If the other driver is to blame for your vehicle accident, you'll probably manage to hire your own injury attorney on a "contingency fee" basis. Learn when it's worth the cost.
If you've held it's place in a car accident, and it's pretty clear that the other driver was to blame, you will be looking for a plaintiff's car accident lawyer (one who represents the person filing your own injury lawsuit, each time a case helps it be to court). But how much are you going to need to cover?
Most car accident attorneys charge because of their services in a reasonably unique way—rather than the hourly fee that lots of firms charge in other types of cases. The typical car accident lawyer will charge a "contingency fee" to defend myself against an accident case. A contingency fee means that the firm won't receive money any attorney's fees until you recover money into your case. The lawyer or law firm can get paid a portion of money received from any car insurance settlement or jury verdict (if the case goes all the way to trial).
In this informative 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 vehicle 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 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 greatly depending on whether your own injury lawsuit needs to 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 following the defendant has served a proper 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.
For instance, 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 example, 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 regulations in your state) allows the attorney for 40% of a recovery following the complaint is answered. In this example, the attorney can recover $36,000.
It is obviously crucial that you speak along 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 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 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 less contingency percentage. That you do not need to give up a next of your compensation mainly because you need the leverage of having a lawyer in your side.
Fees and Expenses
With regards to the lawyer and your contract for legal services, you may or may not result in 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 in charge of these costs, you are able to expect your own injury firm to call you and seek payment while 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 be deducted from your settlement or final judgment. Let's say you settled your vehicle 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 example, your attorney would receive $10,000 as reimbursement for the expense and expenses, and $30,000 for legal services. You would find yourself 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'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 understand that you won't accept that, and if it becomes a deal breaker, it's probably best to get another lawyer.
Other Fee Arrangements
Not totally all cases will involve a pure contingency fee arrangement. Lawyers may collect an initial retainer to start your case and also collect a contingency fee at the conclusion of your case. However, if you recover money, the total amount already paid to the attorney ought to be subtracted from the percentage as a result of attorney at the conclusion 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 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 giving an answer to a demand letter. Because case, the fee may range from $300 to $1,000.
Is really a Car Accident Lawyer Worth The Cost ?
The general rule is this: The much more serious the injuries, the higher the worthiness of hiring a lawyer. If you had been in a minor fender bender with minimum injuries, you are able to probably negotiate your own injury settlement with out a lawyer. On the other hand, if you had been injured and needed any significant medical treatment, the worthiness of your case rises quickly. This implies the insurance adjuster works to minimize your damages and try to get you to simply accept a really low settlement offer—they're in the commercial of earning profits, not spending it, after all. Because situation, having a skilled lawyer in your side becomes essential.