If another driver is responsible for your vehicle accident, you'll probably have the ability to hire your own injury attorney on a "contingency fee" basis. Learn when it's worth the cost.
If you've experienced a car accident, and it's pretty clear that another driver was responsible, you will end up buying plaintiff's car accident lawyer (one who represents the individual filing your own injury lawsuit, whenever a case causes it to be to court). But how much will you need to cover?
Most car accident attorneys charge for their services in a reasonably unique way—as opposed to the hourly fee that many firms charge in other kinds of cases. The typical 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 get paid any attorney's fees if you don't recover money in to your case. The lawyer or law firm can get paid a percentage of money received from any car insurance settlement or jury verdict (if the case goes all how you can trial).
In this informative article, we'll have a closer look at how contingency fees work and everything you can get if you determine to hire a lawyer to handle your vehicle 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 vehicle accident case, your attorney will receive around $30,000.
A contingency fee percentage can vary based on whether your own injury lawsuit needs to be filed against another 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 after 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 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, 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 after the complaint is answered. In this situation, the attorney can recover $36,000.
It is definitely very 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 stated in the contract, ask your attorney to explain 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 car 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 diminished contingency percentage. That you do not need to quit a third of your compensation simply because you will need the leverage of having a lawyer on your own side.
Fees and Expenses
With regards to the lawyer and your contract for legal services, you might 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 while they become due. If your contract states that you will be accountable for these costs, you are able to expect your own injury firm to call you and seek payment while the fees become due. If you cannot 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 is likely to be deducted from your settlement or final judgment. Let's say you settled your vehicle 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 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 total amount 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 know that you won't accept that, and when it becomes an offer breaker, it's probably best to locate another lawyer.
Other Fee Arrangements
Not totally all cases will involve a pure 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, in the event that you recover money, the total amount already paid to the attorney ought to be subtracted from the percentage as a result of attorney by 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 won't involve an appartment fee payment for legal services. Flat fee arrangements are typically reserved for less-complex cases. A law firm may charge an appartment fee where the legal representation is limited to drafting and answering 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 more severe the injuries, the higher the worthiness of hiring a lawyer. If you had been in a minor fender bender with little or no injuries, you are able to probably negotiate your own injury settlement without a lawyer. On another hand, if you had been injured and needed any significant medical treatment, the worthiness of your case rises quickly. This means the insurance adjuster will continue to work to minimize your damages and try to have you to accept a really low settlement offer—they are available of making money, not spending it, after all. Because situation, having an experienced lawyer on your own side becomes essential.