If the other driver is at fault for your car accident, you'll probably have the ability to hire your own injury attorney on a "contingency fee" basis. Discover when it's worth the cost.
If you've been in a vehicle accident, and it's pretty clear that the other driver was at fault, you will end up buying a plaintiff's car accident lawyer (one who represents the individual filing your own injury lawsuit, when a case helps it be to court). But just how much do you want to need to pay for?
Most car accident attorneys charge for his or her services in a fairly unique way—instead of the hourly fee that numerous firms charge in other forms of cases. The conventional car accident lawyer will charge a "contingency fee" to take on a personal injury case. A contingency fee ensures that the firm will not get paid any attorney's fees until you recover money into your case. The lawyer or law firm will get paid a portion 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 what you can expect if you decide 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 yourself 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 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 lower side.
However, if settlement occurs after suit is filed and following the defendant has served an official 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 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 what the law states in your state) allows the attorney for 40% of a recovery following the complaint is answered. In this case, 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 don't 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 an agreement, the fee is negotiable. If yours is really 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 diminished contingency percentage. You don't need to quit a next of one's compensation mainly because you need the leverage of experiencing a lawyer on 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, 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 pay for 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 your own injury firm to call you and seek payment since the fees become due. If you fail to 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 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 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 expenses and expenses, and $30,000 for legal services. You'd find yourself receiving $60,000 as your 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 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 totally all cases calls for a natural contingency fee arrangement. Lawyers may collect an original retainer to begin your case and also collect a contingency fee by the end of one's case. However, in the event that you recover money, the quantity already paid to the attorney must 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 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 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 general rule is this: The much more serious the injuries, the greater the value of hiring a lawyer. If you had been in a fender bender with minimum injuries, you are able to probably negotiate your own injury settlement with no lawyer. On the other hand, if you had been injured and needed any significant medical treatment, the value of one's 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're in the commercial of earning money, not spending it, after all. For the reason that situation, having a skilled lawyer on your side becomes essential.