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Most injury lawyers in Georgia charge 33.33% pre-suit and 40% if the case goes into litigation. Georgia injury attorneys handle cases on what is a called a “contingency fee basis.” That means that the lawyer’s pay is contingent on how much money he or she recovers for you. It’s basically working on commission.
Many of the TV lawyers are trying to charge their clients 40% for a settlement without filing in the courts and 45% if the case gets filed in litigation.
This is a rip off!
Our firm charges 33 % for any case handled without the filing of a lawsuit and 39% for any case that is litigated in the courts.
Our firm has a policy that if we handle two people injured in the same collision, the fee is reduced to 28% for each.
Be sure to ask about this pricing when you call.
For example, if you sign with a TV lawyer and get a $10,000 settlement, your lawyer will get 40% of your settlement prior to filing suit and 45% after suit is filed. If you have a $100,000 case, that is $40-$45,000 in attorneys fees versus the standard structure of $33-$39,000. The pre-suit difference is $7,000 out of your pocket!
Attorneys fees, in general, may seem excessive, but you must always remember that without a lawyer’s services, it is very difficult to recover sums in excess of $10,000.00 from an insurer. If you choose your lawyer wisely, it is money well spent. When we do our in-person meeting with our clients, we are very upfront if we feel that the client will make out better financially handling the case on their own without a lawyer.
In addition to the lawyer’s fee, you will have to pay for case expenses. If the case is settled pre-suit, the expenses are usually less than $500 and are made up mostly of the costs charged by the doctors to produce medical records. In litigation, expenses like court reporter fees, filing fees, expert witness fees, and exhibit fees can mount up quickly. I suggest that you ask the lawyer to modify the contract to require you be notified when expenses hit certain levels.
Another one of the problems with TV firms is that they charge higher percentage rates, pad your bill with “investigator fees”, mileage and interest. Read the contract carefully and ask questions.
Remember that the lawyer’s percentage comes out of the gross dollar amount that is recovered. Reimbursement of health insurance, medical bills, and expenses all come out of the client’s portion so if you sign up with a greedy lawyer who is gouging you on the fees, it will be hard to make a fair recovery after all of the bills are paid out.