If one other driver is at fault for your vehicle accident, you'll probably have the ability to hire your own injury attorney on a "contingency fee" basis. Find out when it's worth the cost.
If you've been in a vehicle accident, and it's pretty clear that one other driver was at fault, you'll be looking for a plaintiff's car accident lawyer (one who represents anyone filing your own injury lawsuit, whenever a case makes it to court). But simply how much can you need to pay for?
Most car accident attorneys charge due to their services in a reasonably unique way—as opposed to 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 a personal injury case. A contingency fee ensures that the firm will not receive money any attorney's fees until you recover cash in your case. The lawyer or law firm will 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 information, we'll take a closer look at how contingency fees work and what you can get if you choose to hire a lawyer to take care of 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 must be filed against one other driver (the defendant). If the case settles before it would go to court, the percentage may be on the lower side.
However, if settlement occurs after suit is filed and following the defendant has served a formal 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 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 always very important to speak 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 stated in the contract, ask your attorney to spell out it to you.
Also, just like everything in an agreement, 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 plenty of car insurance, and there's ample evidence copying your claims—you can certainly negotiate a lowered contingency percentage. You don't need to give up a next of your compensation mainly because you'll need the leverage of getting a lawyer on your side.
Fees and Expenses
With respect to the lawyer and your contract for legal services, you may 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 pay for the above-mentioned fees because they become due. If your contract states that you are responsible for these costs, you can expect your own injury firm to call you and seek payment whilst the fees become due. If you fail to pay these fees, your case will 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 is likely to be deducted from your own settlement or final judgment. Let's say you settled your vehicle 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 expense and expenses, and $30,000 for legal services. You'd 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 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 improve 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 will involve a natural contingency fee arrangement. Lawyers may collect an original retainer to start your case and also collect a contingency fee at the end of your case. However, if you recover money, the quantity already paid to the attorney should really be subtracted from the percentage because of the attorney at the end of the case. As an example, 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 set fee payment for legal services. Flat fee arrangements are generally reserved for less-complex cases. A law firm may charge a set fee where in fact the legal representation is limited to drafting and giving an answer to a demand letter. For the reason that case, the fee may range between $300 to $1,000.
Is just a Car Accident Lawyer Worth The Cost ?
The typical rule is this: The much more serious the injuries, the higher the value of hiring a lawyer. If you had been in a small fender bender with little or no injuries, you can probably negotiate your own injury settlement without a lawyer. On one other hand, if you had been injured and needed any significant medical treatment, the value of your case rises quickly. This implies the insurance adjuster works to minimize your damages and try to get you to simply accept a suprisingly low settlement offer—they are available of making money, not spending it, after all. For the reason that situation, having a skilled lawyer on your side becomes essential.