Up front, it costs nothing. Talking with us is free. We charge no retainers and we do not bill by the hour. Our legal fee is only a percentage of the money we collect for you at the end of the case. If we don’t win money for you, then you don’t pay us anything. Even if we do win, you don’t owe us anything until the case is over and we’ve collected money for you. In other words, our firm gets paid if and when you do – not before.
The percentage of the recovery that we charge – what the law calls a “contingency fee” – varies some from case to case, but not much. For bicycle accidents, we typically charge a contingency fee of one-third if the case settles before it is filed or within 90 days after it is filed with the Court. If the case settles more than 90 days after it is filed with the Court or if we take the case through trial, verdict, and judgment, then our fee is 40%. For an unusually complex case, such as a product liability or negligent security case, we might charge more because the cases involve more risk. Typically for bicycle accident cases, that isn’t necessary, so we keep our fee at one-third to 40%.
We cover all expenses in the case for you. In a typical bicycle accident case, that includes the expenses associated with gathering medical records, court fees, meeting expert witnesses, taking depositions, ordering transcripts, etc. If we don’t recover any money for you, then our firm is ‘out’ those expenses – we don’t get that money back. If we do recover money for you, then you pay us back for those expenses at the end of the case, if and when you recover money.
One thing we like about personal injury cases and contingency fees, including bicycle accident cases, is that our firm’s interests are aligned with yours. We don’t get paid unless and until you do, and we both do better if we recover more money for you.
One unusual aspect of the personal injury and bicycle accident litigation industry is that all law firms that handle these cases charge about the same thing. Our contingency fee percentage (between one-third and 40%) is standard across the industry. That’s what you’ll pay if you hire a detail-oriented, service-based firm like ours, and it’s what you’ll pay if you hire a television or billboard advertiser who keeps thousands of cases and has non-attorney “case managers” who do most of the work. In other words, whether you hire a good lawyer who works on your case and personally takes your phone calls, or a volume-based law firm that has “case managers” doing the real work and where you can never reach your lawyer on the phone, you’re going to pay about the same thing. In one situation, you get what you pay for. In the other situation, you get far less.
It’s striking: the price is about the same, but the quality of work is very, very different.
(Hint: don’t hire a personal injury lawyer off a billboard or television commercial!)