Dan’s Case, a $ 49,500 Attorney Fee.
I represented Dan in an automobile accident, it was his second car accident. Prior to coming to the SchattenLaw Firm, Dan had been injured in an earlier, first accident which he had settled with another law firm. In that first accident, Dan had been t-boned by a large truck causing him to suffer serious back and neck injuries. That accident was life-changing for Dan. It took Dan many years to get back on his feet including extensive medical treatment.
Ultimately, Dan’s lawyer settled this first accident case for $ 150,000. Under the retainer agreement that he had with that law firm, Dan was required to pay 33% of the $ 150,000 which resulted in an attorney fee of approximate $ 49,500. In addition to $ 49,500 that Dan paid to his lawyer, Dan was also required to pay a large amount of medical bills and legal expenses out of the settlement that had been negotiated down by his lawyer. Generally speaking, most clients have to pay back at least some amount of medical bills and health insurance expenses out of settlement. As noted above, these medical bills and health insurance expenses can often be reduced.
Dan’s lawyer had settled the case for $ 150,000 without ever filing a lawsuit. Dan’s lawyer had used a standard retainer agreement which required Dan to pay $ 49,500 based on a preset 33% contingency fee of the gross recovery of the settlement. Many law firms use a retainer agreement with a preset, contingency fee for the firm’s cases regardless of the real value of the case. Many personal injury victims often have to pay preset, contingency fee rates of 33 to 35% for pre-litigation and 40% for litigation.Though I have changed Dan’s real name to guard his anonymity, Dan’s case is a real case.
The Unique Advantages of the Schatten Law Firm
At the Schatten Law Firm, we believe in doing things differently. First, we do not believe in using a retainer agreement with preset contingency fee rate that we charge to all the firm’s clients. We do not believe that it is fair and just to charge all the firm’s clients the same contingency fee percentage. We strive to set our contingency fee rates based on the important factors that shape the value of a case that we discuss and establish in our first meeting with the client. Accordingly, we normally charge lower contingency fee rates for larger cases where liability is not disputed and the insurance policy limits look strong. And, we charge higher contingency fee rates for smaller casesas the expected recovery is smaller.
At our initial meeting, we generally explain these important issues including liability, damages and any available information concerning insurance policy limits that will shape the value of a case. It is important to note that determining the actual value of a case can be very difficult in the initial meeting particularly if the accident had just recently occurred as the medical treatment is often still continuing and the medical expenses are unknown. But often, some important factors can be drawn, even at an early stage, that will impact the real value of the case.
Further, at the Schatten Law Firm, we are unique in that we can often charge lower contingency fees compared to many other law firms. We do not have the expensive television advertising and other overhead of many other law firms. At the Schatten Law Firm, our clients do not have to pay 33% to 35% for pre-litigation and 40% for litigation that is charged by some other law firms.
Our clients are able to get a large discount on their attorney fees which results in a tremendous savings. The attorney fee rates that we currently charge for litigation can range between 25% to 32% of the gross recovery for litigation and 20% to 29% of the gross recovery for pre-litigation. Thus, the attorney fees charged by the Schatten Law Firm are often significantly lower than what many accident victims pay to other firms.
For, instance in a $ 250,000 settlement in litigation, one law firm may charge 40% contingency fee. At the Schatten Law Firm, we might charge a 30% contingency fee for that same case settled in litigation. Just to illustrate, the difference between 40% contingency fee and 30% contingency fee on a $250,000 settlement is 10% of the gross recovery which means a savings to the client of $ 25,000.00. As explained above, we do not use preset contingency fee rates. We set our attorney fee rates based on factors that will impact the value of the case normally during our initial meeting with the client.
At the end of the day, due to our discounted fees, our clients are often able to keep far more money from their settlement which is an important benefit for their recovery. At the Schatten Law Firm, the large benefits from savings on attorney fees allows our clients to receive stronger financial compensation and be better compensated for their medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost work and other losses.
Our clients further benefit from our award winning, legal representation. We also do not take on thousands of personal injury cases each year. We focus on a small number of cases to give our clients the highest level of focus and attention to maximize the financial recovery for their cases. We put in the hard work to deliver great results.