When a Personal Injury Lawyer New Jersey takes your case for a so-called contingency fee, it means that he gets paid from whatever money he recovers for your case. His fee is contingent upon recovering money. No money, no fee. Unlike some other states, where contingency fees can be as high as 40-45% of the gross recovery, the Supreme Court of New Jersey has capped contingency fees at 33 1/3% of the net recovery for adults, and 25% for anyone under the age of 18. So, if a lawyer spends $5,000 on case expenses to recover $50,000 for an adult, the net recovery is $45,000, and the lawyers 1/3 fee is $15,000, which translates to 30% of the gross $50,000 recovery. In the case of a minor, the lawyer’s fee would be 25% of the $45,000, or $11,250, which translates to 22.5 % of the gross $50,000 recovery.
Does a lower contingency fee mean the client collects more money? Not necessarily. When you see a circular saying the large box of Wheaties, normally $5.00, will be on sale next Wednesday for $2.50, you know that by waiting ‘til next Wednesday, you’ll get the same amount of Wheaties for less money. When it comes to contingency fee cases, however, the outcome uncertain because two separate factors are affecting the equation – the contingency fee rate, which is certain, and the amount of money recovered, which is always uncertain. Let’s say a lawyer charges you 33 1/3% to take your case, and he gets you a net recovery of $45,000. In that case, he’d collect $15,000, and you’d collect $30,000. On the other hand, if a lawyer charges you a contingency fee of only 28%, but he gets you a net recovery of just $40,000, then he’d collect $11,200, and you’d collect $28,800. So the answer is obviously no, a lower contingency fee rate does not necessarily mean the client collects more money. The net result to the client always depends on what the lawyer is able to recover.
The recovery in a case is determined in one of two ways – by how much an insurance company is willing to offer, or how much the jury is willing to award. Either way, achieving the right result requires a lawyer with the right reputation, skills, and experience. Does your lawyer practice in the region where your case is located (North, Central, or Southern New Jersey) ? Has your lawyer been Board-Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey, an approved measure of continuing legal education, real trial experience, and professional reputation? Does your attorney have access to the inside information and expertise of hundreds of other New Jersey trial lawyers because he’s a fellow member of the New Jersey Association for Justice? Has your lawyer demonstrated a willingness to do what’s necessary to let the insurance company know you mean business, and not bargain away your rights for a quick settlement? You need to get the answers to these questions, especially if your injuries are serious, and the other side is all about avoiding responsibility. If so, your case could take a lot of time and money to prepare properly, and having the right lawyer at your side makes all the difference in the world when it’s time to make tough decisions about waging war or making peace.
Personal Injury Lawyer New Jersey Contingency Fees
The choice of an attorney is an important decision requiring careful thought. So don’t hesitate to do some homework, and then call a well-credential Personal Injury Lawyer New Jersey for a free consultation.