We have five tips that should be helpful for selecting a lawyer to handle your personal injury or wrongful death claim.
FIRST: Interview the lawyer and the law office.
For a personal injury, wrongful death, or medical or other professional malpractice case we usually charge a fee that is based on the percentage of the total recovery we obtain for you. This type of fee is commonly known as a “contingent fee agreement.”
Sometimes you will see attorney ads that proclaim “no recovery – no fee.” This slogan describes a contingent fee, since in the contingent fee agreement there can be no legal fee if no recovery is obtained. If you wish, as almost everyone does, we will base our fee on a percentage of your total award. This means that if the claim is ultimately successful, our fees are deducted from the resulting check that is issued by the insurance company, and we do not request that any attorneys’ fees be paid on a monthly or weekly basis. Almost all clients choose a contingent fee agreement as it eliminates any requirement that legal fees be paid to our office while the case is in progress.
Should the claim ultimately be unsuccessful, you will not pay any attorneys fees to our office for our work and efforts on your behalf. Of course if you desire, we will also work on an hourly fee rather than a contingent fee, but it is initially your choice to make.
Many insurance companies would like to see laws passed that eliminate the contingent fee agreement in legal cases. This is because other than insurance companies, oil companies, doctors, hospitals and business executives, very few people would ever be able to afford to hire a lawyer if the contingent fee agreement was eliminated. This would ultimately result in greatly increased profits for insurance companies because once they denied a claim, or made a very low offer on a claim, the injured victim would be powerless to do anything to advance their claim.