SHOULD THE LAWYER MAKE MORE THAN THE CLIENT ON AN INJURY CLAIM?
Almost every lawyer advertisement you see claims something like this; No Fees Unless We Win" or "You don’t owe us anything unless we win". These statements are really just repeating the standard Florida Bar contingency fee agreement, in which the fees are specified for all lawyers. Every lawyer that handles contingency fee cases makes no fees unless you win, or obtain a settlement. So advertising this point is really not saying much or differentiating the lawyer.
What those advertisements to not promise is that the lawyer wont make more on your accident case than you do. Have you heard a lawyer make that claim? While it may sound hard to believe, it is entirely possible that a personal injury lawyers fees turn out to be more than the client gets in the end.
How this happens is as follows; a typical car accident claim with a bodily injury liability policy of $10,000.00, and the injured client has $5,000.00 in unpaid medical bills. If the lawyer takes his 1/3 fee the lawyer gets $3,333.33 and the client gets the remainder or about $1,666.67.
For many personal injury clients this comes as quite a shock that the lawyer made more then they did on their case. Is this legal? Is this Ethical? Unfortunately the answer is yes, it is legal and ethical according to the Florida Bar rules.
If you don’t want this to happen to you, ask your lawyer if they will reduce their fees at the end of the case so that the lawyer does not make more than you. Ask them to give you this promise in writing at the start of the case.
If the lawyer wont give you this promise in writing, they probably wont reduce their fees at the end and the above scenario could happen to you.
For more information or a free consultation on your legal issue contact The Law Offices of Charles D. Scott PLLC, your injury law and family law attorneys, at 727-300-4878. http://www.yourstpetelawyers.com