How Is Your Attorney Compensated for Representation in a Personal Injury Case?
Interviewer: It sounds like you firm puts in quite a bit of work in preparing these cases. In terms of payments for a case, do people pay anything upfront or how does the payment arrangements work?
Will: No. We don’t request any upfront costs at all. We don’t receive any money unless the client receives any money. With almost all of our cases, we will upfront the cost and there will be the cost for the depositions, for the experts. We can’t pay for the client’s medical expenses, and we can’t pay for their personal expenses. We’re ethically prohibited from doing so.
Your Attorney Pays for the Initial Costs of Preparing the Case
But for the cost of the preparation, the case and any associated expenses with that, it may either be travel or whatever, we’ll upfront those costs and expenses, and those will be paid if the case is paid. Actually, I should say the cost and expenses get paid out when the case either settles or is adjudicated. And we don’t receive any fees unless we win or settle the case.
Most Firms Are Compensated From a Percentage of the Settlement
Interviewer: is there a typical percentage that is set by the state or that you ask for?
Will: We do. We charge the traditional amount. Some of my colleagues have increased their percentages, but we charge a third at settlement and 40% at trial. That 40% kicks in one month prior to selection of the jury, but a lot of my colleagues have gone 40% to 50%. We’re still at the one-third settlements, and 40% at trial.
Interviewer: So, at least, on the legal side, even if a person doesn’t have a lot of money they’re still able to get a good solid legal defense and only when they win, or if they win, then part of the proceeds are paid to you.
Will: They could have no money and it’s fine with us.