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Attorneys Albert Cohen and Charles Haviv

You Deserve
A Personal Injury Lawyer
You Can Trust

How Much Does a Car Accident Lawyer Cost in New York?

| May 11, 2020 | Car Accidents, Personal Injury |

Queens Car Accident Lawyer Explains Costs: How Much Does a Car Accident Lawyer Cost in New York?

Being seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident can be frustrating, confusing, and even aggravating.  It can also be expensive.  Medical bills for care and treatment can be overburdening, especially if a victim needs surgery.  Other times, prolonged physical therapy can result in hefty, reoccurring expenses which quickly add up.  The same is true of medications.  In addition, we all know that repairing car damage can also be very expensive—even for minor scratches.  But when there is an impact that is severe enough to cause personal injury, it can also be overwhelming.  All of these increased expenses occur at a time when you may be unable to work due to your injuries.  This means that your expenses increase while your income decreases—a debilitating formula.  

This can quickly become overwhelming, including financially, physically, and emotionally.  Victims and their families may turn to get help, but many victims ask how much does a car accident lawyer cost in New York?  Can they afford a lawyer to help protect their rights?  

Our experienced Queens car accident lawyers at COHEN & COHEN PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS, P.C. , know this is a common concern.  Our compassionate team knows how confusing and frustrating this process can be for victims and their families.  But in times of great uncertainty, victims and their families can rely on our bodily injury law firm to protect their rights to compensation without any upfront cost to you or your family.  Yes, you can have our law firm begin to represent you today without paying any money until we collect compensation for you.

Contingency Fee Agreements: What Are They?

Here at COHEN & COHEN PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS, P.C. , we use contingency fee agreements with personal injury victims.  This is common practice in New York, although not every law firm may accept every personal injury case on a contingency fee agreement.  

Under a contingency fee agreement, the lawyer agrees to accept a client’s case and is not paid unless the lawyer recovers money.  This recovery could be in a settlement or court award, such as a jury award or bench trial award.  If a recovery is made, the client agrees to pay the lawyer a percentage of the award.  Generally, the industry custom is 1/3 or 33.33%.  This may be different in certain types of cases like medical malpractice, or in unique causes involving unique circumstances.

A contingency fee agreement allows a victim and his or her family to keep money in their pocket now to pay bills and expenses.  If there is no recover in a case, the client does not owe the lawyer or law firm any more.  This is a great thing for an injured client because there is no risk to take the case.

Costs and Disbursements: What Are They and How Are They Paid?

Cost and disbursements are the expensive of your case such as the cost for medical records, experts, and court fees.  A prevailing party is generally entitled to recovery of these costs and disbursements.  However, most settlements are lump sum and do not break down the costs of disbursements which are being returned, if at all.

Under the New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR), the way that costs and disbursements can be calculated is in one or two ways.  The client gets to pick this method.

METHOD 1: The client pays for the costs and disbursements.  This means that the client is responsible for the costs and disbursements of a case no matter what the outcome is.  The client could pay into the law firm for the estimated amount of costs and continue to replenish the funds for the law firm to use to pay expenses, or more typically the client just pays the final bill of the costs and disbursements at the conclusion of the matter.  This method shifts risk to the client, but also increases the award.

EXAMPLE: 

  • Case resolved for $100,000.
  • Expenses are $25,000
  • Net recovery is $75,000
  • Contingency fee of 1/3 = $25,000
  • Client recovers $50,000 PLUS the $25,000 in expenses already paid (reimbursed)

METHOD 2: The client does not want to pay the costs and disbursements upfront and the law firm is responsible for them.  This is the most common method, and most seriously injured clients opt for this because the costs and disbursements can be extreme.  This method also keeps it completely no risk for a client.  This allows a Queens car accident lawyer to pay the money upfront to the client, while the client has no risk.  However, the 1/3 fee is taken from the overall amount and not after costs and disbursements are calculated.  

EXAMPLE:

  • Case resolved for $100,000
  • Contingency fee of 1/3 is = $33,333, leaving $66,666
  • Expenses are $25,000 and are reimbursed to the law firm
  • Client recovers $41,666

DIFFERENCE IN METHOD 1 AND METHOD 2:

When the client pays upfront, the client receives $50,000 from the settlement versus $41,666 if the law firm pays the costs.  This is $8,3334 more for the client.  In this example the expenses were $25,000 which is about average for an average case going to trial.  The expenses could be more in a more complicated case or less in a less complicated case.  Thus, if the client is willing to risk $25,000 on costs and disbursements for a case, he or she is likely to recover $8,334 more.  It may be worth come clients to do this, but it may not be worth it for other clients.  It is also much riskier for clients.  This is why most clients choose method 2 and leave the risks to the law firm.

How Much Does a Car Accident Lawyer in New York Cost? Nothing Upfront Unless You Want it To

Therefore, to answer the common question how much does a car accident lawyer in New York cost, the answer is nothing upfront—unless you want to pay costs and disbursements.  Thus, victims and their families seriously injured in a New York car accident can hire would Queens car accident lawyers at Cohen & Cohen Law Group, P.C. for no upfront costs.  You will only owe us money once we recover money for you.  Learn what your rights may be by calling 800-247-8164 for a FREE case evaluation or use our convenient and easy-to-use contact us box available here.  

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