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In New York State, is a retainer required for a personal injury case? Thank you.

Babylon, NY |

In New York State, is a retainer required for a personal injury lawsuit case? Thank you.

Attorney Answers 9


  1. Best answer

    Yes. And the attorney must file a retainer statement with the Office of Court Administration within 30 days of being retained.

    My firm is a second generation family firm successfully handling personal injury and medical malpractice cases for over 35 years. "Let Our Family Help Your Family" www.kileylawfirm.com 516 466-7900


  2. If you retain an attorney, they must have you sign a retainer which must be filed.

    In seeking an attorney on this site, beware of limiting your search to attorneys with a 10 rating, and carefully read the AVVO disclaimer regarding their rating system. There are certain factors that are given great weight which do not necessarily have any bearing on an attorney's experience, abilities, and results with certain types of cases. Accordingly, the rating numbers can be misleading. Also beware of basing your choice on the fee charged, as a low fee, depending on the skill, experience and determination of the specific attorney handling your case, could actually have an inverse relationship to the amount actually put in your pocket.


  3. Yes. Avvo has a terrific "find a lawyer" tool to locate a top-rated Avvo attorney (10) with a reasonable contingency fee, less than thirty percent, so you don't get hurt twice. Good luck.


  4. As stated below, retainers are required, and they must be filied within 30 days.


  5. Yes, a written retainer is required and maximum fees are set by law in NY. The lawful and customary fee for a regular personal injury case is 1/3 of the recovery and a lawyer does not hurt a client in any way by charging that. Medical malpractice fees are set at a lower percentage by law. Many other states permit lawyers to charge 40% or even more. In my opinion the quality of the lawyer and the nature of the service should be more important to the client than the percentage fee. I do not think that a blanket criticism of lawyers who charge lawful and customary fees is fair to the lawyers or to potential clients, who may be led to believe that lawyers who charge such fees are taking advantage of them.

    Any opinions stated in response to Avvo questions are based upon the facts stated in the question. Responses to Avvo questions are for general information purposes only, and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice.


  6. I assume you reside in Suffolk County which is located in the Second Department. I have attached a link to the court rule regarding retainer agreement and closing statements of the Second Department.

    The information provided is not intended to be legal advice, but merely conveys general information related to legal issues commonly encountered. The information is not guaranteed to be correct, complete, or current. I make no warranty, expressed or implied, about the accuracy or reliability of the information. You should not act or rely on any information at above without seeking the advice of an attorney. The determination of whether you need legal services and your choice of a lawyer are very important matters that should not be based on websites or advertisement


  7. Yes, and there has been a recent change in the law which could affect your "net" recovery after attorneys' fees so you should speak with a qualified personal injury attorney about your options.


  8. It is required, but then the question is: what if it isn't done? If the retainer is not written, that could compromise the attorney's ability to claim fees.


  9. Yes, a Retainer must be in writing; It must detail the terms, including the contingency fee percentage and how this fee is calculated. Generally, the attorney is entitled to be reimbursed for his/her expenses, then the net amount is subject to a 1/3rd fee. However, a recent Order of the Appellate Division, 2nd Department, permits lawyers to take the 1/3rd from the gross amount and THEN take their disbursements (permitted that they agree that expert witness fees will be paid by lawyer and he/she will be reimbursed at conclusion of case).

    The lawyer must file a Retainer Statement with the Office of Court Administration. This must be done within 30 days of the retainer.

    This advice is not intended to create an attorney / client relationship, rather it is mere general advice. An attorney should always be contacted and legal matters should be discussed with a licensed attorney before taking any legal action, including a divorce.

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