If the other driver is responsible for your car or truck accident, you'll probably manage to hire an individual injury attorney on a "contingency fee" basis. Find out when it's worth the cost.
If you've been in 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 individual filing an individual injury lawsuit, whenever a case helps it be to court). But how much are you going to need to cover?
Most car accident attorneys charge for his or her services in a reasonably unique way—as opposed to the hourly fee that numerous firms charge in other types of cases. The conventional car accident lawyer will charge a "contingency fee" to battle a personal injury case. A contingency fee ensures that the firm will not receives a commission any attorney's fees if you recover money in to your case. The lawyer or law firm will 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 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 or truck accident case.
The Contingency Percentage
The percentage that a 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, if 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 may vary according to whether an individual injury lawsuit must 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 after the defendant has served a formal response 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.
As an 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, 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 to get 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 do not understand the fee arrangement as previously mentioned in the contract, ask your attorney to describe it to you.
Also, just 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 a lot of car insurance, and there's ample evidence backing up your claims—you are able to certainly negotiate a lower contingency percentage. You do not need to quit a third of one's compensation mainly because you need the leverage of experiencing a lawyer in your side.
Fees and Expenses
With respect to the lawyer and your contract for legal services, you might or might not be responsible for 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 as they become due. If your contract states that you are responsible for these costs, you are able to 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 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 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 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 would wind up receiving $60,000 as a final recovery ($100,000 - $10,000 - $30,000 = $60,000).
Make sure that your lawyer takes their fee out from the "net settlement"—that is, 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 understand that you won't accept that, and if it becomes a deal breaker, it's probably best to locate another lawyer.
Other Fee Arrangements
Not absolutely all cases calls for a pure 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 total amount already paid to the attorney should be subtracted from the percentage as a result of attorney at the end of the case. For instance, 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 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 the legal representation is limited to drafting and answering a demand letter. For the reason that case, the fee may range from $300 to $1,000.
Is just a Car Accident Lawyer Worth The Cost ?
The overall rule is this: The much more serious the injuries, the higher the worthiness of hiring a lawyer. If you had been in a small fender bender with little or no injuries, you are able to probably negotiate an individual injury settlement with out a lawyer. On the other hand, if you had been injured and needed any significant medical treatment, the worthiness of one's case rises quickly. This means the insurance adjuster will work to minimize your damages and try to get you to accept a suprisingly low settlement offer—they're in the commercial of earning money, not spending it, after all. For the reason that situation, having an experienced lawyer in your side becomes essential.