Accident Insurance Settlement: Lawyers and Lawyers' Fees

When a person is involved in an accident, whether it is work related, automobile, or another type, the information involved can be often overwhelming and confusing.  Involving a lawyer to negotiate an accident insurance settlement can assist with getting through the situation.

An accident insurance settlement is one reached without the two parties involved having to go to court.  It is negotiated with the insurance company and the lawyers of the parties.  Most settlements are obtained faster and are less expensive for the client than having to go to court.

It is important to understand attorney fees before settling, as the percentages can vary.  There are various costs associated with hiring an attorney, and an accident victim should weigh the options to be certain it is his best interest to involve a lawyer.

Determining Lawyer Fees

Typically, an attorney will charge anywhere from 30-50% of the money actually recovered in an accident insurance settlement.  If the insurance settlement is $75,000.00, the lawyer will take $22,500.00 to $37,500.00.  Understanding how a lawyer determines the fees is crucial to know before signing on the dotted line.

Contingent fees, flat fees, and hourly fees are all ways that lawyers will charge for their services.  A contingent fee is very common for most automobile accidents.  This fee is based upon a percentage of what the client is awarded from an accident insurance settlement.  The lawyer is only paid this fee if he wins the settlement for the client.  

If a case appears very simple, then many times a lawyer will ask for a flat fee.  This is a predetermined amount set by lawyer that covers their services.  This covers a settlement that involves minimal time or effort on the lawyer’s part.

An hourly fee is simply what it states:  an hourly charge that accumulates based upon the time spent researching, filing, and discussing the client’s case.  The charge is typically lower when a court case is not involved.

Additional Settlement Costs

Depending on the type of accident, amount claimed, and other additional factors, the client will be responsible for some out-of-pocket expenses.  This can include research performed by any expert a lawyer may need to consult with regarding the claim.  Doctor statements, accident analysts, and lab fees are all common costs associated with accident insurance settlements that provide necessary proof.

An attorney is responsible for making the client aware of these potential fees, and creating a schedule for them within a written agreement.  If a payment schedule needs to be determined for the additional fees, then it should also appear within this agreement.

Consulting a lawyer for accident insurance settlements does not need to be a bad experience.  The client needs to be aware of how the claim settlements are obtained, and if the costs involved are worth the effort.
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