Although at Luhrsen Goldberg we strive to set ourselves apart from “the rest” in a number of ways, there are some things that remain the same no matter where a client might go for help after an injury.
For purposes of this blog, and generally speaking (although my attorney tells me I have to place a disclaimer here that there are exceptions to the rule), the fees charged by your attorney will be on a contingent basis.
This means the fee is not considered “earned” unless and until your case has resolved. It will also be the same rate no matter the attorney you use.
How fee rates are determined
The Florida Bar has carefully set the percentages a contingency-fee-based attorney may charge without further court intervention. The percentages assessed are based on case status at time of settlement/resolution, as well as settlement/resolution amount.
The gross majority of all injury cases will be subject to a 33 1/3% fee. This applies to any pre-litigation case resolving for an amount up to $1 million.
The fees continue to decline the higher the case resolution amount. Fees go up slightly, however, if your case fails to resolve before filing a lawsuit. At that time, your attorney may charge a 40% fee (but again reduced on a fee structure by resolution amount).
”Free” services are misleading
It seems to be the big push lately for attorneys to advertise that their services are — you guessed it — FREE!
Not to call this misleading but … it is. The translation of this is that the fees are not collected up front, and in fact not collected at all unless and until a settlement/resolution is awarded to you.
This is, in fact, a contingency fee, which is most assuredly not a “free” fee. We want our clients to believe in us, and in what we do. Being up front and explaining the intricacies of fees and costs to our clients is vital.
Case costs procedures vary
At Luhrsen Goldberg, we treat our case costs the same way we treat our fees.
Despite us spending money on your file to obtain records, research, documents, postage, etc., we do not seek reimbursement of these funds unless and until we collect for you.
This is not mandated by the Florida Bar, and we urge you to review your contracts carefully when meeting with any contingency-based attorney. In fact, there are some attorneys who recklessly spend costs on your file for no reason other than to keep their experts and business colleagues happy.
These unscrupulous attorneys will do this without your permission, or will underhandedly sneak phrases into your contract allowing them to spend costs as they please, without any consideration for your well-being.
Some even charge interest on the costs they front!
Buyer beware: Not all attorneys are created equal. But hopefully the fees and costs associated with a contingency case have been clarified.