Truck Accident Lawyer
When Will I Get Paid After My Truck Accident Case Ends?
Once your truck accident case concludes, whether by a favorable settlement or a jury award, the defendant’s insurance company has a reasonable amount of time, usually six weeks or less, to send a check to your attorney. He or she then places this money in his or her trust account, and once the check clears, pays you.
Keep in mind, however, that you won’t receive the full amount of the settlement or jury award. Why? Because your lawyer must first pay the following:
- The outstanding medical and other bills associated with your accident.
- The amount of his or her contingency fee.
- Any expenses, such as court filing fees, expert witness fees, etc., that you owe him, her, or others.
Contingency Fee Amount
Virtually all personal injury attorneys, including truck accident lawyers, charge what’s called a contingency fee, meaning that what they charge you as their legal fee depends upon their obtaining compensation for you. In other words, you owe your lawyer nothing unless and until he or she gets you a favorable settlement or jury award.
The amount of your lawyer’s fee will be set forth in the employment agreement between the two of you. Some lawyers charge a flat percentage, usually around 33%, regardless of how much work they need to do to resolve your case. Other lawyers charge less, generally 20% to 25%, if they settle your case and more, probably close to 50% if they have to conduct a full-blown jury trial.
Contingency Fee Payment Example
Assume the following:
- You hired a truck accident lawyer whose employment contract calls for a 45% attorney’s fee if your case goes to trial.
- He or she agreed to advise your doctor, hospital, and other health care providers that they would be paid once your case concluded, and these currently unpaid bills total $25,000.
- The defendant’s insurance company failed to offer you a reasonable settlement, even after extensive negotiations between it and your lawyer, and your case therefore went to trial.
- After hearing compelling testimony from your expert witness, who agreed to wait for payment of his $5,000 fee until your case concluded, the jury awarded you $1 million.
Your lawyer’s disbursements from the $1 million insurance check would look like this:
- $1 million – $25,000 to your health care providers = $975,000
- $975,000 – $5,000 to your expert witness = $970,000
- $970,000 – $450,000 to your lawyer (45% of the $1 million award) = $520,000
- $520,000 to you
Your truck accident lawyer will likely call you as soon as he or she receives the insurance company’s check and let you know the amounts that will be deducted from your overall award before you receive the balance. He or she will then probably call or email you once the check clears and ask you whether you want to pick up your check immediately or have it mailed to you.