Q: Will I have to pay all the lawyer’s fees if I lose a lawsuit?

A: You have options of how you would like to structure the lawyer’s fees if you choose to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. You may sign a retainer agreement which would make you personally responsible for any legal expenses regardless of the outcome or a retainer that would not hold you responsible if the case is unsuccessful.

If you win, you would pay the expenses and disbursements for expert testimony and investigations first, and then a third of the remaining amount of any recovery from the suit, settlement, judgment or otherwise as legal fees.

Alternatively you may sign a retainer agreement in which all legal expenses are covered by the law firm. If the suit is successful, the law firm takes a one-third payout of the full amount of any recovery due to the suit, settlement, judgment, etc., calculated before expenses and disbursements or any payments for liens, assignments or claims in favor of hospitals, for medical care and treatment or self-insurance or insurance carriers.

How lawyer’s fees work

For example, based on a recovery of $100,000 and expenses and disbursements of $10,000:

  • Under the first option, a client would deduct the $10,000 for expenses and disbursements from the $100,000 and pay one-third of the remaining $90,000 as legal fees, leaving a recovery of $60,000 for himself. (And would remain liable for repayment of all costs and expenses, regardless of the outcome.)
  • Under the second option, a client would pay one-third of the $100,000 to the law firm (-33,333.33), pay the $10,000 for expenses and disbursements from the balance of the settlement/verdict, leaving a recovery of $56,666.67. (He would be liable for none of the legal costs if the suit is unsuccessful.)

If you are are injured in a car accident while walking, jogging or riding a bicycle, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses and other losses. Skilled legal representation can help make sure you are compensated to the fullest extent possible, whether you choose to pursue a personal injury lawsuit or settle out-of-court. If you are injured in the Capital Region – in Albany, Schenectady, Troy, Clifton Park, Saratoga or elsewhere in the Capital District – please call the personal injury lawyers of Lamarche Safranko Law PLLC  for a free consultation.

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