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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    riverside
    Posts
    150

    Question Excessive Contingency Fees

    California

    3 years ago my husband and I slip and fell....I had multiple bulged disks and he had lower spin fracture.

    When we signed on with our lawyer we signed on together. We slipped at the same place and same day ect..... They had the floor wet and puddling due to wet carts and my husband slipped with our grandbaby in his arms..I slipped when I went to get the baby who was on the floor at this time.

    My question:
    After 3 years we recieved our settlement....

    They charged us 45 Percent each....total of 90 percent of the settlement.

    You can imagine our shock ...the check was almost laughable.


    My bills got paid and they got 90% out of us...


    Now can they do this.....or is this common to charge 45 percent per indivual?

    We went almost to court but we didnt because my lawyer wanted us to get spine surgery and we said NO. Even our doctor said he did recommend it..


    Anyway can I take my own lawyer to court ? And do we have a chance?

    thank you so very much

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,948

    Question Re: Can They Do This????

    When you signed up with the lawyer did you get a written contract that specified how much they would get from the settlement? If YES what does the document say? If NO - did you ask for a written contract? What was your verbal agreement?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,948

    Exclamation Re: Can They Do This????

    Quote Quoting verde
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    They charged us 45 Percent each....total of 90 percent of the settlement.
    My bills got paid and they got 90% out of us...
    BTW - your math here does not add up.
    For example if your compensation was $100 and your husband's compensation was $100 - then 45% from each is $45 per person or $90 total to the lawyer and $110 to you.
    If they got 90% then they would get $180 and you would get only $20. Therefore 45% each does not equal 90% total.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,906

    Default Re: Can They Do This????

    I think that's what they're complaining about.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    riverside
    Posts
    150

    Default Re: Excessive Contingency Fees

    I will try to clarify.

    We signed together. But they said VERBALLY not written because your husband does not want surgery he is messing up the case. We will settle him for 35,000 then they told me that they would settle me for 70,000 because I had more procedures done ect..

    okay in the end my husband go 6,000
    I got 10,000




    They took 45 percent out of my husband 35,000 then they paid his medical which left him with the 6,000


    They then took 45 percent out of mine 70,000 paid my medical
    and left me with 10,000 dollars.


    so and all the lawyer got with mo 56,000

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,948

    Question Re: Excessive Contingency Fees

    Quote Quoting verde
    View Post
    We signed together.


    Okay... the paper that you signed... does it say that the lawyer gets 45% of the settlement before deducting the medical bills OR does it say they get 45% of the settlement after the medical bills are paid?
    If NOT - what exactly does your written contract say?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    riverside
    Posts
    150

    Default Re: Excessive Contingency Fees

    It says 45 pecent BEFORE medical deductions...
    I understand that part which is bad I know I knew it ..

    I guess what I want to know is can they charge us indivually?
    thank you

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Excessive Contingency Fees

    You mean can they charge you (45% x 35,000) + (45% x 70,000), instead of 45% x (35,000 + 70,000)? The amount is the same.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Excessive Contingency Fees

    45% is high but not out of the range. You could have shopped around and probably found someone to take it in the 30 to 40 range. As it is you have nothing to complain about, you did not have to accept the settlement.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    riverside
    Posts
    150

    Default Re: Excessive Contingency Fees

    I found out after reading the stats that on top of 45 percent for both we had 13 thousand in costs....court papers,mediation twice, ect....lot of stuff they are in newport beach calfornia so money ...our money was not a concern to them.

    You are right about one thing We should have of shopped around...More expensive lawyers dont necessary mean better settlements ...just higher charges .

    We should of known after he tried to get another doc to do surgery on us after our doctor said No surgery .. "I know someone who will do it," he said,.

    Sorry no thanks...

    You live and learn I guess....but I do have a lot to complain about.....a hell of alot....

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