Can I negotiate my personal injury lawyer contract?

Of course!   Generally, fees in injury cases in Florida (assuming the value of case is less than 1 million dollars; under the standard agreement the fees get reduced for resolutions above 1 million dollars) are 33 1/3 percent when a case resolves before a lawsuit and 40 percent after a lawsuit is filed where liability is denied in the initial pleadings (it’s 33 1/3 percent in litigation if the defendant acknowledges fault in the initial pleadings). To some degree, whether the lawyer will reduce fees will vary on many factors – the strength of the case, the amount of damages, whether the defendant is collectible, etc.  Thus, a small parking lot accident with contested fault would likely not garnish a fee reduction while a surgery case where fault is clear and the defendant has deep pockets would more likely get a fee reduction.

In fact, the Florida Bar requires contingency contracts in injury cases to have a statement of client’s rights attached and the first right states:

There is no legal requirement that a lawyer charges a client a set fee or percentage of money recovered in a case. You, the client, have the right to talk with your lawyer about the proposed fee and to bargain about the rate or percentage as in any other contract. If you do not reach an agreement with one lawyer, you may talk with other lawyers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *