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How much a NY lawyer can take out legal expenses plus 1/3 from $25,000 Settlement?

Jamaica, NY |

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.

Attorney Answers 7


  1. Best answer

    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.

    This answer is for informational purposes only. Legal advice should be sought in a conference with your lawyer.


  2. 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.

    Mr. Pascale is licensed to practice law in the State of New York. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and time-lines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Pascale strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to insure proper advice is received.


  3. As indicated by my colleagues, your recovery will be determined by the terms of your retainer with the attorney. I'm sure your attorney would be happy to sit down with you to outline your expenses and provide you with a bottom line figure.

    Disclaimer- The information you obtain at our web-site or through postings on such sites as this is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for specific advice regarding your individual situation. Any response given here is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response may change appropriately.


  4. Cost reimbursement should be laid out in your retainer agreement. Talk to your lawyer about this.

    Nothing in this communication should be construed as creating an attorney client relationship. This is for informational purposes only. Attorney will take no action on your behalf unless and until a written retainer agreement is signed. There are strict time deadlines on filing claims and, as such, you are advised to consult with and retain an attorney immediately to file such claims timely or you will lose any right to recovery.


  5. 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
    (631)584-0100

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  6. 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.


  7. I would have reviewed the expenses with the attorney before I signed the release. However it is not too late to review all of the expenses the attorney incurred on your case before he issues you your share of the settlement.

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