Posted: July 30, 2011
You say " I have been injured in an auto accident. What does this lawyer mean when they say, NO FEE Guarantee. " You see this on many web sites of car wreck lawyers, car crash, auto accident or whatever the lawyer happens to be calling themselves. What this generally means is that unless the attorney recovers money for you, (or gets you a settlement) you do not owe them a fee. Auto accident lawyers call this a contingency fee. That means that you do not have to pay a lawyer a fee unless they recover money. ( The fee depends or is contingent on the recovery of money. Most attorneys working on a contingency fee charge anywhere from 25%-40%. In some cases the fee could be higher or lower depending on the ease or complexity, the risk and other factors. In addition there are expenses of litigation. These can occur even before filing a lawsuit. The evidence has to be gathered and doctor's reports are often necessary to fully detail the injury. This costs money to obtain. Money that many clients do not have. Some lawyers do not have it. So lawyers that are capable will often advance these expenses with the expectation they be paid back. In Ohio the lawyer can agree to recover or not recover those expenses from you in the event there is no recovery. In the event there is a recovery the lawyer should be paid back their expenses. These expenses should be clearly spelled out in the lawyer's fee agreement that must be in writing. The fact that expenses will be paid back in the event of a recovery and whether or not the lawyer expects to be paid back if there is no recovery should also be clearly spelled out. This is important because sometimes expenses can run up quite a bit in serious injury cases. My practice is to advance expenses . But I may sometimes require the client to advance expenses. This rarely happens that the client is asked to advance expenses, but if they clearly are not understanding the value of their case and a good offer is on the table they need to see the reality of the situation by putting their own money at risk. I realize the vast majority of my clients do not have the money to pay a lawyer hourly , let alone advance expenses. So I typically have no problem working on a contingency fee and agreeing that expenses have to be repaid only in the event of a recovery. So that gives you some idea of the no fee guarantee. Know that when a lawyer advertises that , you are probably not getting any more than you would get from any other personal injury auto accident lawyers. The questions you really want to ask are: 1. What is the percentage you take for a fee? 2. Will you advance the expenses of litigation? 3. If I do not recover will I have to pay you back? If you have any questions about this for an injury in Ohio I welcome your call at 1-800-447-6549. I do not charge you to answer your questions or to evaluate your case regading do I have a case and what is it that you car wreck accident injury case may be worth.