This question pops up almost every time a settlement is discussed with an attorney: how much is a lawyer’s share? Understandably, as an injury victim, you want to know how much you are entitled to as compensation and exactly what you will take home once the claim is settled. Knowing this beforehand gives you a rough idea of what to expect if you win your claim or lawsuit.
To answer this question, Morgan and Morgan receives between 30 to 40 percent of the settlement. This payment is usually referred to as a contingency fee.
Here is everything you need to know about the contingency payment structure.
Advantages of the Contingency Pay Arrangement
Many law firms have different payment structures. At Morgan and Morgan, we believe that the contingency payment system works best from the attorney and client's perspectives.
No Risks Involved
As an injury victim, you may not have the money to pursue a claim or lawsuit against the party responsible for your injuries. This is because accidents happen when we least expect them, not when you have saved enough money to hire an attorney. In these tough economic times, the last thing you expect is to spend thousands of dollars on attorney fees in pursuit of compensation for your injuries. Bear in mind that you will likely be filing a claim against powerful insurance companies or individuals.
Chances are they can afford some of the best defense attorneys to fight for them in and out of court. For this reason, if you lose the case, you also lose your money. But when you work with an attorney from Morgan and Morgan, you do not have to worry about the financial aspect of pursuing a claim or lawsuit because you will not spend anything out of pocket.
If you win, you pocket your share of the claim. If you lose the case, you do not lose any money. Therefore, from a financial perspective, there are no risks involved.
Access to Competent Attorneys
The truth is, not all attorneys are the same - some are more qualified than others. When you agree to a contingency payment structure, it gives you access to some of the best attorneys in the country.
For example, Morgan and Morgan boasts of some of the best personal injury lawyers in the country. This explains why we are the largest personal injury law firm in the US. To put things into perspective, our lawyers file the most employment litigation cases in the country. This would not have been possible without the experience and competence of our attorneys.
Remember, we have some of the most powerful legal resources in the US. These include but are not limited to legal technology, access to professionals from different fields, an army of over 800 attorneys, and more. Under normal circumstances, it would be expensive to pay a Morgan and Morgan attorney upfront to pursue a claim.
Since hourly fees or other forms of upfront payments are extremely expensive, they beat the very principles Morgan and Morgan runs on. We are an injury law firm for the people, not the rich and influential. We believe in fighting for the rights of ordinary, hard-working people whose rights have been violated by negligent parties. Therefore, the contingency payment arrangement allows our clients to access some of the most competent attorneys in the country without spending a penny out of their own pockets.
Unrestricted Claims Process
When you get injured due to someone else's negligence and file a claim with them or their insurer, you should not expect them to write you a check without asking questions. It is even more difficult to win a claim if you have suffered significant injuries. For example, if you require several surgeries after slipping and falling at the mall, you may be entitled to significant compensation for your injuries.
But many things happen at the mall that could contribute to such injuries. To hold the other party accountable and secure your compensation, you must be able to prove your case. For this to work, you will need strong evidence against them. Remember, insurance companies are accustomed to handling claims; yours will not be their first. Based on their experience, they know all the rules of the game and how to utilize them to their advantage.
On the other hand, this could be your first time filing a claim after slipping and falling. Remember, the claims process for a slip and fall, worker's compensation, product liability, or other claims is not the same as that of a car accident. You will need to fill out heaps of paperwork, collect mountains of evidence, and actually come up with a legal strategy to pursue your claim.
So if you pay an attorney upfront or hourly, their involvement in your case is restricted to your budget. For example, under this arrangement, if they need to travel out of state to collect more evidence and build a strong case for you, you will need to pay them extra for travel expenses. And if you cannot afford such expenses, you will lose a precious chance to collect crucial evidence that could influence your case.
Another thing you need to bear in mind is that when it comes to personal injury cases, the weight of evidence could influence your claim. Having weak evidence increases the risk of losing an entire claim. And when that happens, you will likely want to file an appeal, which costs more money.
Besides, filing an appeal means you are expected to return to court with even stronger evidence against the other party. When you do the math, you will realize that hourly or upfront payments are not only expensive but also restrict your attorney's involvement to a specific budget.
The Time Factor
Personal injury cases can take a few months to several years. This is because you need to build a strong case against the liable party to win a claim or lawsuit.
