If another driver is to blame for your vehicle accident, you'll probably manage 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 vehicle accident, and it's pretty clear that another driver was to blame, you will end up buying plaintiff's car accident lawyer (one who represents the person filing a personal injury lawsuit, when a case causes it to be to court). But simply how much can you need to pay?
Most car accident attorneys charge due to their services in a reasonably unique way—instead of the hourly fee that many firms charge in other forms of cases. The normal car accident lawyer will charge a "contingency fee" to battle a personal injury case. A contingency fee implies that the firm will not receives a commission any attorney's fees if you recover money in to your case. The lawyer or law firm can 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 short article, we'll take a closer look at how contingency fees work and what you can get if you determine to hire a lawyer to deal with your vehicle 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, when you yourself have a 33% contingency fee arrangement and you recover $90,000 in your vehicle accident case, your attorney will receive around $30,000.
A contingency fee percentage may vary depending on whether a personal injury lawsuit must be filed against another driver (the defendant). If the case settles before it visits court, the percentage might be on the lower side.
However, if settlement occurs after suit is filed and following the defendant has served a proper 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 example, 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 example, 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 get 40% of a recovery following the complaint is answered. In this example, the attorney can recover $36,000.
It is definitely vital that you speak along with your attorney about the contingency fee and to carefully review your contract for legal services. If you may not understand the fee arrangement as stated in the contract, ask your attorney to spell out it to you.
Also, just like everything in a contract, the fee is negotiable. If yours is a "cut and dry" case—fault for the automobile accident and your damages are clear, the defendant has lots of car insurance, and there's ample evidence copying your claims—you are able to certainly negotiate a lowered contingency percentage. That you don't need to quit a next of one's compensation simply because you need the leverage of having a lawyer in your side.
Fees and Expenses
With respect to the lawyer and your contract for legal services, you could or might 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 the above-mentioned fees because they become due. If your contract states that you're in charge of these costs, you are able to expect a personal injury firm to call you and seek payment as the fees become due. If you cannot pay these fees, your case will more than likely 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 is going to be deducted from your settlement or final judgment. Let's say you settled your vehicle accident case for $100,000. Now, your contract stated that costs and expenses could be deducted from the settlement. Your attorney incurred $10,000 in costs and expenses. In this example, your attorney would receive $10,000 as reimbursement for the costs and expenses, and $30,000 for legal services. You would end up receiving $60,000 as one last 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 amount 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 realize that you won't accept that, and if it becomes an offer 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, if you recover money, the amount already paid to the attorney should be subtracted from the percentage because of the attorney at the conclusion of the case. As an example, if 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 generally reserved for less-complex cases. A law firm may charge a set fee where in fact the legal representation is limited to drafting and responding to a demand letter. In that 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 severe the injuries, the higher the worth of hiring a lawyer. If you had been in a small fender bender with little if any injuries, you are able to probably negotiate a personal injury settlement with out a lawyer. On another hand, if you had been injured and needed any significant medical treatment, the worth of one's case rises quickly. This implies the insurance adjuster will work to minimize your damages and try to have you to simply accept a suprisingly low settlement offer—they're in the commercial of making money, not spending it, after all. In that situation, having an experienced lawyer in your side becomes essential.