What is the cost of hiring an auto accident lawyer in Los Angeles?

Tarun Sridharan Legal Editor & Attorney Contributor Read Time: 7 minutes

What is the cost of hiring an auto accident lawyer in Los Angeles?

If you’ve been injured in an auto accident, chances are that you’re considering a lawsuit to secure compensation for your losses. But accident disputes can be confusing, overwhelming, and frustrating — especially for the first-time plaintiffs. That’s why it’s important to speak to an experienced auto accident lawyer in Los Angeles.

Like much of the general public, however, you may have questions about cost and other issues. So let’s take a look at some of the basics.

How much do car accident lawyers charge in California?

A plaintiffs’ auto accident lawyer in Los Angeles — and in California and the United States, more broadly — typically works on a contingency basis. In other words, they don’t cost anything upfront or out-of-pocket. Instead, they agree to legally represent you at no initial charge, with the caveat that they will get paid a percentage of the total compensation they secure on your behalf. This percentage often ranges from 25 to 40 percent.

In the event that you “lose” and don’t secure any compensation, you don’t have to pay the attorney. Essentially, you only pay if (and when) you win.

This dynamic is excellent for injury representation, as it incentivizes your attorney to work efficiently and effectively to maximize your total compensation. After all, the more money they secure for you, the more money they get paid, too.

Who pays for a car accident in California?

In most cases, the defendant’s insurer pays out the damages when you successfully settle (or win a case at trial). These insurers step in on behalf of their policyholders to defend them in the lawsuit. Any damages are paid out via the policy coverage amount.

Importantly, defendants without insurance are often not worth suing. As such, when you consult an auto accident lawyer in Los Angeles, they will generally look to identify defendants who have “deep pockets” (i.e., adequate insurance coverage) to sue and recover damages from.

How do car accident settlements work in California?

Most accident disputes end in a settlement compromise — in fact, industry experts estimate that as many as 95 percent of accident disputes end in settlement.


Well, accident disputes are complicated, costly, exhausting, public, and uncertain. Even if one is confident about their case, there’s always the chance that they could lose their case — or that the court may undervalue the claim and they’ll get a lower payout than they expected.

Settlements avoid the uncertainty and hassle of trial litigation, by giving the parties an opportunity to agree on a reasonable compensation amount that represents the likelihood of a claim succeeding (if it were to go to trial). It’s not the best possible compensation the plaintiff could secure, but it’s reliable, certain, quicker, and less-demanding.

Does it matter whose fault it is in an accident?

Yes, absolutely. Fault is part of how courts determine “whether” you are entitled to sue for compensation, and also “how much” you should get paid. California implements a system known as pure comparative fault. Under this system, courts evaluate the percentage of fault attributable to each party (defendants and the plaintiff). So long as you — the injured plaintiff — are not 100% at-fault, you are entitled to sue the defendants for the damages owed due to the fault they contributed.

Confused? Let’s clarify.

Suppose that you are injured in an auto accident, and you suffer $100,000 in total damages. As you weren’t wearing a seatbelt, the court finds that you were 50 percent at-fault for your own injuries. However, the defendant-driver is still 50 percent at-fault. Under California law, you would be entitled to sue and recover 50 percent of your damages from the defendant, or $50,000.

How much can I be compensated?

The compensation you can claim will depend on the damages that you sustained as a consequence of the defendant’s negligent, reckless, or intentional actions. Your damages may account for the following losses:

  • Wage loss
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Medical expenses
  • Property loss
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of companionship
  • And more

Every case is different. What you can claim as damages may differ from someone else in the exact same accident and with the exact same injuries — and that’s because the way in which those injuries impact their life is likely to be different.

For example, suppose that you suffer a leg injury. The injury eventually heals, and even though you don’t gain optimal athletic function in that leg, you were never particularly athletic to begin with (nor did you engage in many athletic activities prior to the accident). Compare that to the same accident, but instead, you’re a world-class athlete who does it as a career. Your athletic career could be derailed by the injury — it could cost you hundreds of thousands, or even millions in lost potential income.

That would be claimable as compensation in your lawsuit.

How much time do I have left to sue the defendant?

In California, the statute of limitations deadline for a standard personal injury claim (such as an auto accident) is two years from the date of injury. If you do not file your legal claims before the deadline passes, then the court will deem you to have relinquished your right to sue for compensation under the law. Given how high-stakes the deadline can be for your case, it’s absolutely critical that you consult an experienced auto accident lawyer in Los Angeles (in a timely manner) so that the dispute can move forward.

Do bear in mind: if the deadline has passed, you’re not necessarily without options. There are a number of exceptions that could allow your deadline to be extended. For example, if you were not aware of your injury, and it was only “discovered” by doctors a few years down the line, then your claim deadline could be extended. An attorney can help you evaluate your options in this regard.

Auto Accident Risks in Los Angeles, CA

If you’re driving, walking, or biking around Los Angeles, then you are exposed to relatively high risks of injury. The data supports this. Los Angeles reports the highest countywide accident rate in California every year. In 2021 alone, there were more than 40,000 crashes in Los Angeles. In 2022, there were 320 fatal accidents, and in 2023, there were 82 hit-and-run fatalities. These stats reveal just how dangerous Los Angeles roadways can be.

These risks are not coincidental. Los Angeles crash data is a manifestation of poor driving habits, poorly designed roadways, and a thoroughly lackluster public transport policy. As such, it’s important that you work with an experienced auto accident lawyer in Los Angeles who understands the issues and can advocate relentlessly on your behalf.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Los Angeles, then you could be entitled to bring a lawsuit against the defendant to secure compensation. That being said, these sorts of lawsuits aren’t always straightforward — depending on various factors, you could find yourself navigating a complex web of legal strategy. That’s why it’s so important to work with an experienced attorney who understands how to maximize your claims and advance your legal interests.

Contact 1-800-THE-LAW2 to connect to a qualified auto accident lawyer in Los Angeles. We’ll ask a few questions to clarify your case, then — in less than 10 minutes — we’ll put you through to an attorney in our network who can provide a free initial consultation. During this initial consultation, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss your case in detail, and will receive professional legal guidance on your potential options and next steps.

There’s no obligation for you to continue if you decide against it, so there’s really no downside in picking up the phone and calling in for a consultation. We look forward to assisting you!

Our offices are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so we can assist you no matter when your accident occurs.

Call 877-322-1161 Schedule A Consultation
Minimize Chat End Chat