We have developed a progressive fee schedule for our clients in automobile personal injury cases. While we strongly believe that in many cases, insurance companies don’t make their best offer until they are staring at a trial date, we recognize that clients may have different goals and needs when pursuing an injury claim. If a lawyer’s fee is less than the standard fee that would be charged if the case were fought all the way to trial readiness and trial (often 1/3 or more), then the client may be able to settle his or her case sooner and still end up with as much money in pocket as if they had waited a year or more to get to trial. Because the case is settled early and the lawyer is not charging the standard fee, the client may choose to accept a lower amount from the insurance company.
In automobile cases, our contingent fee schedule means that the earlier your case is resolved, the lower our percentage fee is. This may enable you to accept a lesser sum from the insurance company but still come out ahead. We can offer a graduated fee schedule because we know that a significant number of these cases will settle without the need for discoveries under oath and other time-consuming procedures. In other cases, such as slip/trip and fall and medical malpractice, we know that a lot of investigations, discoveries and other procedures are likely. In non-auto cases, the contingent fee is geared to the risk and effort we expect to incur, and the skill and knowledge we employ.
In all cases, win or lose, you are responsible for paying the disbursements or expenses of the case. Expenses include such things as expert witness fees, discovery fees, medical record copying, and the like. Expenses vary by case and before we get started, we will fully discuss expenses with you.
In almost all cases that are lost after trial or appeal, the “loser pays” rule applies, and you are responsible for paying the costs and expenses of the winning side. These costs can be in the tens of thousands of dollars. But remember, the great majority of our cases, including medical malpractice cases that we accept after investigation, do settle without trial. We do not go to trial and expose you to the risk of paying significant costs to the other side, in addition to case expenses you will owe to us, without fully discussing this with you. At each stage of the case, you are in charge.
Our Fee Guarantee
Our fee will be a percentage of your settlement or court award. If we don’t win, you pay no fee – that’s our fee guarantee.
In order to increase the case value, we do have to invest money (“case disbursements”) in expenses such as expert reports. We are aware that few clients are able to afford these expenses and if by our criteria you have a good claim, we may pay necessary case expenses as the case develops. These expenses are generally paid by the other party at the time of settlement.
But remember, you do carry the risk of case expenses and costs if we don’t settle. Together, we will evaluate risk and fully discuss this with you at each stage of the case. You are always in charge.