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Do lawyers get a percentage of your car claim

Jackson, MS |

i have a lawyer that wants 33.3% out of my car claim, and not including he want the same out of my injury claim. is that how it suppose to be?

Attorney Answers 3


usually, the lawyer does not take a percentage out of the property damage as that is toward fixing your car or reimbursing you (if it is a total loss). You should consult with a lawyer in your state or contact your state bar.

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Hiring an attorney involves deciding the terms of the deal. The terms of the deal are negotiable, so paying a certain percentage is not required. It's common in car and motorcycle accidents for the injury attorney to be hired on a contingent fee basis, meaning she/he is paid a percent of the gross recovery. Contingent fees in personal injury accident cases are often 1/3 or 33.33% of the gross recovery, meaning total settlement or jury verdict. That is what I charge generally, but it can vary in certain special circumstances.

However, this is not usually the case when dealing with the property damage claim, which is also know as the car repair claim. I usually help client's with their car repair for free as an added benefit for hiring me as their car or motorcycle accident injury attorney. The same is true if the car is totaled. Your attorney can help you get a better price for your totaled car if the insurance company is trying to low ball you.

I suggest you have a frank discussion with your attorney about this as you can end up owing money to get your car repaired. Which in my mind is not right. Or if the car is totaled, you'd be in a worse position with much less money to buy a replacement vehicle.

Best of luck!

THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT LEGAL ADVICE. They are provided for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be provided after consultation by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. Answering this question does not create an attorney-client relationship or otherwise require further consultation.

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Most personal injury lawyers in the Jackson area do not charge any fee for settling your property damage claim. The reason for this is (1) there usually is very little dispute about the amount of the property damage and little effort is required of the lawyer, and (2) assuming the car is not a total loss, you will not have enough money left to get the car repaired if the lawyer takes a fee on the property damage.

Some lawyers might charge a fee for the property damage if there are some unusual circumstances or a big dispute with the insurance company over how much you are entitled to for property damage.

As to the percentage of the injury claim, typical fee agreements in this area call for 33% of the gross amount recovered if the claim settles prior to a lawsuit being filed, 40% if the case settles after a lawsuit is filed, but before trial, and 45% if the case is tried. Typically, the attorney's out-of-pocket expenses in prosecuting the case are also deducted from the gross amount recovered.

While this may be the "typical" agreement, some lawyers may use different payment terms.

If you have any questions or concerns about the fee agreement you signed, I suggest you get those concerns addressed *now*, rather than waiting until after the case settles. In the event you and the attorney are unable to reach an agreement satisfactory to you, you can always terminate the representation and seek other counsel.

Good luck.

Curt Crowley
Offices in Jackson and Gulfport

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