Facts : 28y / o ; brand new attorney . In auto accident 4 mo ago . Other driver was 100% at fault . Suffered compound femur fracture requiring rod in leg , scrapes and bruises . Missed 14 weeks of work ; have scars on leg . Other driver has 250K policy , no umbrella , no assets save for highly mortgaged home , and was not in a work vehicle or on work business . Lost wages and medical bills ( subject to subrogation following settlement ) total 90k ; thus , max pain / suffering amount is 160k . Assuming I engage an attorney and we get the max of 250k , after 1 / 3rd fee , I get 166k ( 40k - lost wages ; 50k - current medical ( after 50k PIP limit ) ; 76k for future medical / pain / suffering ) . Q : If I am able to get a settlement offer for 170k or higher on my own , are there any reasons I should still get a lawyer ? Thanks
Generally when a lawyer represents him or herself they have a fool for a lawyer. With that said in the specific factual situation you set forth, did you have Underinsured Motorist Coverage? There are often lien issue and you would want to make sure that they were well addressed before resolution.
You may well be able to resolve for a net amount that is in your favor. I recommend you consult with a few personal injury attorneys before you decide to resolve on your own.
As Attorney LaBore mentioned, did you have underinsured motorist coverage on your policy, and if so, is it higher than $250,000? After settlement with the other party for the total policy limit of $250,000. , you could send in a notification to your insurance carrier that you intend to submit a claim for the underinsured amount. I also agree with my colleagues that you need to find a good personal injury attorney to represent you. The amount for that representation might be negotiable under these circumstances. Good luck and I sure hope you are feeling better.
You should consult with an attorney , as there are definitely options to consider, and various approaches. Not all cases have to be as simple as 1/3 contingency fees.
I will be out of the office until Friday of next week 2/22, but feel free to give me a call at that time and I will address those various approaches and options with you with no charge.
If you are in need of an immediate response, Mr. Ferrara is an excellent choice.
Retaining an experienced attorney on an hourly fee rate schedule will change your settlement evaluation, and may cost you less, thereby allowing you to retain a higher net settlement than $170,000. N.J. Court Rule 1:21-7 states: " (b) An attorney shall not enter into a contingent fee arrangement without first having advised the client of the right and afforded the client an opportunity to retain the attorney under an arrangement for compensation on the basis of the reasonable value of the services."
In your circumstances, you should contact an attorney here on Avvo, or find another experienced lawyer to represent you.
I have an office in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and will be available to discuss your claim further.
I dont practice in your state and cant give specific advice. However, you need to see whether an atty would be able to help you on any lien or reimbursement issues. An atty may be willing to enter into a non standard fee agreement under the situation, so that you dont lose money by hiring the atty.EG maybe atty will agree to reduce fees if you end up with less than 170k, or maybe will agree to take the amount saved in lien reduction as the fee for the case.
If your claim is handled appropriately, bad faith litigation and uninsured motorist coverage could cover all your economic and no economic damages enough to appropriately compensate your attorney all while getting you a better deal likely than you would on your own if your inexperienced with these sorts of cases.
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