Do I Have to pay Anything out of Pocket to Hire You for a Personal Injury Case?
If we accept your personal injury case, we will handle the case on a contingent basis. This means that you pay us nothing unless we make a recovery for you. When we do make a recovery, the money you pay is will simply be deducted from your recovery. The bottom line is that you never get a bill from us for our time and expenses.
There are two typical components involved in the expense associated with hiring a law firm: attorney fees; and costs. The attorney fee represents compensation to the law firm for the time spent working on your case. Costs are made up of the money we spend on your case. Those costs represent out of pocket expenses that we incur and do not include any sort of profit for the firm.
Our firm does not bill you for the costs of prosecuting the case in the event we are not successful in making a recovery on your behalf. In addition, if there is no recovery, you do not pay us anything for the time we spent working on your case. Because of this we are very careful about the personal injury cases we accept. As a result, it is very uncommon for us to not make a recovery for the client.
In addition, some firms include costs that do not result from out of pocket expenses including “costs” labeled as “administrative costs,” “investigation costs,” and the like. Such “costs” are more properly accounted for as fees. We do not include any such items in our costs and, frankly, neither should any other firm.
For cases that resolve without a lawsuit being filed, the costs tend to be limited and usually include the cost of obtaining your medical records and the cost to have your doctor prepare a report that details the extent of the injuries you suffered.
If pre-suit negotiations are not successful, and suit has to be filed, the costs increase. First, there is the clerk’s filing fee, followed by court reporter fees and fees for expert witnesses. In a complicated case, like those involving nursing home neglect, the costs through trial can be very substantial.
For example, in one nursing home case, the firm spent over $140,000.00 in costs. Thankfully, the case resolved in favor of the client and the costs represented a sound and necessary investment to properly prosecute the case. In other words, we believe the case would have had substantially lower value had that money not been spent retaining expert witnesses to prove the degree of neglect on the part of the nursing home and that saving money by not hiring enough nurses was the ultimate root cause of the neglect.
At the end of your case, you will receive a Closing Statement that accounts for every expenditure, the attorney fee, the payment of any unpaid medical expenses and, if necessary, repayment to a health insurer for the amounts it expended for care resulting from your injuries.
If you have any questions about how contingent fee agreements work, please do not hesitate to call.