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  1. #1
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    Default What are Reasonable Personal Injury Lawyer Compensation Fees

    A few months back I was hit by a drunk driver and was very injured and my vehicle was totaled from rolling over three and a half times. My question is what is a good compensation fee for a personal injury lawyer and what are some good negotiating topics to bring up to try to reduce the fee? Right now the agreement says 33% to 40% for compensation fees does that mean it's on the net of my settlement or the gross? Also about how long does this process take until I actually have the money?

    Thank you guys so much for all your help and info good day

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Personal Injury Lawyer Compensation Fees

    Negotiating topics? There's no such thing. Try sitting down and talking to the attorney, or shop around and find an attorney who will accept less.

    The percentage you quoted is pretty standard, so I wouldn't count on getting a break. Also keep in mind that if your attorney has done work on your case and then you fire him and retain another, you will still owe the first attorney money for the time he put in.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Personal Injury Lawyer Compensation Fees

    You may be able to reduce the fee if the magnitude of the award of the certainty of a positive outcome (whether by settling or pervailing at trial) is high.

    The attorney has to make a reasonable estimate of his ability to recover not only the costs of litigating your case but clearing the overhead of his business and a hope at a profit.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: What are Reasonable Personal Injury Lawyer Compensation Fees

    Quote Quoting SouthernCaliforniasurfer
    View Post
    A few months back I was hit by a drunk driver and was very injured and my vehicle was totaled from rolling over three and a half times. My question is what is a good compensation fee for a personal injury lawyer and what are some good negotiating topics to bring up to try to reduce the fee? Right now the agreement says 33% to 40% for compensation fees does that mean it's on the net of my settlement or the gross? Also about how long does this process take until I actually have the money?

    Thank you guys so much for all your help and info good day
    If you don't like the percentage fee you can always agree to pay him by the hour. You'll probably need a $5,000 to $10,000 retainer up front to get him started.

    There are also discount lawyers who charge 20% to 25%. Can't say anything one way or the other about that.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: What are Reasonable Personal Injury Lawyer Compensation Fees

    Quote Quoting SouthernCaliforniasurfer
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    My question is what is a good compensation fee for a personal injury lawyer
    I'm not entirely sure I understand the question (good for whom?). However, personal injury lawyers typically receive a contingent fee of 25-40% of the client's recovery, and sometimes the contingent fee is tiered (e.g., 25% if the case settles before suit is filed, 33 1/3% if the case settles after suit is filed but before trial, and 40% if the case goes to trial).

    Quote Quoting SouthernCaliforniasurfer
    View Post
    what are some good negotiating topics to bring up to try to reduce the fee?
    I don't really understand this question either.

    Quote Quoting SouthernCaliforniasurfer
    View Post
    Right now the agreement says 33% to 40% for compensation fees does that mean it's on the net of my settlement or the gross?
    You'll have to quote the language in the agreement to get a reliable interpretation, but a personal injury lawyer's contingent fee is generally calculated on the gross recovery.

    Quote Quoting SouthernCaliforniasurfer
    View Post
    Also about how long does this process take until I actually have the money?
    It could happen very quickly, or it could take years if the case goes to trial and depending on how backed up the court in your unidentified state/county is. This is obviously something to discuss with your attorney.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: What are Reasonable Personal Injury Lawyer Compensation Fees

    Without going into forum rules. Am I allowed to post my legal agreement on here or is that a no no?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: What are Reasonable Personal Injury Lawyer Compensation Fees

    Quote Quoting SouthernCaliforniasurfer
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    Without going into forum rules. Am I allowed to post my legal agreement on here or is that a no no?
    The whole thing? Don't do that (and especially don't post something with identifying information). Just quote the paragraph or sentence(s) that say how much the lawyer is to receive.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: What are Reasonable Personal Injury Lawyer Compensation Fees

    Thank you for answering exactly what I was referring to or lack of

    Also what rules apply to asking for references of personal injury attorney near San Diego north county

