The great majority charge 33% if no lawsuit is filed and 40% if it is. There are a few that offer discounts but not many.
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Although I cannot speak for all lawyers, it is safe to tell you that most Florida attorneys will propose the following contingency fee structure in automobile accident cases:
1) 33% of the total settlement if the case settles without the need of filing suit (litigation); and
2) 40% of the total settlement if suit is filed, and the defendant answers the complaint.
These percentages are not arbitrary, but based on the Florida Supreme Court's finding of "reasonable" in the context of legal services for a personal injury claim. Please keep in mind that a personal injury trial attorney does incur a lot of financial risk when representing an injured victim, and this fee structure takes into consideration the risk that these costs may not be recovered. For example, I have taken cases to trial in which I have advanced tens of thousands of dollars for costs, such as court reporters, experts, etc.
I should point out that a potential client is within his or her right to request a reduced fee, as per the Statement of Clients Rights. However, my response was to address the most common fee structure.
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DISCLAIMER: Attorney Scott McPherson is a sole practitioner representing injured persons in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. He has extensive litigation experience in State and Federal Court, and has argued before Florida's appellate courts. Answers provided by Attorney McPherson are not to be deemed legal advice, as it would be impossible to analyze the merits of a case based on a single forum question. No attorney-client relationship is created or implied by Attorney McPherson's responses.
I am not a Florida lawyer, but I expect that most charge 1/3 of what they recover for you. Be careful about those who discount their service. You very often get what you pay for. Hire the best lawyer you can for a serious injury case. Even if they are more expensive, the result will likely justify the extra cost. Good luck.
It is common for lawyers to receive 1/3 of the bodily injury (BI) insurance proceeds. None of fee money should come from the property damage or personal injury protection (PIP) proceeds.
Where circumstances, in my opinion, call for an adjustment of the fee where that serves the client's best interests, I will adjust (or reduce) my fee to make sure the client receives the most money from the settlement.
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I'm not in Florida, however, lawyers in Philadelphia typically deduct 40-45%. My firm finds this repugnant, which is why we deduct 29%, as we feel a client shouldn't be hurt twice.
For the most part, yes. You will occassionally find lawyers who offer discounts, but these are generally new lawyers trying to generate clients coming in the door. While you will find exceptions in all instances, as a general rule, I would approach discount practioners with caution. A lawyer is not something you should generally select based on price anyway.
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All fees are negotiable but the reason they are all standard is because the attorney takes all the risk in the case by fronting all the costs and time with no guarantee of reimbursement for the costs or payment for the time worked on the case. A good attorney is worth the 33% and 40% fee if they will truly fight for your recovery and push the case as far as possible to get you the best result for you. Good luck.
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Looks like the previous lawyers did a good job answering your question but I wanted to provide a little more information that could be helpful.
The following language must be given to a client when a contingent fee agreement is signed in FL:
"1. There is no legal requirement that a lawyer charge a client a set fee or a percentage of money recovered in a case. You, the client, have the right to talk with your lawyer about the proposed fee and to bargain about the rate or percentage as in any other contract. If you do not reach an agreement with 1 lawyer you may talk with other lawyers."
Short answer, no. Although the maximum an attorney can charge for pre-filing work in a personal injury contingency fee (except where the defendant is a governmental entity) is 33.3 percent, attorneys can charge any fee below that. Many attorneys, in fact, do charge discounted fees.
Not exactly. I encourage you to speak to three attorneys and discover their respective terms.
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In our firm, and with most personal injury attorneys, we handle personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis - which means, our fee is contingent on (depends on) how much is awarded in the case. The standard fee is 33 1/3% and if suit is filed the fee increases to 40% to take into account extra time/effort associated with filing suit. You are not responsible for paying anything upfront, rather, our fee comes out of the settlement. I hope this helps! Good luck.
For the most part yes. The standard contract for these type of cases are written by the Florida Bar. However, any lawyer can negotiate a fee lower than the prescribed fees outlined by the Florida Bar and with permission from the court, a lawyer can charge more if the case is exceptionally complex. The overwhelming percentage of these cases settle for 331/3 % at the pre-suit level and 40% once a lawsuit has been filed.
Our firm charges a 29% fee on all cases that we settle without a lawsuit. The fee changes to 33% only if a lawsuit is filed.
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Technically, no. Clients and lawyers are free to "negotiate" their relationship. With that said, as most have pointed out, generally most personal injury lawyers charge 33 1/3% before suit and 40% after filing suit, if necessary.
I'm not in Florida, but fees are negotiable, and must be reasonable. The experience and training of the attorney is reflected in the fees.
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