Complete Guide to Attorney's Fees in Injury Cases

As many of you know, personal injury lawyers in Georgia "only get paid if you win." That sounds great, but as with everything, the devil is in the details. The legal term for these payment arrangements in injury cases is a "contingency fee." That means they only get paid on the contingency that you get an offer. The problem is that the lawyer may not be focused on the most important number and that is the number you, the client, get to keep.

It generally works like this:

Gross Settlement: $100,0000
Attorney's Fees of 33.3% -$33,333.33

Client's Share: $66,666.66

That would be OK if that is all the bites that are coming out of the settlement but you have to take into account 1) monies owed back to hospitals and doctors or medical lien companies and 2) health insurance reimbursement claims if you used that. when all is said and done, the lawyer can end up with more than the client and that is ridiculous. (We guarantee that the client will never receive less than the firm does).

So, now that you see the big picture and know that the lawyer and the medical gets paid out of the gross settlement you have to ask the next question:

How Much Should I Be Paying my Injury Lawyer?

Most good lawyers charge 33% for any case that is settled without going to trial and 40% of any case that is filed in the courts. The logic is the lawyer has to do far more work so the fees go up. 

Recently we have see a huge uptick in law firms charging as much as40% before the suit and 45% after the suit is filed! Several clients have come to us saying that Montlick, John Foy and Ken Nugent's firms have charged them 38% and 40% for the phase of the case without litigation. The charge in litigation is running at 45% and that is just highway robbery for anything other than a medical malpractice case. 

If your lawyer is charging more than 33% for a pre-suit case, you are being taken advantage of! Unless it is a medical malpractice case, that is completely unfair to the client. Pre-suit cases just don't involve enough man hours to justify that kind of fee. 

Can I Fire My Lawyer?

You can always fire your lawyer, the real question is what phase is the case in and what will you owe them? If there is no settlement offer on the table, then you are clear to file your lawyer at any time and you will have the new lawyer pay the old one a modest sum OUT OF THEIR OWN ATTORNEYS FEES! That's right, it won't cost you a thing. 

Client Reviews
My wife and I were hit by a tractor trailer in 2014. After extensive research online, we were deeply impressed with the various reviews we read on Google and Avvo and chose Chris to represent us. We could not have a made a better decision. Chris and his firm treated us like we were their only clients, soothed our worries, and instantly gained our trust. Chris settled both of our cases for more than we expected. James
A co-worker of my wife recommended Chris to us. At the very beginning Chris showed that he cared and his knowledge is priceless. Going through this process can be aggravating but Chris did a great job guiding me through this and was always available to answer my questions. Chris fought to get what I deserved even though at times I wanted to give up. Tracy
I want to express my deepest sense of gratitude and appreciation to Attorney Chris Simon & Attorney Chris Carsten, for all the hard work that they put forth into my case (car accident filed after being hit by drunk driver). Their attention to detail and professionalism far surpasses their firm's reputation. Because of their diligence and dedication to their craft, they were able to bring my case to a successful close, one that I could live with. You will not find a better team for your case. Should I have a need for their services again in the future, or know of anyone looking for a top notch Auto Accident Law Firm, I would not hesitate to recommend them!!!! Elle
Wow...Chris is a very good attorney. Me and my son was in a very bad car accident an I was clueless on how to handle the situation. It's very hard to find an attorney who allows you to contact them personally instead of you contacting their asst. I was told that I didn't have a case because the hosiptal put a lien on my acct. Chris prove different and I was able to file my case with the insurance company. The process was very quickly and Im glad I selected the right attorney..Thanks Chris A Car Accident client
Chris is a great lawyer and the most people friendly attorney I have ever delt with. He handled my case with great attention to detail and did so in a very short period of time. He is very consice, efficient, patient and understanding. He has a strong passion for what he does and he does it well. I recommend Chris Simon as legal representation for anyone who has suffreed damages or a loss at the negligence of others. He really cares about you and your case. A Car Accident client