Hello, I need some guidance, My Mother was killed two years ago in an auto accident (she was a pedestrian) The drivers insurance awarded my brother and I the full amount of the drivers coverage (250,000) about a year ago. I received a certified letter yesterday from the insurance company that carried my mothers million dollar uninsured motorist policy. according to them they are liable for the remaining 750,000. I didnt need an attorney with the drivers insurance company because they didnt fight it they just paid the maximum of the policy. but i spoke to the attorney representing the uninsured motorist company today and he informed me that they would be fighting this, so it appears i will need an attorney. realizing just how important it is I get the right attorney, i thought I would post this message here to see if anyone can point me in the right direction. in the past I have called the big firms that constantly advertise on tv and I was aghast when i learned of the percentage they take, leaving the firm that is actually doing the work with 30% of what i was paying, same is true just not as bad with the online "find an attorney" services. It seems to me wise to go directly to the attorney doing the work and avoid the middle man which i would obviously have to pay. this is a wrongful death case, i don't know for sure what area of law this is; I just took a guess
3 Answers from Attorneys
You need an attorney experienced in personal injury/wrongful death to handle your underinsured motorist claim. Expect contingency fees to start at 20% of the recovery, but go up as the arbitration nears and takes place. Act quickly; you don't want to lose your claim because you missed a deadline.
You need an expert car accident attorney to deal with the insurance company arbitration process. My firm are experts and we deal with the entire state of California. Go to www.thepersonalinjury.com which is us. You may call me direct cell 818-671-1669. Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq.
Basically, you'd use a personal injury attorney for this work and they usually charge about 1/3 of the recovery. The guys that start with 20% generally mean that "if we settle it without having to sue in arbitration we'll only take 20%." However, it sounds like this attorney for the insurance company intends to take it to arbitration. You should be able to find someone who will reduce their percentage (once they've taken a look at the case and can verify the recovery amount) but I wouldn't expect too much of a reduction. These attorneys pay all of the costs up front and if their is no recovery or not enough to cover costs they lose money. The alternative is to hire an attorney hourly to do it and pay the costs yourself. If you go that route you'll have to put out some up front money for costs and probably pay a big retainer.
If you'd like to discuss this more feel free to contact me.