Can attorney fees be included in a personal property claim?

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Can attorney fees be included in a personal property claim?

My truck was hit 2 days ago in a parking lot and the driver ran. I made a police report and have witnesses to the accident. The person who hit me has already contacted me and asked if I was pressing charges. My response was I think it is out of my hands and to be determine by the police. Also that I want my truck fixed and to be compensated for any cost or losses I have.

Asked on October 9, 2010 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

What you want is to hire an attorney to pursue the claim and have the fee for the attorney paid from the funds of the settlement for the property damages?  That can be done but the fee would come from the money collected and not from the insurance company directly to the attorney.  It is known as a "contingency fee" arrangement.  Many attorneys collect fees in this way for debts owned, bodily injury claims, etc.  Contingency fee arrangements may be set by statute in your state.  In other words, the law may allow for only a certain percentage to be taken as the fee for the attorney.  Generally it is a third of the settlement.  Good luck.


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