If another driver is to blame for your car accident, you'll probably be able to hire an individual injury attorney on a "contingency fee" basis. Find out when it's worth the cost.
If you've experienced an auto accident, and it's pretty clear that another driver was to blame, you will end up buying plaintiff's car accident lawyer (one who represents anyone filing an individual injury lawsuit, whenever a case causes it to be to court). But simply how much are you going to need to cover?
Most car accident attorneys charge for their services in a fairly unique way—rather than the hourly fee that numerous firms charge in other types of cases. The normal car accident lawyer will charge a "contingency fee" to defend myself against a personal injury case. A contingency fee ensures that the firm won't get paid any attorney's fees unless you 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 article, we'll take a closer look at how contingency fees work and that which you can get if you determine to hire a lawyer to take care of your car 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 car 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 another 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 conventional 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.
As an 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 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 to get 40% of a recovery following the complaint is answered. In this situation, the attorney can recover $36,000.
It is always crucial that you speak along with your attorney about 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 explain it to you.
Also, exactly like everything in an agreement, the fee is negotiable. If yours is a "cut and dry" case—fault for the automobile accident and your damages are clear, the defendant has plenty of car insurance, and there's ample evidence burning your claims—you are able to certainly negotiate a lesser contingency percentage. That you do not need to quit a next of one's compensation mainly because you will need the leverage of experiencing a lawyer on your own 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, 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 while they become due. If your contract states that you are in charge of these costs, you are able to expect an individual injury firm to call you and seek payment because the fees become due. If you fail to 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 is likely to be deducted from your settlement or final judgment. Let's say you settled your car accident case for $100,000. Now, 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 find yourself 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 is, the quantity 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 know that you won't accept that, and if it becomes a package breaker, it's probably best to get another lawyer.
Other Fee Arrangements
Not absolutely all cases calls for a natural contingency fee arrangement. Lawyers may collect a preliminary retainer to start your case and also collect a contingency fee at the end of one's case. However, if you recover money, the quantity already paid to the attorney must certanly be subtracted from the percentage as a result of 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 won't involve a set fee payment for legal services. Flat fee arrangements are typically reserved for less-complex cases. A law firm may charge a set fee where the legal representation is limited to drafting and answering a demand letter. Because case, the fee may vary from $300 to $1,000.
Is really a Car Accident Lawyer Worth The Cost ?
The overall rule is this: The more severe the injuries, the higher the value of hiring a lawyer. If you're in a minor fender bender with little or no injuries, you are able to probably negotiate an individual injury settlement with out a lawyer. On another hand, if you're injured and needed any significant medical treatment, the value of one's case rises quickly. This means the insurance adjuster will work to minimize your damages and try to obtain you to just accept a suprisingly low settlement offer—they're available of making money, not spending it, after all. Because situation, having a skilled lawyer on your own side becomes essential.