In many personal injury cases, there are damages to property. Clients commonly ask whether the law firm will be paid out of the proceeds for property damages in personal injury claims.
You Have A Choice
While the standard personal injury agreement between the client and the personal injury attorney dictates that the law firm receives roughly 1/3 of the settlement, there is an exception for property damages in personal injury. You can often negotiate the property damage element of your personal injury claim on your own and avoid any attorney’s fees.
If the attorney does handle a standard property damages claim, it does not typically make sense to pay the firm 1/3 of the recovered amount—you’re left with less than what you deserve. We typically offer to handle property damages in personal injury for a flat rate, if the client desires.
The most common example is regarding property damages in personal injury is damage to an automobile. In that case, the bluebook value is commonly known or discoverable and the client can feel confident they are getting an appropriate settlement for the vehicle without the help (and fees) of the attorney or law firm. Additionally, when there is an established value like Bluebook, there is not much negotiating the law firm can do on your behalf to dramatically increase what the insurance company is offering.
Other Property Damages In Personal Injury
Alternatively, if the property that was damaged was intangible (reputation, loss of business) or not as easily defined as a bluebook value (an antique, a collectible), you may consider having the law firm handle the property damages in personal injury on your behalf.
The law firm will only suggest handling property damages in personal injury if it is going to make sense to you, in the long run. Some clients simply feel more comfortable paying a flat rate to have the peace of mind that a lawyer assisted in handling the claim. This is important for a few reasons: 1) knowing the full value was recovered, and 2) insuring that the client doesn’t unknowingly and mistakenly settle any additional rights for bodily injury when negotiating the property damage claim.
Call An Attorney
If you have any questions about property damages in personal injury, please call for a free consultation. Most consultations can be done over the phone and you deserve answers. 704.749.7747.