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. Learn when it's worth the cost.
If you've been in an auto accident, and it's pretty clear that one other driver was at fault, you will be buying a plaintiff's car accident lawyer (one who represents the individual filing a personal injury lawsuit, each time a case makes it to court). But how much will you need to cover?
Most car accident attorneys charge because of their services in a fairly unique way—as opposed to the hourly fee that lots of firms charge in other types of cases. The conventional car accident lawyer will charge a "contingency fee" to defend myself against an injury case. A contingency fee ensures that the firm won't receives a commission any attorney's fees unless you recover money in your case. The lawyer or law firm will get paid a percentage 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 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 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 greatly depending on whether a personal injury lawsuit must be filed against one other driver (the defendant). If the case settles before it goes to court, the percentage might be on the reduced side.
However, if settlement occurs after suit is filed and following 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 situation, the attorney would again receive $30,000 (33%). However, suppose 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 to get 40% of a recovery following the complaint is answered. In this situation, the attorney can recover $36,000.
It is always crucial that you speak together 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 mentioned in the contract, ask your attorney to describe it to you.
Also, exactly like everything in a contract, the fee is negotiable. If yours is just 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 burning your claims—you are able to certainly negotiate a lowered contingency percentage. You never need to stop a next of your compensation mainly because you need the leverage of experiencing a lawyer in your side.
Fees and Expenses
With respect to the lawyer and your contract for legal services, you may or may 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 in charge of these costs, you are able to expect a personal injury firm to call you and seek payment whilst the fees become due. If you fail to pay these fees, your case will 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 likely to be deducted from your settlement or final judgment. Let's say you settled your car or truck accident case for $100,000. This time around, your contract stated that costs and expenses could 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 expense and expenses, and $30,000 for legal services. You'd wind up receiving $60,000 as your final recovery ($100,000 - $10,000 - $30,000 = $60,000).
Be 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 if it becomes an offer 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 begin your case and also collect a contingency fee by the end of your case. However, if you recover money, the quantity already paid to the attorney should really be subtracted from the percentage as a result of attorney by the end of the case. Like, 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 won't involve a set fee payment for legal services. Flat fee arrangements are usually 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. Because case, the fee may vary from $300 to $1,000.
Is a Car Accident Lawyer Worth The Cost ?
The typical rule is this: The much more serious the injuries, the more the worthiness of hiring a lawyer. If you're in a small fender bender with little or no injuries, you are able to probably negotiate a personal injury settlement without a lawyer. On one other hand, if you're injured and needed any significant medical treatment, the worthiness of your case rises quickly. What this means is the insurance adjuster will continue to work to minimize your damages and try to obtain you to accept a very low settlement offer—they are in the business of earning profits, not spending it, after all. Because situation, having a skilled lawyer in your side becomes essential.