If one other driver is at fault for your car or truck accident, you'll probably have the ability to hire a personal injury attorney on a "contingency fee" basis. Find out when it's worth the cost.
If you've held it's place in a car accident, and it's pretty clear that one other driver was at fault, you will end up buying plaintiff's car accident lawyer (one who represents anyone filing a personal injury lawsuit, each time a case causes it to be to court). But just how much do you want to need to cover?
Most car accident attorneys charge for his or her services in a fairly unique way—instead of the hourly fee that lots of firms charge in other kinds of cases. The typical car accident lawyer will charge a "contingency fee" to take on an accident case. A contingency fee means that the firm will not receives a commission any attorney's fees unless you recover cash in your case. The lawyer or law firm are certain to get paid a share of money received from any car insurance settlement or jury verdict (if the case goes all the way to trial).
In this informative article, we'll have a closer look at how contingency fees work and what you can expect if you determine to hire a lawyer to deal with your car or truck accident case.
The Contingency Percentage
The percentage that the 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, when 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 can vary based on whether a personal injury lawsuit needs to be filed against one other driver (the defendant). If the case settles before it would go to court, the percentage may be on the reduced side.
However, if settlement occurs after suit is filed and after the defendant has served an official response 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 example, suppose your lawyer sent a demand letter to one other driver's insurance company in your case, and you quickly reached a settlement for $90,000. In this case, 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 the law in your state) allows the attorney to receive 40% of a recovery after the complaint is answered. In this case, the attorney can recover $36,000.
It is always vital that you speak along with your attorney concerning the contingency fee and to carefully review your contract for legal services. If you don't understand the fee arrangement as mentioned in the contract, ask your attorney to spell out it to you.
Also, exactly like everything in an agreement, the fee is negotiable. If yours is really a "cut and dry" case—fault for the car accident and your damages are clear, the defendant has plenty of car insurance, and there's ample evidence burning your claims—you can certainly negotiate a lower contingency percentage. That you don't need to quit a next of your compensation mainly because you'll need the leverage of having a lawyer in your side.
Fees and Expenses
Depending on the lawyer and your contract for legal services, you could or might not be responsible for 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 cover the above-mentioned fees because they become due. If your contract states that you will be accountable for these costs, you can expect a personal injury firm to call you and seek payment while the fees become due. If you fail to pay these fees, your case will probably not proceed until there is a payment.
Other personal injury firms (typically large firms), will cover all fees and expenses. However, the fees and expenses will be deducted from your own settlement or final judgment. Let's say you settled your car or truck accident case for $100,000. This time, your contract stated that costs and expenses will be deducted from the settlement. Your attorney incurred $10,000 in costs and expenses. In this case, your attorney would receive $10,000 as reimbursement for the expenses and expenses, and $30,000 for legal services. You'd find yourself receiving $60,000 as your final recovery ($100,000 - $10,000 - $30,000 = $60,000).
Make sure that your lawyer takes their fee out from the "net settlement"—that's, the quantity left after case expenses are deducted. This arrangement is typical. However, some law firms may try to increase their pay by taking their money out first. Let them understand that you won't accept that, and when it becomes a package breaker, it's probably best to locate another lawyer.
Other Fee Arrangements
Not all cases will involve a natural contingency fee arrangement. Lawyers may collect an initial retainer to start your case and also collect a contingency fee by the end of your case. However, in the event that you recover money, the quantity already paid to the attorney should be subtracted from the percentage as a result of attorney by the end of the case. As an example, 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 will not involve a set fee payment for legal services. Flat fee arrangements are typically reserved for less-complex cases. A law firm may charge a set fee where in actuality the legal representation is limited to drafting and giving an answer to a demand letter. Because case, the fee may vary from $300 to $1,000.
Is really a Car Accident Lawyer Worth The Cost ?
The general 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 little if any injuries, you can probably negotiate a personal injury settlement without a lawyer. On one other hand, if you were injured and needed any significant medical treatment, the worthiness of your case rises quickly. This means the insurance adjuster will work to minimize your damages and try to have you to just accept a very low settlement offer—they are in the business of earning profits, not spending it, after all. Because situation, having an experienced lawyer in your side becomes essential.