If another driver is to blame for your car or truck accident, you'll probably have the ability to hire an individual injury attorney on a "contingency fee" basis. Discover when it's worth the cost.
If you've held it's place in a car accident, and it's pretty clear that another driver was to blame, you'll be buying plaintiff's car accident lawyer (one who represents anyone filing an individual injury lawsuit, whenever a case makes it to court). But how much do you want to need to pay for?
Most car accident attorneys charge due to their services in a fairly unique way—rather than the hourly fee that lots of firms charge in other kinds of cases. The conventional car accident lawyer will charge a "contingency fee" to defend myself against a personal injury case. A contingency fee ensures that the firm won't get paid any attorney's fees unless you recover money in to your case. The lawyer or law firm will get paid a portion of money received from any car insurance settlement or jury verdict (if the case goes all the best way to trial).
In this information, we'll have a closer look at how contingency fees work and that which you can expect if you choose to hire a lawyer to deal with your car or truck accident case.
The Contingency Percentage
The percentage a personal injury lawyer can receive in a contingency fee agreement varies, but typically ranges from 25 to 40 percent, and 33 percent (or one-third) is pretty standard. So, if you have a 33% contingency fee arrangement and you recover $90,000 in your car or truck accident case, your attorney will receive around $30,000.
A contingency fee percentage may vary depending on whether an individual injury lawsuit needs to be filed against another driver (the defendant). If the case settles before it goes to court, the percentage may be on the low side.
However, if settlement occurs after suit is filed and following the defendant has served an official answer to your complaint—or if the case proceeds to trial and a jury verdict is reached, the attorney's share may increase to 40 percent.
For instance, suppose your lawyer sent a demand letter to another driver's insurance company in your case, and you quickly reached a settlement for $90,000. In this situation, the attorney would again receive $30,000 (33%). However, guess that the case instead ended in a jury verdict of $90,000 and your agreement (and/or what the law states in your state) allows the attorney for 40% of a recovery following the complaint is answered. In this situation, the attorney can recover $36,000.
It is always important to speak with your attorney concerning the contingency fee and to carefully review your contract for legal services. If you may not understand the fee arrangement as previously mentioned in the contract, ask your attorney to describe it to you.
Also, just like everything in an agreement, the fee is negotiable. If yours is a "cut and dry" case—fault for the vehicle accident and your damages are clear, the defendant has plenty of car insurance, and there's ample evidence copying your claims—you can certainly negotiate a lowered contingency percentage. You don't need to stop a next of one's compensation mainly because you need the leverage of experiencing a lawyer in your side.
Fees and Expenses
With regards to the lawyer and your contract for legal services, you could or may not result in upfront court fees and other litigation expenses, such as the cost of obtaining medical records and police reports, court reporter fees, and expert witness fees.
Many personal injury firms require the client to pay for the above-mentioned fees while they become due. If your contract states that you will be accountable for these costs, you can expect an individual injury firm to call you and seek payment because the fees become due. If you cannot pay these fees, your case will more than likely not proceed until there's a payment.
Other personal injury firms (typically large firms), will cover all fees and expenses. However, the fees and expenses will undoubtedly be deducted from your settlement or final judgment. Let's say you settled your car or truck accident case for $100,000. Now, your contract stated that costs and expenses would be deducted from the settlement. Your attorney incurred $10,000 in costs and expenses. In this situation, your attorney would receive $10,000 as reimbursement for the costs and expenses, and $30,000 for legal services. You would wind up receiving $60,000 as one last recovery ($100,000 - $10,000 - $30,000 = $60,000).
Be sure that your lawyer takes their fee from the "net settlement"—that is, the amount left after case expenses are deducted. This arrangement is typical. However, some law firms may try to improve their pay by taking their money out first. Let them understand that you won't accept that, and when it becomes a deal breaker, it's probably best to locate another lawyer.
Other Fee Arrangements
Not all cases calls for a natural contingency fee arrangement. Lawyers may collect an initial retainer to start your case and also collect a contingency fee at the conclusion of one's case. However, in the event that you recover money, the amount already paid to the attorney must be subtracted from the percentage because of the attorney at the conclusion of the case. For instance, in the event that you paid $2,000 to the attorney as a retainer and recover $90,000 in a settlement, the attorney will receive $28,000 from the settlement ($30,000-$2,000 = $28,000).
Most car accident cases won't involve a flat fee payment for legal services. Flat fee arrangements are normally reserved for less-complex cases. A law firm may charge a flat fee where in actuality the legal representation is limited to drafting and giving an answer to a demand letter. In that case, the fee may vary from $300 to $1,000.
Is just a Car Accident Lawyer Worth The Cost ?
The typical rule is this: The more serious the injuries, the higher the worthiness of hiring a lawyer. If you were in a small fender bender with minimum injuries, you can probably negotiate an individual injury settlement with out a lawyer. On another hand, if you were injured and needed any significant medical treatment, the worthiness of one's case rises quickly. What this means is the insurance adjuster will continue to work to minimize your damages and try to have you to simply accept a suprisingly low settlement offer—they are in the business of earning money, not spending it, after all. In that situation, having a skilled lawyer in your side becomes essential.