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How to calculate contingency fee the since agreement does not stipulate if is to be calculated from gross or net recovery?

Denver, CO |

A contingency agreement dated July/2007 for a car accident/insurance case does not stipulates if 40% will be applied on gross or net recovery even though on the Disclosure Statement doc I signed says it should have that information. My attorney deducted 40% from gross amount and this was done back 03/2010.

Is there something that can be done about having him change it to be deducted from net recovery? Has too much time passed to get this changed?

I was not aware of this till recently. While I was researching about an issue with another lawyer I found this info about contingent fees. Went look my old agreement and realized what has been done. Maybe I am misunderstanding the agreement and it is not silent. Here it is: thirty three and one/third percent (33.33%) of all amounts received by award, or settlement before a lawsuit or demand for arbitration is filled; and forty percent (40%) of all amounts recovered by award or settlement anytime beyond sixty (60) days after a lawsuit is filled or a demand for arbitration is made." I also found this on page 2 clause 14) for amounts paid to hospitals and such "The client further authorizes the attorney to pay directly from the proceeds of any gross recovery obtained from any insurance company or other payor."... "Any amounts so paid will be subtracted from the amounts remaining after computing the amount of the contingent fee payable under this agreement."

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Attorney answers 3


I would be surprised if the agreement were silent. Seems as if your attorney and you disagreed. In NY it is off of the net.

Personal injury cases only; I'm good at it; you be the Judge! All information provided is for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney client relationship has been formed or should be inferred. Please speak with a local and qualified attorney. I truly wish you and those close to you all the best. Jeff


It should say it is either from gross or net. If not, you may be able to do
something. You might call the colorado bar association. They have a free
attorney fee arbitration program. That might be a good way to find out
whether you have a claim to more money.


Nelson Boyle
Carter Boyle LLC
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Very interesting. In Colorado, I have only seen one contingent fee agreement where the fees paid to the attorney came after liens and costs were paid. In that situation, the client specifically made the request and the fee agreement was modified. Otherwise, every fee agreement I have seen says that the attorney is paid from "gross recovery" proceeds.

Review your fee agreement. Is it truly silent on that issue? You may want to ask an attorney to spend a half hour with you to review the agreement to let you know what your next steps might be if you feel wronged.

Good luck to you!

In no way am I offering you legal advice, and in no way has my comment created an attorney-client relationship. You are not to rely upon my note above in any way, but insted need to sit down with counsel and share all relevant facts before receiving fully-informed legal advice. If you want to be completely sure of your rights, you must sit down with an experienced criminal defense attorney to be fully aware of your rights.

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