Texas Attorney General Auto Purchase

Texas Attorney General Auto Purchase

If another driver is at fault for your car or truck accident, you'll probably manage to hire your own injury attorney on a "contingency fee" basis. Find out when it's worth the cost.

If you've held it's place in a car accident, and it's pretty clear that another driver was at fault, you'll be buying plaintiff's car accident lawyer (one who represents the person filing your own injury lawsuit, when a case makes it to court). But just how much will you need to pay for?

Most car accident attorneys charge for their services in a fairly unique way—instead of the hourly fee that lots of firms charge in other kinds of cases. The conventional car accident lawyer will charge a "contingency fee" to battle an accident case. A contingency fee ensures that the firm won't receive money any attorney's fees if you recover money into your case. The lawyer or law firm can get paid a share of money received from any car insurance settlement or jury verdict (if the case goes all the way to trial).

In this short article, we'll have a closer look at how contingency fees work and everything you can get if you decide to hire a lawyer to handle 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 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 may vary according to whether your own injury lawsuit has to be filed against another driver (the defendant). If the case settles before it goes to court, the percentage may be on the reduced side.

However, if settlement occurs after suit is filed and after the defendant has served an official 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 example, 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 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 what the law states in your state) allows the attorney for 40% of a recovery after the complaint is answered. In this example, the attorney can recover $36,000.

It is obviously important to 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 mentioned in the contract, ask your attorney to spell out it to you.

Also, the same as everything in an agreement, the fee is negotiable. If yours is just 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 burning your claims—you are able to certainly negotiate a lesser contingency percentage. You do not need to stop a third of your compensation simply because you will need the leverage of getting a lawyer in your side.

Fees and Expenses

With regards to the lawyer and your contract for legal services, you could or may not lead to 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 as they become due. If your contract states that you're 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 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 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 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 costs 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).

Ensure 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 increase their pay by taking their money out first. Let them know 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 calls for a natural contingency fee arrangement. Lawyers may collect an original retainer to start your case and also collect a contingency fee by the end of your case. However, in the event that you recover money, the total amount already paid to the attorney should really be subtracted from the percentage because of the attorney by the end of the case. For instance, 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 a set fee payment for legal services. Flat fee arrangements are usually reserved for less-complex cases. A law firm may charge a set 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 more serious the injuries, the more the worthiness of hiring a lawyer. If you were in a small fender bender with minimum injuries, you are able to probably negotiate your own injury settlement with out a lawyer. On another 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 work to minimize your damages and try to have you to just accept a very low settlement offer—they are in the commercial of earning money, not spending it, after all. Because situation, having a skilled lawyer in your side becomes essential.

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