The fee an attorney charges in an auto accident case is referred to as a contingency fee. This allows the attorney to provide legal services without the client having to pay upfront. Because of this, the injured party, who is already beleaguered with mounting bills and faced with time away from work, can hire a legal advocate. The fee is deducted from the settlement or court verdict if the lawyer’s client wins.
Lawyer Contingency Fees in Auto Accident Cases
In the event that the case is not settled in the client’s favor, the client does not own the fee. However, depending on the situation, the client may be asked to pay for costs the law firm paid out-of-pocket during the case.
Fair Lawyer Fees With Attorney David Azizi
When you are injured by the negligence of another person or entity, you need an attorney who is experienced and who fights for your rights. Auto accident attorney David Azizi is compassionate, yet aggressive and hard-hitting in his fight to recover damages using the contingency fee system. His spirit and legal acumen is recognized by Expertise.com and Super Lawyers, both of whom call him one of the best personal injury lawyers in the city. Call David 24 hours a day, seven days a week for help at 800-991-5292. The fact that he has won 98 percent of his cases speaks for itself.
What Are Contingency Fee Percentages?
The contingency fee represents that portion or percentage of the settlement or verdict the lawyer will receive as his or her fee. In California, this percentage ranges from 33.33 percent to 40 percent. The difference between the sliding price is based on the time the attorney puts into the case before a settlement is reached. For example, if the case is settled early on, the contingency fee will be at 33 percent of the settlement or verdict.
Alternately, if the case proceeds to trial, the cost to the client may be 40 percent. It should be noted that with a minor, the lawyer must limit his or her fee to 25 percent; however, the attorney can petition the court for a higher contingency fee percentage. Many attorneys accept the 25 percent fee. Regardless. It is important to discuss fees before retaining a lawyer.
Negotiating the Contingency Fee
It is possible to negotiate a lower percentage point. The ability to negotiate might be possible if the client is willing to do a large part of the footwork, such as gathering relevant documents. Sometimes, the court may restrict the percentage a lawyer can charge. Contingency fees can be used in some instances and not others. Allowed cases are those that involve personal injury, property damage and debt collections. They are not permitted in divorce cases, child custody or criminal cases.
Costs to Consider in an Auto Accident Case
There are many costs associated with an auto accident case. These are expenses a law firm pays for things necessary to the case such as:
- Police reports
- Medical records
- Copying fees
- Expert witnesses
- Filing fees
- Fees for preparation of documents
- Delivery charges
- Costs associated with the trial
Some lawyers will be able to cover fees and costs and deduct them when the case is won. Others will charge the client as the expenses come up. It is a good idea to ask about this before retaining the lawyer. Even if the verdict or settlement is not in your favor, you will still be responsible for the fees and costs. It is the lawyer’s responsibility to keep track of the charges. In some cases, the client will ask that a limit be placed on costs or that the attorney asks before assuming costs if the total goes past a certain amount.
Contingency Fee Contract
Contingency fee contracts must be in writing. Both the lawyer and the client sign the contract, and the client receives a copy of his or her records. A written contract eliminates any disputes in the future. The contract should also detail how the fees and costs are to be handled and whether they are paid separately or considered part of the lawyer’s percentage fee. Liens are paid out of the settlement or verdict amount.
The lawyer must be clear about whether any negotiations he or she is involved in concerning the lien is paid above their fee or out of the 33 to 40 percent contingency fee they receive. If the contingency fee contract does not meet the standards of California law, it may be voided. In this case, the lawyer is paid an amount deemed appropriate by the court.
If Your Case Settles Before Going to Court
If a lawsuit has not been filed in court and it settles, your attorney will most likely restrict the amount he or she is paid to 33.33 percent. Initially, after reviewing your case, the lawyer will write and send a demand letter to the defendant or their insurance company. It is called a demand letter because it demands payment after detailing the victim’s injuries. The insurance company or defendant will most likely respond with an offer of their own. Since the first offer the insurer makes is usually low, negotiations will commence.
If the Case Settles After Filing a Lawsuit
Sometimes the defendant or insurer will not provide a legitimate offer amount in response to the demand letter. When this happens, the case will be filed in court in most instances. However, sometimes after the lawsuit is filed, the case will settle. When the case proceeds to court, the lawyer will most likely ask for 40 percent of the settlement. Remember, the longer the case takes, the more work a personal injury attorney needs to do.
Auto Accident Law Firm Fees That Work For Our Clients
Having an auto accident lawyer at your side when you have been injured due to someone’s negligence necessitates finding an attorney who will fight to recover damages. Since insurance companies and the defendant have legal assistance, it is crucial to find a way to level the playing field. That’s where the law firm of David Azizi comes in.
Get a Free Case Review With Attorney David Azizi
Just call 800-991-5292 and set up a free, no-obligation case review. Angelenos know that David is a powerful advocate with exceptional services. He believes that transparency is vital in law practice and he is careful to explain everything to the client before proceeding. You can always contact David on his cell phone, making the ordeal less stressful. Let David take control of the case, and engage in the task of becoming whole once again.