Your frustration/ansgst comes through. Not sure of your question.
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 www.nyelderinjurylaw.com
Slip and fall cases are VERY difficult to win, and there's no way to analyze the strength of your case without seeing your file. The 1/3 legal fee is very normal, and paying an expert may well have been necessary (in other words, you may have gotten 0 without it). Unfortunately there's no way after the fact anyone who hasn't reviewed your entire case file can determine how well your lawyer did or why things ended up as they did. Hopefully the settlement paid your providers.
If you find this answer helpful, please mark it here on AVVO as helpful. In answering you, I am attempting to communicate general legal information and am not representing you (and am not your lawyer). Do feel free to call me at 404-768-3509 if you wish to discuss actual representation (the phone call also does not retain counsel; that requires an office visit and appropriate paperwork). In that a forum such as this provides me with limited details and doesn't allow me to review details and documents, it is possible that answers here, while meant to be helpful, may in some cases not be complete or accurate, and I highly recommend that you retain legal counsel rather than rely on the answers here. (You can also email my office at firstname.lastname@example.org . An email also does not retain my office, but can help you get an appointment set if you prefer not to call). I am happy to discuss possible representation with you. Any information in this communication is for discussion purposes only, and is not offered as legal advice. There is no right to rely on the information contained in this communication and no attorney-client relationship is formed. Nothing in my answer should be considered as tax-advice. To ensure compliance with IRS Circular 230, any U.S. federal tax advice provided in this communication is not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used by the recipient or any other taxpayer (i) for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on the recipient or any other taxpayer, or (ii) in promoting, marketing or recommending to another party a partnership or other entity, investment plan, arrangement or other transaction addressed herein. I am also required to advise you, if your question concerns bankruptcy, that the U.S. Congress has designated Ashman Law Office as a debt relief agency that can help people file bankruptcy.
Like many areas of law, slip and fall matters can cost a Plaintiff's firm a lot of money to prove their case. For this and other reasons, it is sometimes difficult to get the Plaintiff fairly compensated for the harm they have sufferred. It is a cost/benefit analysis when hiring experts and in many cases Plaintiff have no choice to hire the expert because they must prove their case.
Unfortunately, what has happened to you is not unusual in slip and fall matters. News only reports on the big wins, not what happens in most cases.
The secret to maximizing a recovery is retaining a top-rated Avvo attorney with a low contingency fee, less than 30%, so you are left with more money. Next time you'll know.
Only 29% Contingency Fee! Phone: 215-510-6755 www.InjuryLawyerPhiladelphia.com
Is there a question? Was the arb binding? if not, you can continue on to trial. If you settled then its over. The fees sound typical, and it isnt surprising there was an expert. Liability was apparently determined to be less than 100% on the deft, by the arbitrator, and that probably explains the smaller award.
Many clients are unhappy with the final result in their case. A few comments: Your narrative says you "settled", which if literally true means the arbitrator did not make a decision, it was an agree settlement. Before an attorney advises you to take a settlement, you and he should go over the dollars and how they will be allocated; you should know exactly what you will net before you say "Yes," to a certain deal. Sometimes the itemization of where the money goes helps with the settlement amount. For example, if all you netted after EVERYTHING was paid out was $1500, your attorney could have shown that math to the defendant(s) and said something like "my client needs to walk away with at least $X." I've used that many times and gotten a bit more in a lot of settlements.
Second comment: Even if the outcome was not satisfactory, remember that cases like this are not a guaranteed win and you and your lawyer went forward because it was POSSIBLE that you could get a better result. You can't really judge the fairness of the system based on only one case. If you ever have another case to bring, what you learned here can be valuable. Make sure that before you go to court/arbitration/mediation/settlement meeting that someone is running the numbers and telling you in advance what you will net. Take care.
Sign up to receive a 3-part series of useful information and advice about personal injury law.