If the other driver is to blame for your car accident, you'll probably have the ability to hire your own injury attorney on a "contingency fee" basis. Find out when it's worth the cost.
If you've experienced a vehicle accident, and it's pretty clear that the other driver was to blame, you'll be buying plaintiff's car accident lawyer (one who represents the person filing your own injury lawsuit, whenever a case helps it be to court). But simply how much are you going to need to pay for?
Most car accident attorneys charge for their services in a reasonably unique way—in place of the hourly fee that lots of firms charge in other types of cases. The normal car accident lawyer will charge a "contingency fee" to defend myself against a personal injury case. A contingency fee ensures that the firm won't receive money any attorney's fees if you don't recover cash in 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 the best way to trial).
In this information, we'll take a closer look at how contingency fees work and everything you can get if you choose 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 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 may vary depending on whether your own injury lawsuit must be filed against the other 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 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 example, 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 situation, 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 to get 40% of a recovery following the complaint is answered. In this situation, the attorney can recover $36,000.
It is always vital that you speak together 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 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 really a "cut and dry" case—fault for the automobile accident and your damages are clear, the defendant has plenty of car insurance, and there's ample evidence backing up your claims—you are able to certainly negotiate less contingency percentage. That you don't need to stop a third of one's compensation mainly because you'll need the leverage of having a lawyer on your own side.
Fees and Expenses
With respect to the lawyer and your contract for legal services, you may or might not lead to upfront court fees and other litigation expenses, 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 pay for the above-mentioned fees as they become due. If your contract states that you are accountable for these costs, you are able to expect your own injury firm to call you and seek payment since the fees become due. If you cannot 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 will undoubtedly 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 would 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 one last recovery ($100,000 - $10,000 - $30,000 = $60,000).
Ensure 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 when it becomes a deal breaker, it's probably best to find another lawyer.
Other Fee Arrangements
Not all cases will involve a natural contingency fee arrangement. Lawyers may collect an initial retainer to start your case and also collect a contingency fee at the end of one's case. However, if you recover money, the quantity already paid to the attorney should really be subtracted from the percentage due to the attorney at 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 normally reserved for less-complex cases. A law firm may charge a set fee where the legal representation is limited to drafting and answering a demand letter. For the reason that 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 serious the injuries, the greater 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 your own injury settlement with no lawyer. On the other hand, if you had been injured and needed any significant medical treatment, the worth of one's case rises quickly. What this means is the insurance adjuster will continue to work to minimize your damages and try to have you to accept a suprisingly low settlement offer—they're available of making money, not spending it, after all. For the reason that situation, having an experienced lawyer on your own side becomes essential.