If another driver is responsible for your car accident, you'll probably have the ability to hire an individual injury attorney on a "contingency fee" basis. Find out 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 responsible, you will 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 can you need to pay for?
Most car accident attorneys charge due to their services in a reasonably unique way—rather than the hourly fee that numerous firms charge in other types of cases. The typical car accident lawyer will charge a "contingency fee" to defend myself against an injury case. A contingency fee means 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 are certain to get paid a share 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 what you can get if you decide to hire a lawyer to deal with 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 may vary based on whether an individual injury lawsuit has to be filed against another driver (the defendant). If the case settles before it would go to 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 case, 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 case, the attorney can recover $36,000.
It is obviously important to speak together with your attorney concerning 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 explain it to you.
Also, the same as everything in a contract, the fee is negotiable. If yours is a "cut and dry" case—fault for the automobile accident and your damages are clear, the defendant has a lot of car insurance, and there's ample evidence burning your claims—you are able to certainly negotiate a lower contingency percentage. You do not need to stop a next of one's 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 might not result in 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 because 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 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. This time, your contract stated that costs and expenses will be deducted from the settlement. Your attorney incurred $10,000 in costs and expenses. In this case, your attorney would receive $10,000 as reimbursement for the expense and expenses, and $30,000 for legal services. You would end up receiving $60,000 as one last recovery ($100,000 - $10,000 - $30,000 = $60,000).
Be sure that your lawyer takes their fee out of 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 if it becomes a deal breaker, it's probably best to find another lawyer.
Other Fee Arrangements
Not totally all cases will involve a natural 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, if you recover money, the quantity already paid to the attorney should be subtracted from the percentage due to the attorney at the conclusion 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 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 actuality the legal representation is limited to drafting and responding to a demand letter. For the reason that case, the fee may vary from $300 to $1,000.
Is really a Car Accident Lawyer Worth The Cost ?
The overall rule is this: The more severe the injuries, the greater the worth 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 without a lawyer. On another hand, if you had been injured and needed any significant medical treatment, the worth of one's case rises quickly. This implies the insurance adjuster will continue to work to minimize your damages and try to have you to just accept a very low settlement offer—they're in the business of making money, not spending it, after all. For the reason that situation, having a skilled lawyer on your own side becomes essential.