You have been in an accident and are thinking of hiring an attorney, starting with a free consultation with GBG Law. Then you think “How much is this going to cost me?”
Our Pasadena law firm works on a contingency fee arrangement. With a contingency fee, you only pay the attorney’s fees based on a percentage of the settlement or verdict if you win the case. The attorney’s fees are calculated on a percentage of the proceeds of your case from a settlement or a verdict after trial. If your case does not end in a settlement and you lose, you don’t pay any attorney’s fees.
There are a lot of expenses associated with bringing a claim and taking it all the way through a trial. To name a few common expenses: filing fees, court reporters’ fees for depositions, reasonable cost for copies, postage, fees for expert witnesses and investigators, fees for a sheriff or process server to deliver or serve a complainant, summons or subpoena, and other expenses.
With a contingency fee agreement, you, the client, don’t have to pay for these expenses upfront. The attorneys at GBG will pay your costs up-front, but will get reimbursed from any settlement or verdict.
A typical contingency fee for a California personal injury lawyer can vary depending on each individual attorney. Sometimes the percentage will go up when a case is filed because of the added expense and risk the attorney takes on. If the percentage seems high to you, you have to take into account the attorney is basically footing the bill, paying costs associated with the case, and will not get paid unless you win your case. It has been proven that the settlement and trial proceeds with those cases having an attorney representing the client are much higher.
Whenever you are entering into an agreement, be sure to read it thoroughly and ask questions. Under California law, in order for a contingency fee agreement to be made it must include:
- A statement of the contingency fee percentage amount;
- A statement as to how disbursements and costs will affect the contingency fee and the client’s recovery;
- A statement as to what extent, if any, the client could be required to pay any compensation to the attorney for related matters that arise out of their relationship, not covered by the contingency fee agreement. This may include any amounts collected for the client by the attorney.
- Unless the claim is related to medical malpractice, a statement that the fee is not set by law and is negotiable between the attorney and client.
What if I need to switch lawyers during my case?
Under California law, you have the right to be represented by the attorney of your choice, with a few exceptions. That means you can switch attorneys at any stage of your case.
If you do end up switching attorneys, the original attorney is entitled to a reasonable value for the services they performed. This should be defined by the contract you signed, or based on how much work each of the attorneys performed on your case.
Remember that having an attorney at your side goes a long way to helping you be able to concentrate on healing after your accident. Do not delay seeking legal assistance when you have been injured. Call Grigoryan Blum & Grigoryan Law Firm at (626) 817-9022 or click the button to complete the form below for a free case evaluation. Our Pasadena law firm has the experience, knowledge, and tools to help you, just like many injured victims and their families throughout Southern California.
Click here for our complete guide to hiring a personal injury lawyer.