One of the first questions that we are asked as a medical malpractice lawyer is how much our time and services will cost.
People who are dealing with serious injuries have a limited budget and often do not have the money to finance a medical malpractice lawsuit.
The good news is that you do not need to have money in the bank to get an experienced lawyer working on your case.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers will use a contingency agreement to represent you, allowing you access to knowledgeable medical malpractice lawyers.
Does it Cost Anything to Speak with an Attorney?
If you have been injured by medical negligence, you may be wondering where to turn. Relatives, friends and every commercial that you see on television urge you to speak with an experienced attorney about your case.
However, you are worried about legal fees. There is nothing standing in the way of getting a free evaluation of medical malpractice claims.
Law firms, such as Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, have attorneys waiting to speak with you free of charge, so you can get legal advice about your case.
Do I Need to Pay Personal Injury Lawyers Upfront?
One of the major hurdles that some people face when hiring a lawyer is that they need to write a retainer check upfront.
This guarantees the lawyer that you will be able to pay for their time throughout the case.
The lawyer would ask for you to write a new retainer check every time you go through the old one.
This system does not apply to personal injury cases. An experienced medical malpractice attorney will never ask you for money upfront.
You do not need to write a check to begin your attorney client relationship or pay any costs upfront.
Am I Charged Hourly Fees in Medical Malpractice Cases?
No. You do not need to pay money when the case is proceeding.
The personal injury legal system encourages attorneys to do everything that they can to help you recover financial compensation.
You do not need to worry during your case that you will run out of money to pay attorney fees.
Other types of lawyers charge clients by the hour, including family law attorneys and business lawyers. It does not cost you anything while the case is pending to get legal representation in your medical malpractice case.
There are no hourly bills. Theoretically, if there were, your ability to get legal representation would be threatened as your case dragged on for longer.
How Are Legal Professionals Paid for Their Time?
Your lawyer uses a contingency fee arrangement to compensate them for their efforts.
While hired attorneys will tell you that you do not need to pay anything upfront, nor do you need to pay hourly bills, they are not working for free. Otherwise, your lawyer would not be able to put food on their own table.
In medical malpractice cases, attorney’s fees are paid through what is known as a contingency fee arrangement.
In a contingency fee situation, the attorney’s right to be paid is contingent on something else. In this case, their fees depend on whether or not you win the case.
For purposes of a contingency fee, winning is defined as receiving a settlement or getting an award from the jury.
Are Medical Malpractice Attorneys Paid if You Lose?
No, your attorney walks away with nothing for their time and effort if you do not win.
This is a risk that an attorney takes when they accept your case. If you do not get the compensation that you think you should get, your lawyer is not paid either.
They could have worked on your case for hundreds of hours, and they would still get nothing unless they necessarily secure compensation for you.
Why Does a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Work This Way?
Medical malpractice lawsuits involve a high amount of risk for the lawyer and the client, and the lawyer is paid for taking a risk on your case.
You may wonder why an attorney would take this risk. After all, they have their own expenses and household budgets that they need to make.
Of course, an attorney is taking some risk in your case. This is the nature of the work for many lawyers.
However, the lawyer does much of their own risk management early in the case, before the lawsuit is filed. They will learn about your case as much as they can before they agree to take you on as a client.
After all, they do not want to be in a position where they are at risk of working for nothing. They will usually be very hesitant to take on a new client where there is little chance of a trial win or out of court settlement.
Once there is a lawsuit filed, they are obligated to see it through to conclusion as diligently as they can, and they do not want to take a losing case.
How Does a Contingency Fee Agreement Work?
Your lawyer is paid only if you receive money from your claim or win your medical malpractice lawsuit.
At the very beginning of your case, you will sign a representation agreement with the medical malpractice attorney. Signing constitutes acceptance of the terms of the agreement.
The representation agreement will lay out the financial terms of the representation.
Attorneys must follow the legal rule that all arrangements about fees must be set out at the beginning of the representation, along with all other supplemental terms.
You should know the exact contingency fee percentage and how any other fees are handled.
What Is a Common Contingency Fee Percentage?
Most medical malpractice lawyers will receive about one-third of the proceeds of your case.
Most attorneys will charge a similar amount in contingency fees for a medical malpractice case. While 33% is a common amount that attorneys charge, there is no legal rule that requires this to be the amount.
The rule by which attorneys are bound is that their fees must be fair and reasonable (and cannot be excessive). Most attorneys will usually charge a slightly higher fee if your case goes to trial.
Here, there is a much higher risk for them considering the amount of time and effort that goes into a trial.
An attorney may not have the physical ability to take on other clients if your case goes to a jury.
When Is A Contingency Fee Paid?
The lawyer is not paid until someone has written an actual check. The money from your settlement or jury award is paid into an escrow account.
The lawyer either gets part of that, or has a check directly written to them. Your funds are not released until all of the fees associated with your case have been paid.
This does not happen until the case settles, and there is a payment made.
Are There Any Other Fees That Come Out of a Settlement or Court Award?
Yes, there are some other fees that get taken out of your settlement or award.
There are other fees associated with medical malpractice claims in addition to the time that your lawyer spends on the case.
Depending on your representation agreement, some or all of these fees can come out of your settlement or award.
These can include things like:
- Court filing fees
- Expert witness fees
- Other filing fees
- Office and administrative fees
Your lawyer may have advanced payments to third parties for help with your case, and they may be paid from the proceeds of your case.
Again, we must stress that nothing can be taken from your check that is unreasonable or is not clearly spelled out in your representation agreement.
Am I Ever Responsible for Paying Anything if I Lose?
Depending on the attorney, you may need to pay some of the fees listed above if they are a part of your representation agreement.
When you are hiring a lawyer, you should check with at least two attorneys after reviewing attorneys listings to learn about how they handle fees, so you have a frame of reference.
You should take the time to find personal injury lawyers who can help you fight for compensation you deserve in your medical malpractice claim.
Should I Hire a Medical Malpractice Attorney?
Do not let the above discussion of fees frighten you away from hiring a lawyer. Medical malpractice cases are very complex, and they are not always easy to win.
They involve large sums of medical and technical details that the average person cannot understand. At the same time, insurance companies are doing everything that they can to keep you from recovering from your injuries.
The law firm of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers are experienced medical malpractice attorneys who help injured clients just like you.
Call us today at (800) 424-5757 or contact online to schedule your free case evaluation.
For additional information see the following pages:
- Can I Sue For Medical Malpractice If There Was a Poor Surgical Outcome?
- Will My Medical Malpractice Case Go To Trial?
- How Do You Prove Negligence in a Medical Malpractice Case?
- What Does ‘Medical Malpractice’ Mean?
- Do I Need to Hire a Medical Malpractice Attorney?
- Can I File A Medical Malpractice Case If I Signed A Consent Form For A Procedure?