Lower Attorney Fees Injury Law
The attorney I interviewed wants to be paid on a contingency basis for our birth injury case and charges 20% to 40% of the settlement for his fee. How can I get the attorney to charge a lower percentage?
The easiest way to get a lower percentage is to simply ask for it and then stick to your guns. You may end up having to go to another lawyer if the lawyer you’re dealing with refuses to represent you at the lower percentage.
Or, instead of just asking for the lower percentage, you could propose a tiered fee schedule : the percentage increases as the case progresses to trial. For example, you pay 20% if the case settles before trial, 35% if it settles during trial and 40% if the case is tried to a verdict. You could also negotiate fees based on the settlement total. For example, you pay 40% of the first $300,000, 30% of the next $300,000 and 20% of anything over $600,000.
Additionally, if you demand that the advanced expenses are paid out of the gross settlement amount (amount prior to the lawyer’s fee being applied), your recovery may significantly increase. For example, if your settlement is $600,000 and the lawyer takes 30% of that, you pay $180,000 in attorney fees. If you pay all of your advanced expenses out of the total first (let’s say you have $100,000 in court fees, medical expenses, expert witness fees, etc.), your lawyer will be taking 30% of $500,000, or $150,000 in attorney fees. You just saved $30,000 in attorney fees!
But price shouldn’t be your only criteria in choosing a birth injury lawyer. The best birth injury lawyer in town may request 40% of the settlement; and even though that may seem high, it may be worth it since you have her reputation working for you. The car accident lawyer down the street may charge less, but he may not understand the medical procedures involved in labor and delivery, may not have access to the best medical experts, and probably doesn’t have a relationship with the medical malpractice insurers in town.
It makes sense, however, to shop around. Call several personal injury attorneys to discuss your situation, and ask about their fees. You can also have a free case evaluation by completing Free Advice’s case evaluation form; an experienced personal injury lawyer may contact you at no cost and with no further obligation.
Read more for related video clips.