If the other driver is to blame for your car or truck accident, you'll probably manage to hire an individual injury attorney on a "contingency fee" basis. Discover when it's worth the cost.
If you've been in a car accident, and it's pretty clear that the other driver was to blame, you will end up buying a plaintiff's car accident lawyer (one who represents anyone filing an individual injury lawsuit, when a case makes it to court). But just how much do you want to need to cover?
Most car accident attorneys charge because of their services in a fairly unique way—as opposed to the hourly fee that many firms charge in other types of cases. The normal car accident lawyer will charge a "contingency fee" to battle an accident case. A contingency fee implies that the firm won't receive money any attorney's fees if you don't recover money in your case. The lawyer or law firm are certain to 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 take a closer look at how contingency fees work and that which you can expect if you choose to hire a lawyer to handle your car or truck accident case.
The Contingency Percentage
The percentage 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 according to whether an individual injury lawsuit needs to 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 an official 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.
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 case, 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 the law in your state) allows the attorney to receive 40% of a recovery following the complaint is answered. In this case, the attorney can recover $36,000.
It is obviously crucial that you speak together with your attorney concerning the contingency fee and to carefully review your contract for legal services. If you don't understand the fee arrangement as previously 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 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 backing up your claims—you are able to certainly negotiate a lower contingency percentage. You don't need to give up a third of your compensation mainly because you will need the leverage of experiencing a lawyer in your side.
Fees and Expenses
Depending on the lawyer and your contract for legal services, you could 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 as they become due. If your contract states that you will be accountable for these costs, you are able to expect an individual injury firm to call you and seek payment whilst the fees become due. If you cannot pay these fees, your case will more than likely not proceed until there's 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 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 a final recovery ($100,000 - $10,000 - $30,000 = $60,000).
Be sure that your lawyer takes their fee 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 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 absolutely all cases calls for a natural contingency fee arrangement. Lawyers may collect an initial retainer to begin your case and also collect a contingency fee at the conclusion of your case. However, if you recover money, the quantity already paid to the attorney must certanly 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 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. For the reason that case, the fee may range from $300 to $1,000.
Is really a Car Accident Lawyer Worth The Cost ?
The overall rule is this: The more serious the injuries, the greater the worthiness of hiring a lawyer. If you were in a small fender bender with minimum injuries, you are able to probably negotiate an individual injury settlement without a lawyer. On the other hand, if you were injured and needed any significant medical treatment, the worthiness of your case rises quickly. What this means is the insurance adjuster will continue to work to minimize your damages and try to get you to accept a really low settlement offer—they are in the commercial of earning profits, not spending it, after all. For the reason that situation, having an experienced lawyer in your side becomes essential.