How much will my attorney charge?
Contingent Attorney Fees
Most medical malpractice cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, which means that you only have to pay the attorney a fee for services if the attorney obtains a recovery for you, either by negotiated settlement or through a trial. If the attorney does not obtain a recovery, you owe the attorney nothing for working on your case. Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct require that contingent attorneys fee agreements be in writing.
You get what you pay for
The typical fee percentage in car accident or fall cases is 33% or 35%. But medical malpractice cases are much more difficult, time consuming, and expensive than car accident cases, so for that reason attorneys fees tend to be at the higher range for malpractice cases, usually around 40%, or sometimes 50%.There really is no pre-set “required” or “standard” fee. If your case is good enough and the damages are big enough you may be able to shop around and negotiate for a lower fee percentage than normally charged. Beware though, there are considerable differences between the skills and experience of lawyers. Ask yourself, “If I needed brain surgery, would I want the guy giving brain surgery discounts this week, or would I want the best?” It is better to hire a lawyer whose primary practice is centered around medical malpractice cases. You probably do not want your medical malpractice case being handled in between a slip and fall case, a whiplash case, and drafting a Will.
Remember that a contingency fee lawyer is completely free to you unless there is a recovery, and a top notch medical malpractice lawyer has a better chance of getting top dollar for your injury or loss. If you lose your case the good news is that you pay your lawyer no fee. The bad news is that there is no recovery for you either.
Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct require all lawyers who indicate they will charge a contingent attorney’s fee to conspicuously display the following disclaimer:
“No recovery no fee” refers only to fees charged by the attorney. Court costs and other additional expenses of the legal action usually must be paid by the client. Contingent fees are not permitted in all types of cases.
Is a deposit required?
While some lawyers ask their clients to pay a deposit for the first expert witness review, or to pay all or part of the expenses of the entire case, our firm does not. In other words, we do not require a deposit and we will advance all of the case expenses on your behalf, from the beginning of the case until the end.
Are the expenses contingent on the outcome too?
Contingent attorney fees are permitted in medical malpractice cases and so are contingent expenses. Some lawyers ask their clients to pay them back for the expenses at the end of the case even if the case is lost. We do not do that. You do not ever pay us back for attorney fees or for the expenses of the case if we do not obtain a recovery for you. If we do obtain a recovery for you, we are reimbursed for the expenses and paid an attorneys fee out of the recovery obtained.
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This site contains only general information and is not intended to constitute specific legal advice or establish an attorney/client relationship. Malpractice laws are constantly changing. If you think you may have a malpractice case you should promptly contact a lawyer experienced in handling malpractice cases.
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