I charge on a percentage basis because the people I work for prefer it.
Ethical rules prevent lawyers from charging unreasonable amounts. And virtually all lawyers would rather not take a case than have a bad ending – which includes one where the client thinks he has been overcharged.
But most people who want me to help them with a personal injury lawsuit don’t know me when they meet me for the first time. They don’t know that overcharging would endanger my license, or that I won’t be satisfied with my handling of their lawsuit unless they think I’ve done the best job I can.
And they are afraid of the world of endless lawsuits. Because in the end, no lawsuit is over until both sides want it over.
And a lawyer being paid on an hourly basis keeps sending bills until the lawsuit is over.
So, when I take a personal injury lawsuit, I meet with my client and tell them how my fee is calculated. I give them a contract to sign, and go through it with them line by line.
In thirty years, no person I work for has ever complained that one third was too much for what I did for them. In fact, almost all my clients are very happy at the end of their lawsuit.
There are other things that I could say.
I could say that charging on a percentage basis causes the case to settle faster, because there is no more money in the case for the lawyer once the insurance company agrees to pay all it’s going to pay. That is true.
I could also say that charging on a percentage basis encourages efficiency – lawyers won’t take bad lawsuits on a percentage basis, because they know they won’t get paid much on them. That is also true.
And I could say that many lawyers will work harder on a case where they have a personal interest, where they get a larger fee for a good settlement. That’s human nature.
But the real reason I charge people one third on personal injury lawsuits is because that is what they want. They know their fees won’t be unreasonable, and that I wouldn’t take the case unless I thought I could get a good result.
I have been a lawyer over 30 years. If you have a question about how much your lawsuit will cost, talk with an experienced Attorney. Call me, William Strubbe, at 513-621-4775.
Because all situations are different, and because there may be other facts pertaining to your case that I don’t know about, you should not rely on this answer for legal advice. I am not your attorney, and no lawyer client relationship has been formed.