If the other driver is responsible for your car or truck accident, you'll probably have the ability to hire an individual injury attorney on a "contingency fee" basis. Find out when it's worth the cost.
If you've experienced an auto accident, and it's pretty clear that the other driver was responsible, you'll be looking for a plaintiff's car accident lawyer (one who represents the person filing an individual injury lawsuit, each time a case helps it 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 reasonably unique way—rather than the hourly fee that many firms charge in other kinds of cases. The normal car accident lawyer will charge a "contingency fee" to take on an accident case. A contingency fee implies that the firm will not receives a commission any attorney's fees until you recover money into 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 information, we'll have a closer look at how contingency fees work and that which you can expect if you decide to hire a lawyer to handle 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 based on whether an individual injury lawsuit has to be filed against the 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 following the defendant has served a proper reply 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 the other 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 what the law states in your state) allows the attorney for 40% of a recovery following the complaint is answered. In this example, the attorney can recover $36,000.
It is definitely crucial that you speak along with your attorney about the contingency fee and to carefully review your contract for legal services. If you do not understand the fee arrangement as previously mentioned in the contract, ask your attorney to spell out it to you.
Also, exactly like everything in a contract, 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 lots of car insurance, and there's ample evidence copying your claims—you can certainly negotiate a lower contingency percentage. You don't need to stop a next of one's compensation mainly because you'll need the leverage of getting a lawyer in your side.
Fees and Expenses
With respect to the lawyer and your contract for legal services, you may or may not result in upfront court fees and other litigation expenses, just like 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 while they become due. If your contract states that you're accountable for these costs, you can expect an individual injury firm to call you and seek payment since 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 is going to 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 around, your contract stated that costs and expenses would 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 expense and expenses, and $30,000 for legal services. You'd find yourself receiving $60,000 as a final recovery ($100,000 - $10,000 - $30,000 = $60,000).
Make sure that your lawyer takes their fee from the "net settlement"—that's, the total 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 know 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 totally all cases calls for a natural contingency fee arrangement. Lawyers may collect an initial retainer to begin your case and also collect a contingency fee at the conclusion of one's case. However, if you recover money, the total amount already paid to the attorney must be subtracted from the percentage because of the attorney at the conclusion 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 will not involve an appartment fee payment for legal services. Flat fee arrangements are generally reserved for less-complex cases. A law firm may charge an appartment fee where in fact the legal representation is limited to drafting and giving an answer to a demand letter. In that case, the fee may range between $300 to $1,000.
Is just a Car Accident Lawyer Worth The Cost ?
The general rule is this: The more severe the injuries, the higher the worthiness of hiring a lawyer. If you're in a minor fender bender with little or no injuries, you can probably negotiate an individual injury settlement with out a lawyer. On the other hand, if you're injured and needed any significant medical treatment, the worthiness of one's case rises quickly. What this means is the insurance adjuster works to minimize your damages and try to get you to simply accept a suprisingly low settlement offer—they are available of earning profits, not spending it, after all. In that situation, having an experienced lawyer in your side becomes essential.