If one other driver is to blame for your car or truck accident, you'll probably have the ability to hire an individual injury attorney on a "contingency fee" basis. Learn when it's worth the cost.
If you've experienced a vehicle accident, and it's pretty clear that one other driver was to blame, you will be buying plaintiff's car accident lawyer (one who represents the person filing an individual injury lawsuit, each time a case causes it to be to court). But how much do you want to need to cover?
Most car accident attorneys charge for his or her services in a reasonably unique way—instead of the hourly fee that numerous firms charge in other forms of cases. The typical car accident lawyer will charge a "contingency fee" to battle a personal injury case. A contingency fee ensures that the firm won't receives a commission any attorney's fees until you recover money in to your case. The lawyer or law firm will 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 what you can expect if you decide to hire a lawyer to deal with 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, when you yourself 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 can vary greatly based on whether an individual injury lawsuit needs to be filed against one other driver (the defendant). If the case settles before it would go to court, the percentage might be on the low side.
However, if settlement occurs after suit is filed and following the defendant has served a conventional answer 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 one 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 what the law states in your state) allows the attorney for 40% of a recovery following the complaint is answered. In this situation, the attorney can recover $36,000.
It is definitely crucial that you speak together with your attorney in regards to 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 spell out it to you.
Also, the same as everything in a contract, the fee is negotiable. If yours is really 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 can certainly negotiate a lower contingency percentage. You never need to quit a next of one's compensation simply because you will need the leverage of having a lawyer in your side.
Fees and Expenses
Depending on the lawyer and your contract for legal services, you may or may not result in 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're responsible for these costs, you can expect an individual injury firm to call you and seek payment since the fees become due. If you fail to 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 is going to be deducted from your 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 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 would wind up receiving $60,000 as one last 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 total 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 realize that you won't accept that, and when it becomes a package breaker, it's probably best to locate another lawyer.
Other Fee Arrangements
Not totally all cases calls for a natural contingency fee arrangement. Lawyers may collect a preliminary retainer to begin your case and also collect a contingency fee at the conclusion of one's case. However, in the event that you recover money, the total amount already paid to the attorney should be subtracted from the percentage due to the attorney at the conclusion of the case. Like, 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 generally reserved for less-complex cases. A law firm may charge an appartment fee where in fact the legal representation is limited to drafting and giving an answer to a demand letter. In that case, the fee may range from $300 to $1,000.
Is a Car Accident Lawyer Worth The Cost ?
The overall rule is this: The much more serious the injuries, the greater the worth of hiring a lawyer. If you had been in a fender bender with little if any injuries, you can probably negotiate an individual injury settlement without a lawyer. On one other hand, if you had been injured and needed any significant medical treatment, the worth of one's case rises quickly. This means the insurance adjuster will work to minimize your damages and try to obtain you to simply accept a very low settlement offer—they are in the commercial of earning profits, not spending it, after all. In that situation, having an experienced lawyer in your side becomes essential.