    LIEN ON PROCEEDS OF RECOVERY
    The Firm shall have a lien for payment for services rendered and reimbursement of costs incurred
    or advanced, on any funds, property or benefits recovered, whether by settlement or judgment, in
    satisfaction or partial satisfaction of Client’s claims in the matter described above. Upon such recovery
    and at the request of the Firm, Client shall promptly execute documents for filing with the appropriate
    attorney, individual, escrow office or state or local government office which accurately reflects the
    Firm's security interest.
    XII. NO GUARANTEE OF SUCCESS
    Client understands that no particular result or amount of compensation can be guaranteed or
    promised by the Firm. Client agrees to provide promptly all information requested by the Firm and to
    cooperate fully in presenting any claim or suit. Client represents that Client has not made any material
    misrepresentation to the Firm in connection with this Agreement.
    X. ERRORS AND OMISSIONS INSURANCE COVERAGE
    The Firm maintains errors and omissions insurance coverage applicable to the services to be
    rendered pursuant to this Agreement.
    XI. FILE RETENTION POLICY
    Upon the completion of a matter, the Firm will return to Client any valuable property or original
    documents the Client may have entrusted to the Firm and will dispose of any superfluous documents.
    Unless Client requests otherwise, the Firm will then store the remaining material portions of the file.
    Storage will be done by digital scanning where appropriate. The CD’s of the digital files will be stored at
    the Firm’s expense for five years. After that time all the CD’s will be disposed of.
    If the case is going to be appealed, the Firm will retain the file in its entirety through the appeal
    process. At the completion of the appeal and final resolution of the matter, the procedure process
    discussed above will be followed.
    If the matter is one involving a minor compromise, the file will be retained by the Firm until the
    minor reaches the age of 18. At that time, the procedures above will be followed.
    XII. NEGOTIABLE FEE AGREEMENT
    It is further understood that the contingency fee provided for in this Agreement is not set by law
    but is negotiable between the Firm and Client, and Client has been so advised and consents to this
    Agreement.
    XIII. ALTERATIONS IN WRITING
    No change, waiver or modification of any of the provisions of this Agreement shall be effective
    unless in writing and signed by the Firm. This Agreement contains the entire agreement concerning th to be performed by the Firm and the Firm’s consultants for such services and costs. The Firm
    has made no representations or promises other than those expressly set forth in this Agreement.
    XIV. ARBITRATION OF DISPUTES
    The Firm and Client agree that any dispute between the Firm and Client regarding services
    rendered under this Agreement, including a claim for negligence, breach of contract, or breach of
    fiduciary duty, but excluding collection of delinquent accounts, must be resolved by binding arbitration if
    it cannot be resolved informally. Client acknowledges that the Firm has explained that there are
    difference between litigation and arbitration.
    With the exception of collection actions by the Firm on delinquent accounts, as referenced above,
    if a dispute ever arises between Client and the Firm that cannot be resolved informally, rather than
    either Client or the Firm taking the other to court, Client and the Firm agree to submit the matter to
    binding arbitration, a process well suited to resolving lawyer-client disputes. There are important
    differences between litigation and arbitration. Law and public policy favor arbitration as a method of
    resolving disputes, and arbitration has considerable advantages for both lawyers and clients.
    Arbitration is normally quicker, less expensive and more efficient than court proceedings,
    enabling both sides to avoid considerable attorneys’ fees and costs. In arbitration, each side would
    present evidence and arguments to a panel of arbitrators, usually retired judges or other persons with
    relevant experience, and each side would agree to abide by the decision of the arbitrators as the final
    determination of all legal and factual issues. The parties would get to select the arbitrators, and
    hearings could be scheduled more promptly and on a date certain. Arbitration is less acrimonious, and
    it is private, protecting confidential client information. Arbitrators have broad discretion and are not
    bound by strict rules of evidence and procedure, so the process is relatively informal, more flexible and
    more relaxed.
    Arbitration does have some disadvantages, including fees must be paid to the arbitrators, and
    arbitration limits freedom of choice in how the parties might pursue claims and remedies against each
    other. In arbitration, there are limits on discovery, on the ability to compel production of witnesses and
    documents, and on the kinds of relief available. An arbitration agreement waives the right to a jury trial,
    there is no public forum, and there is virtually no appeal. Thus, arbitration tends to be relatively quick,
    simple, inexpensive, private and final.
    On balance, Client and the Firm agree arbitration is the best way to resolve lawyer-client
    disputes. So, unless we this Agreement is otherwise amended in writing, Client’s signature on this
    Agreement will confirm the agreement between Client and the Firm to arbitrate under the following
    arbitration provisions.
    Client and the Firm expressly agree to resolve, by binding arbitration, any controversy or claim
    arising out of or relating to this engagement (except collection actions on delinquent accounts, as
    referenced above). Such claims or controversies include any dispute relating to this Agreement, the
    relationship between Client and the Firm, the quality or scope of the Firm’s services, the fees charged, appropriateness of actions taken or not taken, or any other matter relating to the representation,
    including any claim of legal malpractice. The arbitration will be conducted under the Judicate West
    Rules of Arbitration (i.e., the version of those rules in effect as of the date shown at the end of this
    Agreement), with a Judicate West Arbitrator, selected from the Judicate West panel. The parties shall be
    entitled to full discovery in accordance with the California Rules of Civil Procedure for a period of 90
    days after service of the demand for arbitration. The Arbitrator will resolve any discovery disputes.
    Unless the Arbitrator decides otherwise, each party will bear its own attorneys’ fees and share
    equally in the payment of the arbitrator’s fees and costs. The arbitrator shall follow the law and not re-
    write the agreement of the parties. Judgment on the arbitration award may be entered in any court
    having jurisdiction thereof.
    1. The parties waive their right to a jury trial and to seek remedies available in court proceedings;
    2. Generally, discovery in connection with arbitration proceedings is more limited than and is
    different from discovery available in court proceedings; the arbitrator's award is not required to
    include factual findings or legal reasoning;
    3. Any arbitration award is final and is binding on the parties. Therefore, the parties' right to
    appeal or to seek modification of an arbitration award is strictly limited; and
    4. The arbitrator has the power to order the losing party in any arbitration to reimburse the
    prevailing party for all expenses incurred in connection with arbitration, including arbitrator's
    fees and reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs.
    XV. LIMITATION ON SCOPE OF RETENTION
    Client may from time to time ask the Firm to perform additional, or other, services beyond the
    engagement described above. If Client does request such services, the Firm may need to clear potential
    conflicts of interest, and may need to enter into a separate fee agreement with Client. If the Firm
    undertakes additional or other services and does not ask Client to sign a new fee agreement, this
    Agreement will apply.
    XVI. CHOICE OF LAW
    The laws of the state from which this Agreement was sent shall apply in interpreting or enforcing
    this Agreement. Any proceedings relating to this Agreement shall be filed and heard in that state.