Here are two different cases with varying timelines:
When you get injured in a car accident caused by someone's negligence and their involvement in the accident is unquestionable, the claims process might be faster. For example, if a drunk driver hits your vehicle from behind, this incident alone increases your chances of winning the claim. This is because, in most cases, the driver that hits your car from behind is usually at fault regardless of what you did when the accident occurred. And in cases where you might also be at fault for the accident, chances are you will still share liability with the driver who hit you from behind.
In most states, you may still be able to recover some compensation just as long as you were not more than 50 percent responsible for the accident. As a result, your attorney will likely need just a few months to prove the other party's negligence.
Now let's discuss a different kind of accident.
Suppose you suffered serious burns when operating an electric kettle. This could be a case of product liability, which is more complex to prove. While you might blame the electric kettle for your burns, you must have evidence to prove your claim. Remember, the other party could claim that you did not follow the instructions for using that particular product. They could also claim that you got injured due to a fault in your home's electrical system, not their product.
When such allegations are raised against you, it is the attorney's responsibility to prove them otherwise. This requires hours of research, consultations, reconstructions, etc. In short, your attorney will need more time to build a strong case against the other party, limiting the chances of denial. The case should be strong such that the other party will agree to settle. Building such a case could take months or even years.
So if you choose to pay the attorney hourly, you will likely spend thousands of dollars on the case. Sadly, the final amount you would have spent may not even be worth the compensation you wish to pursue.
The Integrity Factor
As mentioned earlier, attorneys are not the same. Some are more experienced than others. Similarly, some value integrity while others only care about money. When you contact a personal injury attorney or law firm for a case evaluation, you expect them to be honest with you. More specifically, you expect them to inform you whether you have a valid claim against the other party.
The truth is that not every personal injury claim is valid, even if the claimant got injured. For example, if you slipped and fell at someone's property and suffered several bones, the property owner will want to know what you were doing at the property when you got injured. If you were at the property illegally, your claim will likely be dismissed.
But you do not expect every attorney to tell you this, especially if you pay them hourly. Instead, they will want to play around with your claim and earn as much money as possible, knowing that the claim will hit a dead end eventually. By the time they inform you that your case is not valid, you would have spent so much money on the attorney's services.
On the other hand, when you pay an attorney or law firm on a contingency basis, they will not want to work on claims that are not valid. This is because when such claims hit a dead end, they will not get paid for the time and resources spent on the case. For this reason, such attorneys or law firms will always be honest with you about your case. This system also gives you peace of mind because you will not have to worry about whether your claim is valid. Instead, you will find out during the initial consultation with the attorney.
Chance to Recover More Compensation
A contingency fee of 30 or 40 percent is still less than what you may be able to pocket as compensation for your injuries. There are two ways you may choose to look at it: the fees or the amount of work put into the case.
Looking at it from the fee perspective, you will likely be convinced that the attorney makes too much money from such a case. It is even worse when you do the math. If your case is worth $1 million and you have a contingency agreement of 40 percent as attorney fees, the attorney will pocket $400,000.
But now, let's look at it from another perspective, which is the most reasonable way to examine such cases.
If you opt to pay hourly for a top attorney from Morgan and Morgan, you will likely spend even more than the value of your case. Similarly, if you decide you do not need an attorney, you will likely not be able to build a strong case against the other party, meaning you will recover less than what you may be entitled to.
This is because experienced personal injury attorneys know different tactics to maximize a claim. They know what counts as basic evidence and what actually adds value to your case. In addition, they have a network of professionals that can team up to build a strong case for you. For example, Morgan and Morgan has an army of over 800 personal injury attorneys.
These attorneys work together to fight for their client's rights. Whether it is a case of premises liability, workers compensation, product liability, slip and fall, car accident, or anything in between, our attorneys can help. And the best part is that you do not owe us anything unless we win.
You also do not need to pay for consultation when you contact us. We will evaluate your case at no cost to you. And if you have a valid claim, we will walk you through the next steps. On the other hand, if your claim is invalid, we will be honest with you because we are a law firm that runs on integrity, not greed.
Contact Morgan & Morgan
If you want the nation’s largest injury firm in your corner for your personal injury case, contact Morgan & Morgan for a free, no-obligation case evaluation. Remember, the fee is free unless we win, and your chances of recovering compensation can be significantly higher when you work with one of our experienced attorneys. Reach out today.