When you suffer injuries in a car accident and the other driver is at fault, your car accident lawyer can represent you in a personal injury claim to seek compensation. When a settlement is reached, the car accident lawyer will take a percentage of the settlement amount as the contingency fee in the claim.
A contingency fee is a percentage of the total amount that gets recovered from the defendant in your personal injury case. When you ask “what percentage do car accident lawyers take?”, it’s important to know the factors involved that can affect your lawyer’s contingency fee amount. Let’s look at some of these below.
One of the factors that impacts the percentage of the fee that your car accident lawyer will receive is the issue of liability. Proving liability and fault in a car accident case will form the basis for the amount of the settlement.
The way that your personal injury attorney litigates the case will be important in determining the contingency fee. Your lawyer will have to prove that you suffered injuries as a result of the negligence of the other driver. Many of these car accident cases indicate that negligence is the reason for an at-fault driver. These are the key parts in proving negligence against an at-fault driver:
- The defendant who was at fault owed you (and other drivers) a certain duty of care in safely driving the vehicle within the laws
- Due to distraction, drowsiness or inebriation, the defendant breached this duty of care to be a safe driver on the road.
- As a result, this breach of duty caused the accident, which in turn made you suffer personal injuries that caused harmful economic and possibly non-economic damages.
Some states settle on charges of at-fault negligence alone, while other states settle on comparative negligence, according to Allstate. If you are in a state with comparative negligence, there is a possibility that you could be found partially responsible for the crash.
Another factor that could impact the percentage that your car accident lawyer might take in the settlement is the amount of medical expenses you incurred from your injuries related to the accident.
After an accident where the other driver was clearly liable for the crash, the defendant’s insurance company will offer you a quick payment to you. This may come even before the extent of your injuries are known. It would be a mistake for a plaintiff to accept the money. Here’s why.
You might get further injuries in the future with more physical complications. If you accept the quick settlement from the insurance company, you give up your right to recoup damages for any future injuries, and you could lose out on thousands of dollars possibly from a settlement won by a personal injury attorney.
By accepting the insurance money, you would not receive further compensation to cover any medical expenses in the future. This includes emergency room costs, ambulance costs, surgery fees, hospital room charges, prescribed medications, lab testing costs, and any recurrent physical therapy or rehabilitation programs you will have to take.
Ability to Work
One other factor in a car accident case where you ask “what percentage do car accident lawyers take?” is how the injuries caused in the accident have impaired your ability to work. Are you too injured to do the work you had before the accident? If so, a jury might look favorably on awarding a larger settlement.
In general, courts and insurance companies do look at your ability to earn an income after an accident and take that into consideration before awarding a settlement. The key questions are – how hurt were you in the accident and how has that impacted your position at work? In fact, are you even able to return to work, either in the same role or another role? You may have suffered injuries in the car accident that disabled you and will significantly limit your ability to do your previous work. That will definitely be part of a case when it comes to establishing a financial award for your injuries.
Because most lawyers work on contingency fees, their fees will come out of the settlement that they win on your behalf. Their fee is contingent on winning the case.
Contingency fees are in place to help people get legal help who may not have the funds to hire an attorney outright. The amount of compensation won by the attorney in the case will be portioned off, with some going to the attorney and some going to you for your economic and non-economic damages.
When you ask “what percentage do car accident lawyers take?”, it means that you are ready to contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 223-5115 to discuss your circumstances. One of our legal team members will listen to you and help explore legal options for your particular scenario. Call us today for a no-fee consultation.