A lot of people involved in smaller accidents, particularly car accidents, refrain from negotiating an insurance settlement since they are reluctant to take on all the necessary paperwork on their own and think of their chances of receiving a good insurance settlement as small. Other victims would like to seek legal aid to negotiate their insurance settlement, but abstain from doing so since they are afraid of losing the case and being stuck with thousands of dollars in lawyer fees. Negotiating an insurance claim as a private person can, however, be very troublesome and seeking legal aid from a professional is always recommended. Keep in mind that the insurance company will offer you the smallest possible insurance settlement just to save their own money, and they will certainly not show up without legal representation.
If you ever been involved in a civil case, a divorce case or similar, you are probably painfully aware of the fact that legal counseling is billed on an hourly basis and that you usually have no way of knowing on beforehand how many hours of counseling your specific case will require. In criminal cases, the normal pricing practice is not based on hourly rates but on a flat fee paid up front. When is comes to insurance settlements you are however allowed to choose a third form of pricing – a so-called contingency fee. Contingent fees are prohibited in all criminal matters and hardly ever permitted in family law cases.
When it comes to insurance settlements, the use of contingent fees is not restricted and it has become one of the most common ways of paying for legal aid when negotiating insurance settlements. Insurance settlements are typically arranged out of court and the involved parties are therefore much freer to set their own rules according to their own needs and preferences. This will not only affect the relationship between the insurance company and the person seeking a settlement, it will also make the agreements between the involved parties and their legal aids more free as well.
If you and your lawyer agree on a contingency fee, the lawyer will be entitled to a percentage of your insurance settlement. If you do not receive any money from the insurance settlement, you will naturally not have to pay anything to the lawyer. Your lawyer can only make any money from your case by managing to win it for you.
A majority of the contingency fee agreements stipulates that one-third of the insurance settlement will go to the lawyer, but higher, as well as lower numbers, are frequent as well. Sometimes the agreement stipulates a sliding scale, which means that the lawyer will receive a higher percentage of the insurance settlement if he or she manages to negotiate a very large insurance settlement for your. A smaller insurance settlement will consequently mean that you will have to pay a lower percentage of the money to your lawyer.