    CONFIDENTIALITY
    It is important to keep Firm communications with you confidential. There are legal reasons for
    confidentiality such as avoiding risk of inadvertent disclosure or loss of attorney client privilege.
    You should avoid communications of sensitive matters with us where the conversation might be
    overheard. You should avoid discussing any of our communications with other people including your
    family and friends.
    You should avoid using workplace computers to send the Firm emails. Employee communications on
    workplace computers are typically subject to employer’s internal policies, which often permit them to
    access your email and can even allow access to your personal email account.
    III. SOCIAL MEDIA
    Social media posts are not privileged, even if you use privacy settings. Do not post on social media
    regarding anything related (directly or indirectly) to the matter for which you have retained the Firm.
    IV. LEGAL SERVICES TO BE PROVIDED
    As reasonably necessary, the Firm agrees to provide the following legal services in connection
    with the matter described above, including: claim investigation; ascertainment of responsible parties;
    preparation and filing of suit; prosecution of claim through alternative dispute resolution, including
    settlement negotiation, or legal action; if a court action is filed, the Firm will represent Client until
    settlement or judgment through alternative dispute resolution or trial is reached. The Firm will oppose
    any motion for a new trial or any other post-trial motions filed by an opposing party, and will make any
    appropriate post-trial motions on Client’s behalf. The Firm will not represent Client on appeal absent a
    separate agreement for such services as described below.
    V. CO-COUNSEL
    Due to the nature of this case, and the costs required to litigate the case, it may be necessary for
    the Firm to bring in co-counsel to help carry the costs. This may result in the Firm being asked to act as
    second chair or in a consulting capacity, instead of lead counsel, depending on the co-counsel Firm.
    VI. OBTAINING JUDGMENT VS. SATISFACTION OF JUDGMENT
    Client understands and agrees that the services rendered by the Firm for which they are
    compensated under this Agreement have only to do with the professional services rendered by the Firm
    in connection with their settling or obtaining judgment in this matter.
    Should the case require special services to obtain the satisfaction of the judgment, such as, but
    not limited to, proceedings in bankruptcy, creditor's remedies, debtor's examinations, writs of
    execution, foreclosure proceedings and the like, then such services shall be separate and distinct from
    the services to obtain a judgment which are covered by this Agreement

