If another driver is at fault for your car accident, you'll probably manage to hire an individual injury attorney on a "contingency fee" basis. Discover when it's worth the cost.
If you've held it's place in an auto accident, and it's pretty clear that another driver was at fault, you will end up looking for a plaintiff's car accident lawyer (one who represents the person filing an individual injury lawsuit, when a case causes it to be to court). But how much are you going to need to cover?
Most car accident attorneys charge because of their services in a reasonably unique way—rather than the hourly fee that lots of firms charge in other forms of cases. The typical car accident lawyer will charge a "contingency fee" to battle an injury case. A contingency fee implies that the firm will not receive money any attorney's fees if you don't recover money in to your case. The lawyer or law firm will get paid a share of money received from any car insurance settlement or jury verdict (if the case goes all the best way to trial).
In this information, we'll have a closer look at how contingency fees work and what you can get if you decide to hire a lawyer to take care of your car 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 accident case, your attorney will receive around $30,000.
A contingency fee percentage can vary greatly according to whether an individual injury lawsuit needs to be filed against another driver (the defendant). If the case settles before it would go to court, the percentage may be on the lower 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 the law 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 definitely crucial that you speak along 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 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 lots of car insurance, and there's ample evidence copying your claims—you can certainly negotiate a lower contingency percentage. You never need to quit a next of your compensation simply because you will need the leverage of getting a lawyer on your side.
Fees and Expenses
With respect to the lawyer and your contract for legal services, you may 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 in charge of these costs, you can expect an individual 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 will soon be deducted from your own settlement or final judgment. Let's say you settled your car 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 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).
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 boost 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 find another lawyer.
Other Fee Arrangements
Not absolutely all cases calls for a natural contingency fee arrangement. Lawyers may collect a preliminary retainer to start your case and also collect a contingency fee at the end of your case. However, in the event that you recover money, the amount already paid to the attorney ought to be subtracted from the percentage due to the attorney at the end of the case. For instance, 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 generally reserved for less-complex cases. A law firm may charge a set fee where 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 just a Car Accident Lawyer Worth The Cost ?
The overall rule is this: The more severe the injuries, the higher the value of hiring a lawyer. If you're in a fender bender with minimum injuries, you can probably negotiate an individual injury settlement without a lawyer. On another hand, if you're injured and needed any significant medical treatment, the value 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 simply accept a very low settlement offer—they're in the commercial of earning money, not spending it, after all. Because situation, having a skilled lawyer on your side becomes essential.