I was the pedestrian and hit by a car. The driver have Geico insurance and they agree to give me the full policy which is $25,000. How much a lawyer can take out for legal expenses plus 1/3 since we didn't go to court. I already sign the release form and now waiting for the settlement.
You should have signed a retainer with the lawyer previously. Under New York law the attorney can take necessary disbursements such as court costs, service of process off the top and then take a one third fee, assuming you signed a retainer. In your case if the disbursements were $1000, the fee would be $8000, or one third of the remaining $24000. Your net recovery would be $16,000., assuming there are no liens on the file. Your attorney can explain the process to you.
Mr. Morris' response was dead on. The amount of the settlement, particularly where you obtained the full policy amount, does not determine what the actual expenses are on the case, or what your attorney is entitled to be reimbursed for. Unfortunately, in your case the other driver had the minimum insurance limits. Did you also make a claim under the SUM/UM endorsement of your policy? Im sure this has already been looked at by your lawyer. However, if your policy limits under your endorsement exceed the other driver's 25k limit you could have a second claim. Discuss that with your attorney.
The retainer agreement you signed will control, as long as it is typical. 1/3 plus expenses is typical.
Joseph A. Bollhofer, Esq.
Joseph A. Bollhofer, P.C.
291 Lake Ave.
St. James, NY 11780
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The court permits approved disbursements, which are related expenditures that a lawyer pays out
to process your case. It does not include a lawyers overhead or normal office expenses , On a case such as yours, there is no legal limit but if the case is settled in claim before depositions the expenses
should be reasonable. If the case was put in suit and depositions and medical reports were obtained it would naturally be higher. you are entitled to a breakdown of each expense which I am sure you will get. Its required by law.
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