Personal Injury Lawyer Contingency Fee
A contingency fee agreement is a written contract between a personal injury lawyer and his or her prospective client. It establishes a percentage of a settlement or jury verdict that the attorney will receive as payment for their services. This fee arrangement may be a good fit for many cases. There are several important factors to consider when choosing a personal injury lawyer. Here are three of the most common types of contingency fees. car wreck lawyers houston
First, the contingency fee is a great deal for the client. It allows the client to hire an attorney without worrying about the initial investment. The lawyer will advance expenses for the case and deduct them from the contingency fee. In other words, the lawyer "eats" his or her expenses if the case doesn't end in a settlement. The fee, however, is usually higher because of this responsibility. Usually, the percentage is set at one-third of the gross amount recovered, which is different from the net amount.
The contingency fee also allows the client to avoid out-of-pocket expenses. The client pays a percentage of the settlement or award received by the personal injury lawyer, and only receives the full amount if they win the case. While a contingency fee is an attractive option for many clients, it is also a riskier option for the lawyer. After all, the lawyer's time and resources are at risk without any payment.
Another reason a personal injury attorney may not accept a contingency fee is that the case doesn't settle fairly or the jury doesn't award enough damages. This may be the case in which the insurance company denies liability and refuses to compensate the accident victim. Another reason may be that the jury believes the victim did not prove fault in the accident and has failed to establish damages. In these situations, a contingency fee may not be worth the risk.
The personal injury attorney must provide a final accounting to the client when the case settles. He must provide details on the way in which he or she determines the fee based on the contingency fee agreement. It is important to remember that the contingency fee is a percentage of the total cost and may change if the case goes to trial. Before agreeing to a contingency fee, consider the value of the attorney.
Personal injury lawyers often draw up sliding scale fee arrangements that lower the percentage of compensation they charge. In addition to this, a lawyer may be willing to negotiate a settlement with the other side before filing a lawsuit. The other party might counter with a settlement agreement based on the lawyer's fee. If both sides agree to the settlement, the personal injury lawyer might be able to settle the case for a lower percentage than the standard 33 percent fee.
While most lawyers offer free consultations, be sure to ask questions before signing any agreements. Look for a proven track record. Many will list the results of previous cases they have referred. You should ask whether a law firm handled the case or a single attorney. Also, if the law firm is charging for property damage and PIP (no-fault) insurance claims, these should be red flags that you need to raise.