    he fees for said separate and distinct services will be charged separately according to a mutually
    agreeable fee arrangement which shall be negotiated separately from this Agreement between Client
    and the Firm and which may be based upon an increased contingency or the Firm’s standard hourly rate
    applicable at the time of the performance of said services or some alternative rate as may be
    negotiated. At the present time, the Firm’s standard hourly fees are as follows: The hourly billing rate
    for shareholder partners is $300.00 per hour; and the hourly billing rate for law clerks is $100.00 per
    hour. All time is billed in minimal increments of tenths of an hour and includes time spent for travel,
    waiting time in court, and interoffice conferences among attorneys and staff.
    VII. COSTS AND INTEREST THEREON
    Client hereby agrees to pay to the Firm all costs, including in-office costs, third party costs and
    other out of pocket costs, incurred or advanced by the Firm in connection with the Firm's representation
    of Client in this matter. Third party costs include, but are not limited to, court filing fees, court reporter
    fees, deposition transcript fees, jury fees, investigation fees, subpoena fees, witness fees, expert witness
    fees, nurse consultants' fees, exhibit preparation costs, and travel expenses, including but not limited to
    air fare, meal costs, and lodging costs. The Firm’s in-office costs include, but are not limited to, process
    service fees, in-office exhibit preparation fees, graphic design expert fees (charged at $150 per hour),
    messenger fees, mileage costs ($0.50 per mile), parking fees, facsimile charges and postage. Client
    grants the Firm the authority to incur such costs without prior approval. All rates are subject to change
    upon 30 days written notice to Client.
    It is further understood that if Client does not have the financial ability to timely pay such costs
    when due, the Firm may, but shall not be obligated to, advance such costs on behalf of Client, with the
    understanding that Client shall be ultimately obligated to pay the Firm for all costs incurred or advanced.
    It is specifically understood and agreed by Client that all costs incurred or advanced by the Firm in
    connection with representation of Client shall be itemized, billed and due on a monthly basis as
    indicated below.
    Billing statements addressing fees charged and costs incurred or advanced by the Firm will be
    submitted to the Client monthly. All statements for any billable services rendered and costs incurred or
    advanced become delinquent 35 days from the date of mailing and thereafter bear a FINANCE OR
    INTEREST CHARGE of 1% per month corresponding to an ANNUAL PERCENTAGE RATE of 12% per year.
    The balance upon which a finance or interest charge may be imposed will be the "Adjusted Previous
    Balance" which will be determined by adding to


    the unpaid portion of the prior month's balance due any
    charges for costs incurred or advanced which remain unpaid 30 days from the date of mailing of the
    statement on which those charges appear. The amount of the finance or interest charge will be
    computed monthly by multiplying the Adjusted Previous Balance by 1% and will be clearly reflected on
    Client’s bill. At the conclusion of the case, any unpaid costs incurred or advanced, along with accrued
    interest, will be
    No finance or interest charge will be assessed upon any charges for services rendered and costs
    incurred or advanced if those charges are paid within 35 days of the date of mailing of the statement in
    which those charges appear.
    Client is responsible for the reimbursement of costs regardless of the status or outcome of the
    litigation, or the amount of any recovery.
    VIII. APPEAL OF JUDGMENT
    Should the case be summarily adjudicated and/or otherwise resolved by way of a verdict and/or
    judicial decision, the services for the prosecution and defense of the case on appeal and the like, shall be
    at the discretion of the Firm and shall be separate and distinct from the services to obtain said judgment
    which are covered by this Agreement.
    The fees for said separate and distinct services will be agreed to and charged separately according
    to a mutually agreeable fee arrangement which shall be negotiated separately from this Agreement
    between Client and the Firm and which may be based upon the Firm’s standard hourly rate applicable at
    the time of the performance of said services or some alternative rate as may be negotiated.
    IX. SETTLEMENT
    Any settlement must be specifically consented to by the Client. After review and approval of a
    settlement or judgment statement is provided to and approved by Client, payment of any settlement or
    judgment will be made to the Firm’s client trust account and all costs and fees will be distributed from
    that account in accordance with the settlement or judgment statement referenced above.
    X. WITHDRAWAL AND TERMINATION
    The Firm may withdraw as counsel for Client for good cause. “Good cause” includes, but is not
    limited to, Client’s failure to cooperate with Attorneys, Client’s failure to comply with this Agreement,
    Client’s demand that the Firm violate the Rules of Professional Conduct of the State Bar of California, or
    the Firm’s determination that Client’s claims lack sufficient merit.
    Client may terminate this engagement with the Firm at any time.
    In the event this Agreement is terminated by either the Firm or Client, then the Firm shall be
    entitled to all costs incurred or advanced by the Firm through the date of termination and the
    reasonable value of all services provided by them during their representation of Client. Upon such
    termination, then the Firm shall have a lien against Client’s claim(s) in an amount equal to all costs
    incurred or advanced plus the reasonable value of services rendered

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