This is a video in our LawTok series: Straight Talk with a Personal Injury Lawyer
A question I get a lot is, why do I need to pay an attorney a third for my personal injury settlement? And the real reason is, is you don’t. You don’t. If you can find somebody who charges on a retainer and charges hourly, that’s certainly an option. That’s actually an option that I offer to people. I’ve not had a single person take me up on that offer for a couple reasons. Now, with the contingency fee where I get paid a third if we win for you, first of all, I don’t get paid anything if we lose on that. You don’t owe me anything. I advance any legal expenses. So if we have to file a lawsuit, I’ll spend $400 of my money that gets reimbursed to me at the end once we do win, but that’s not money that you have to come up with to try to pursue your legal claim.
So first, we advance the legal expenses. Second, I take on all the risk. I’m going to put hours and hours into your case to make sure you get the best medical care and you get the best treatment from the insurance company that you can possibly get. If it doesn’t work out for some reason, for whatever reason, it doesn’t matter. If we don’t win for you, those hours are just my lost hours. You don’t have to pay for it. If I file the lawsuit, I pay $500 to file the lawsuit, you don’t have to reimburse me for that if it doesn’t work out later.
So basically, I charge a third because I take on all the risk. I only take clients who I believe, I really, really believe whom I can add value to their claim. And the other option is to do the retainer. I charge a $5,000 retainer. I bill against that at my hourly rate. If it doesn’t work out, that’s money you pay for representation. You take on more of the risk. So most folks want me to take on the risk because I’m usually the one in the best situation to determine if we can actually make it worth your while. I want to protect my client’s bottom line over the insurance bottom line. And I think you need professional representation from someone who does this every day in order to do that the best way.