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Loren, Attorney
Category: Personal Injury Law
Satisfied Customers: 33004
Experience:  30 years experience in personal injury law.
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How do I know if a contingency retainer agreement is fair...

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How do I know if a contingency retainer agreement is fair... About to sign a retainer agreement, but I have no expertise in this area, and I don't know the ramifications of signing the document. Can you help or recommend someone who can provide service
Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am JudgeLaw and I will do whatever I can to answer your question and provide you excellent service.

The typical personal injury retainer agreement for a oersonal injury claim will provide for the payment of 1/3 of any award or settlement, plus reimbursement of any out of pocket expenses. There should be no upfront payment by you.

Additionally, you have the right to terminate the representation at any time, but the attorney may make a claim for hourly compensation based upon the amount of documented time he or she has spent on your case. Usually, it is brought as a petition for fees when the case settles orthere is an award. There is no payment owed if there is no recovery from settlement or award.

Finally, realize that there is no set fee (except in workman's comp claims) and the percentage fee is negotiable. For example, you can structurethe fee in tiers. If the case settles before filing suit the fee is 25%, after filing it is 1/3.

I hope this is helpful. If you have more follow up questions please let me know. It is never a problem.

Thank you.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

how about the fee's if my case is not successful, can I be held liable for "out of pocket expenses" and expert witness fees etc? do you know of a service that reviews contracts?

Thank you for following up with me Andrew.

No, the contract should provide that you owe nothing, not even repayment for expenses, if the case does not produce an award or settlement (which is why attorneys can be very selective about the cases they will accept on contingency).

Other than paying another attorney for a half-hour of his or her time, I do not know of any service to simply review a contingency fee agreement. Since they can be terminated at any time, there is not much in the way of exposure to liability for the client.

I hope this is helpful to you.

Thank you.


Loren and other Personal Injury Law Specialists are ready to help you
Thank you for your positive rating of my service to you. Let me know if you need more help or have future questions. I will be here for you. Just ask for me by name at the start of your question - "JudgeLaw" or use the following link (which you can bookmark in your browser):

Best wishes and good luck to you.

If it is not too much trouble, Andrew, when you receive a Customer Satisfaction Survey from JA/Pearl in a day or two, please do rate me highly (9 or 10). It affects my ability to continue to assist you and other customers on JA/Pearl and would be most appreciated.