The percentage accident lawyers take following a Florida truck accident can vary. It is important to note that most personal injury lawyers do not charge a retainer or bill an hourly fee for their services. Truck accident victims typically do not have to pay anything out of pocket for legal representation.
Instead, truck accident attorneys who work on a contingency-fee basis. This means they assess their fees as a percentage of the payout they may secure for the client. The exact percentage that applies in your case may vary depending on the complexity of your case, whether or not it can be settled out of court, and how much in costs are advanced on your behalf.
You may want to contact a personal injury law firm directly to determine what percentage their accident lawyers take.
You May Pay Your Attorney About a Third of Your Settlement
The standard fee attorneys charge truck accident clients in Florida is 33% of their payout if a settlement can be reached prior to filing a lawsuit. This type of settlement is often called an out of court agreement with the insurance carrier representing the trucking company. At first glance, this may seem like a large portion of your settlement, and you may believe you are better off navigating the claims process on your own.
However, there are benefits to working with a lawyer on your case. A lawyer usually understands how to gather evidence to value a case, including identifying your damages and calculating future expenses. The best truck accident lawyers can usually negotiate a settlement that puts more money in the clients pocket even after the attorney’s fees than the client would have been able to negotiate on their own without an attorney.
Having an attorney on your side may also reduce the pressure on you to prove your case and handle this process on your own. Many lawyers also provide the following services:
- Answering questions and providing clients with legal advice
- Handling all communications, deadlines, and legal paperwork
- Hiring accident reconstruction or medical experts if necessary
- Keeping clients informed about their case while they can focus on recovering from their injuries
It May Cost You More If Your Case Goes to Trial
The percentage accident lawyers take generally increases if they take your case to trial. In fact, in Florida the standard fee increases to 40% after a lawsuit is filed. The fee increase occurs because the lawyer has to take on much more risk and work many more hours once a lawsuit is filed. This should be clearly outlined in your contract if it is a possibility in your case.
Gathering evidence to support an insurance claim usually requires a thorough investigation. After filing a lawsuit, the additional work involved will include things like preparing the complaint, engaging in the discovery process, answering written questions called interrogatories, producing and receiving documents, taking depositions, going to mediation, preparing for trial, and going to trial. This extra work required after filing a lawsuit along with the risk involved justifies the increase in the percentage of the fee for your Florida or Tampa Bay truck accident case.
While many motor vehicle accident cases settle out of court, if an insurance company does not negotiate in good faith, a lawyer may recommend taking your case to trial and presenting an argument for compensation to the judge and jury.
It is important to note that time may be limited for you to file a lawsuit in Florida. Per Florida Statute § 95.11, a general four-year statute of limitations applies to personal injury lawsuits and a two year statute of limitations applies to wrongful death lawsuits. If you try to file a lawsuit after this deadline expires, your case may be dismissed.
YOU MAY ALSO OWE COSTS ADVANCED
Simply put, properly preparing a case for settlement and or trial costs money in addition to the attorney’s time or fees. This additional money paid out by the lawyer will include paying for things like medical records, expert witness fees, court filing fees, court reporter deposition fees, and mediation fees. The lawyer will advance these costs on your behalf by paying for them as they are incurred.
If there is no recovery you will not owe this money to the lawyer. The lawyer will simply lose out on reimbursement of these costs. On the other hand, if there is a recovery on your behalf, the lawyer will take the costs advanced on your behalf out of the settlement in addition to their attorney’s fee percentage owed.
Distasio Law Firm Is Clear About Our Attorney’s Fees
Distasio Law Firm is committed to serving truck accident victims in our area, and this includes communicating clearly and openly about our pricing. Our attorney’s fees are clearly outlined in our contract, and we will be glad to answer any questions you have about them before you sign on for representation.
We can also discuss what happens if we need to take your case to trial, as well as other expenses that you may incur while we work together to try to hold the liable party accountable for the harm they caused you.
Distasio Law Firm represents truck accident victims in the Tampa area and throughout the state of Florida. When you work with us, we can seek justice and compensation on your behalf while you focus on healing and getting your life back instead of your legal case. We may be able to help you recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
For a free consultation on your case with a member of our team, call Distasio Law Firm today at (813) 259-0022. We can discuss your accident, the strength of your case, and what percentage our accident lawyer may take if we represent you.