When you hire a lawyer to represent you after a vehicle accident, you expect to have to sign paperwork. They’re lawyers and have procedures to follow to ensure fair outcomes for all. However, with so much legal paperwork to read through, even with the best contract management software, it’s easy to miss the most important information. If you’re currently reading through a contingency fee legal contract to find out how much your legal services will cost, here are some of the most important statements to look for:
The Parties Involved
After meeting with a lawyer from a highly regarded law firm like Sadaka Law, you’ll likely receive a contract about how contingency fees work. Before checking the fine print, ensure the right parties have been identified in the agreement.
Usually, they are referred to in the contract by their role, like attorney and client. However, if you’re navigating the legal process on behalf of a minor injured in a crash, you would sign your name rather than your child.
What Contingency Fee Means
While it can be assumed that you know what a contingency fee is, a basic description is often included in the contract. Look out for it to ensure you’re fully informed. In legal terms, it’s a payment type that differs from a traditional fixed hourly rate. Rather than paying a lawyer for their time, you only have to pay them a percentage of your settlement if you’re successful.
What the Contingency Fee Is
Every law firm differs regarding the contingency fee they charge to represent you. Ensure your contract clearly states what you’ll be parting with at the end of your successful case. Often, it can be between 20% and 50% of the recovery amount. Sometimes, this fee is negotiable depending on the case’s complexity, so don’t be afraid to ask before signing your contract.
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Insurance companies can be tricky to manage. This is why confirming the details surrounding subrogation can be so important. When you’re involved in a car accident, your insurance company often pays some of your bills and expenses. If you file a personal injury claim, your insurance company will often try to recover their costs from the other party’s insurance company. This is known as subrogation.
If you successfully obtain a settlement, you must pay back your insurance company for the payments they made on your behalf. Whether you must do this yourself or your lawyer holds back money for this purpose is typically written into the contract. Look for information about medical bills, liens, and subrogation to be sure of your legal responsibilities.
Contingency fees mean you don’t pay for a lawyer’s time unless your case is successful. However, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to cover other related costs. Look for information relating to the expenses you might be liable for outside of your lawyer’s time. These can often include:
● Court filing fees
● Expert witnesses expenses
● Investigator fees
● Administration costs – like preparing settlement demand materials
Contracts can be full of helpful information to ensure you’re well-informed about a legal situation. However, it’s hard to know what you’re looking for. These are just a few of the many important details you’ll find in a standard contingency fee legal contract.