Your insurance may pay for the cost of hiring a car accident lawyer in Utah (or any other state) if it meets certain conditions, as part of a common clause that states an insurer’s “duty to defend” policyholders.
If someone files a lawsuit against you, inform the car insurance provider as soon as possible ideally within the time limit stated in your policy. Most coverage plans require prompt notification between five and 10 days, but read the terms carefully just to be sure. Unless you have a good excuse for not contacting your insurer within the stated timeframe, you should expect to pay for an attorney from out of your own pocket.
Other Exceptions to This Benefit
Accusations of an intentional car accident will not only void coverage for legal representation, but also nullify a claim at the same time. You need to present proof that the accident occurred beyond your control to increase your chances of not paying for a lawyer.
Another scenario that exempts your insurer from providing a defense attorney involves your policy limit. Once a claim reaches the threshold of a coverage plan, the insurance company no longer has a duty to defend the policyholder. This is one good reason car owners should consider including a clause on liability coverage for unexpected scenarios.
When Should You Hire a Lawyer on Your Own?
If you encounter any problem with filing a claim for damages on your car, an attorney could help with understanding the reason behind your insurer’s refusal to pay a fair sum. Some people don’t even bother to file a claim after receiving an offer from an insurance adjuster, but doing this without consult a lawyer can be a bad idea.
Adjusters often quote a small amount and some people grab the chance to avoid the tediousness of filing a claim. This won’t be beneficial, especially if you suffered heavy injuries or property damages, though.
The Cost of Hiring an Attorney
A personal injury or car accident lawyer in Utah may charge you based on a contingency fee, unlike the usual hourly rate for other kinds of lawsuits. The arrangement requires you to pay nothing if you don’t receive any amount from a court verdict or insurance settlement. Otherwise, you would have to share a certain percentage of the amount depending on some factors.
The usual percentage ranges between 25% and 40% of the awarded damages, but most lawyers charge around one-third of the total amount. You can always try to negotiate the rate and have your lawyer explain any complex clauses on your legal contract. Keep in mind as well that you may have to pay for upfront court expenses such as filing fees, whether or not your lawyer receives a cut from the awarded damages.
Whether your insurance provider covers your legal fees or not, it’s important to have legal representation when defending yourself against vehicle-related lawsuits. Remember that a negative outcome of the case can significantly increase the cost of your future insurance premiums.