When it comes to the cost of hiring a car accident attorney in Florida, the system allows an injured person to get legal representation without upfront legal costs. This is why most lawyers charge a contingency fee. This means that the lawyer will receive a percentage of the amount that you recover in your settlement or judgment.
What is the contingency fee percentage?
The contingency fee percentage can be defined as the percentage of the case compensation that your lawyer is supposed to receive. Usually, this varies from state to state. However, it is usually somewhere in the range of 25% to 40%. The standard contingency fee percentage is nearly 1/3 of the compensation received. This is usually simple to calculate. However, there are certain vital details that need to be noted. There are some states where the percentages are likely to shift on the basis of the stage of the case plus the amount of money that is recovered. The contingency fee can be dependent on whether the at-fault driver responded to your complaint or not. The percentage that is allowed can get lower if you settle the case prior to getting the response of the at-fault driver. It can turn out to be higher if you receive a proper answer to your complaint. The same applies if a jury verdict is attained in the trial.
What are the different fees that are involved?
You might be responsible for various litigation costs such as upfront court fees. Most of these costs depend on your lawyer as well as the legal services contract. There are certain fees plus costs that you would have to think about. The common ones are court filing fees, the expense of serving summonses plus subpoenas; expenses of gathering medical records plus police reports; fees related to court and expert witness fees.
In a majority of cases, your South Florida personal injury lawyer needs these payments to be made when they cross the deadline in your case. Also, your case is not very likely to proceed if you have not paid them. In certain cases, the personal injury lawyer would cover these costs as well as eliminate these costs from your final judgment/settlement. This is usually done by large firms.
What are the extra fee agreements?
There are certain cases that do not have a proper contingency fee agreement. Your attorney may want to gain a retainer in the early stages of the case. Then, he/she would focus on gathering the contingency fee. If you work with this type of agreement, the amount that you have paid as a retainer will be eliminated from the contingency fee that you owe the lawyer once the settlement/judgment is received. In usual, flat fee agreements are practical for various uncomplicated cases.
The value of hiring a car accident lawyer is greater in cases where significant injuries occurred. A minor fender bender without injuries does not necessarily require the assistance of a lawyer. You should be able to get an acceptable settlement by negotiating for yourself. When the settlement is simple and guaranteed, there’s no need to pay a lawyer for this service.
When is the right time to book an attorney?
Make sure to hire a car accident attorney right after you have been injured in a car accident. The value of your settlement increases sharply. Thus, the insurance adjuster will try to lessen the damages to provide you with a lower settlement. Here is where a car accident attorney comes into the picture.
Usually, the threat of a lawsuit is enough to put pressure upon an insurance company into offering the right amount of settlement. A well-reputed and experienced lawyer would be able to negotiate your damages in an effective manner.
What to know about the settlement before the lawsuit?
The limit upon the contingency fee percentage can differ as per the stage of your case. As the first step, the lawyer is required to send a demand letter to a person who is responsible for your injuries. This letter needs to be inclusive of an explanation of the injuries plus expenses that are related to costs plus a demand for a settlement of a certain amount. This is the point where the negotiation starts once you receive a certain counteroffer. If you are successful in settling your case in this way, your lawyer might not be able to take more than one-third of your settlement. This might just take place even before you file a lawsuit.
What to know about the settlement after the lawsuit?
If you have a serious case and are not able to reach a settlement with a certain liable party, you are likely to file a lawsuit. You can settle your case, once the lawsuit is filed. However, your Florida accident attorney is able to receive a higher percentage that is nearly 40%. You might want to consider this while you receive settlement offers prior to filing a lawsuit. You would also have to consider various growing costs of a trial. Most of these costs are likely to come out of any settlement/judgment that you receive.
What are the various legal costs?
In certain cases, you would have to pay for the legal costs since they are due or your case will not proceed. However, most personal injury lawyers are wanting to cover all of the costs. Some of the common legal costs are medical records, police reports, expert witness fees, postage, filing fees, investigators, depositions and trial exhibits.
What are trial exhibits?
When you are done with filing a lawsuit, you’ve filed a lawsuit, your costs tend to rise quickly. These can be vital if you do not reach a settlement until the date of trial arrives. After adding up all of the expenses, the personal injury lawyer’s percentage tends to lie between 45% and 60%.
Getting a settlement check
Your settlement check is likely to be sent to your personal injury attorney. He/she is then likely to deduct his/her payment for their legal services plus covered costs. Most attorneys only work on contingency plans. Your attorney is supposed to contact you when the check is received. Also, he/she needs to discuss the amounts that are being deducted from your settlement.
If you tend to dispute any of the charges, the lawyer is sure to place the amount that you dispute into a trust account.