If another driver is at fault for your car or truck accident, you'll probably manage to hire your own injury attorney on a "contingency fee" basis. Find out when it's worth the cost.
If you've been in a vehicle accident, and it's pretty clear that another driver was at fault, you'll be buying a plaintiff's car accident lawyer (one who represents the individual filing your own injury lawsuit, when a case causes it to be to court). But just how much can you need to pay for?
Most car accident attorneys charge due to their services in a fairly unique way—in place of the hourly fee that numerous firms charge in other kinds of cases. The normal car accident lawyer will charge a "contingency fee" to battle an accident case. A contingency fee means that the firm won't get paid any attorney's fees if you don't recover money into your case. The lawyer or law firm can get paid a portion of money received from any car insurance settlement or jury verdict (if the case goes all how you can trial).
In this article, we'll take a closer look at how contingency fees work and everything you can get 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 yourself 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 your own injury lawsuit must be filed against another 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 a formal 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 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, suppose that the case instead ended in a jury verdict of $90,000 and your agreement (and/or regulations in your state) allows the attorney for 40% of a recovery after the complaint is answered. In this situation, the attorney can recover $36,000.
It is obviously important to speak together 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 mentioned in the contract, ask your attorney to describe it to you.
Also, the same as 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 copying your claims—you are able to certainly negotiate a lowered 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 on your own side.
Fees and Expenses
With respect 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 because they become due. If your contract states that you're accountable for these costs, you are able to expect your own injury firm to call you and seek payment because 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 undoubtedly 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 will 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 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).
Be sure that your lawyer takes their fee out from the "net settlement"—that is, the quantity left after case expenses are deducted. This arrangement is typical. However, some law firms may try to boost their pay by taking their money out first. Let them understand that you won't accept that, and when it becomes an offer breaker, it's probably best to get another lawyer.
Other Fee Arrangements
Not absolutely all cases calls for a pure contingency fee arrangement. Lawyers may collect an original retainer to begin your case and also collect a contingency fee at the conclusion of one's case. However, in the event that you recover money, the quantity already paid to the attorney should be subtracted from the percentage because of the attorney at the conclusion of the case. Like, 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 typically reserved for less-complex cases. A law firm may charge a flat 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 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 greater the worth of hiring a lawyer. If you were in a small fender bender with little if any injuries, you are able to probably negotiate your own injury settlement without a lawyer. On another hand, if you were injured and needed any significant medical treatment, the worth of one's case rises quickly. This means the insurance adjuster will continue to work to minimize your damages and try to have you to accept a very low settlement offer—they are in the commercial of earning money, not spending it, after all. In that situation, having an experienced lawyer on your own side becomes essential.