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How Do I Pay A Personal Injury Lawyer in New York?

Personal injury lawyers will typically represent clients on a contingency-fee-basis. This allows clients to hire an injury attorney without paying upfront for the legal services. The attorney agrees to collect fees once they’ve recovered compensation for the client.

In New York, attorneys are paid a contingency fee of one-third, meaning they will usually collect one-third of your recovery (by verdict or settlement). With a contingency fee agreement, you won’t pay the lawyer an hourly basis for their legal services – in fact, you won’t pay anything up front. Their payment is contingent on whether you recover compensation for your injuries. If you don’t win your case or settle, they don’t get paid.

With a contingency fee arrangement, everyday New Yorkers who would not otherwise be able to afford access to good lawyers will be able to afford the best legal services available.

If you have been injured in New York due to someone’s negligence, don’t let legal fees stop you from seeking the justice and compensation you deserve. Contingency fees make lawyers accessible and affordable. From the attorney’s perspective, the contingency fee is a bit of a gamble: if they don’t win, they don’t get paid.

If you have been seriously injured in New York through no fault of your own, you might be entitled to compensation. The contingent fee arrangement gives Hach & Rose, LLP the ability to bear the risk in our client’s cases. It also gives us the ability to pour all of our firm’s vast resources into your personal injury case.

When you retain the New York personal injury attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP, you can rest assured that we will do everything in our power to get you the fair compensation you need and deserve. When you enter into a contingency fee agreement with us, it means our interests are entirely aligned. We won’t get paid until you get paid.

What is a Retainer Agreement?

A retainer agreement is a contract you enter into with your lawyer. Until you sign the retainer agreement, the attorney does not work for you. The retainer agreement specifies the contingency fee agreement, and expenses you will be paying. It will also states that the attorney will work diligently on your behalf, and that you will not settle or terminate your claim without advising the attorney.

A personal injury lawyer pays for certain items as the case proceeds. These fees and disbursements may include what the attorney pays for litigation expenses such as court filing fees, investigations, and expert witnesses, among other expenses. If you recover compensation, these amounts will be deducted from your recovery before the attorney takes their one-third cut. If you do not recover compensation, your obligation to pay will be detailed in the retainer agreement you enter into with the personal injury attorney.

What are the Two Options for Contingency Fees in New York?

New York State rules and regulations require New York personal injury attorneys to offer two options for paying the expenses of your case. Either you pay the expenses incurred in the case, or your lawyer does. None of the expenses will come out of your pocket until the case is concluded, but the choice you make determines how the fee is calculated. In general, you should let the attorney bear the risk. After all, that’s why you are paying them. Here’s a more in-depth breakdown of the two options:

Option 1: You agree to reimburse the attorney for the disbursements paid out on the case regardless of the outcome. The case expenses are taken off the top of the recovery amount, before the attorney’s fees are deducted. When you agree to remain liable for repayment of all costs and expenses, the contingency fee is based on a percentage of the “net sum recovered.” This option may put more money in your pocket because you are assuming the risk of getting stuck with expenses if no recovery is achieved.

You assume some risk with this option because if the case is not successful, you are paying for the expenses.

Example of Option 1:

  • Total recovery: $100,000
  • Less expenses and disbursements: -$10,000
  • Less 33 1/3% of remaining -$30,000
  • Client’s Recovery : $60,000

Option 2: In this option, the personal injury attorney agrees to remain liable for all expenses if there is no recovery. Therefore, there is no risk that you will get a bill for the expenses if you lose. If the case is lost, the attorney must foot the bill for the expenses. If the attorney bears this responsibility, the contingency fee is going to be greater to compensate for it. With Option 2 you will see slightly less money if you win. The contingency fee under Option 1 is one-third of the “gross” sum recovered while Option 1 fees are based on the “net” sum.

Example of Option 2

  • Total recovery: $100,000
  • Less 33 1/3% of $100,000: -$33,333.33
  • Less expenses and disbursements: -$10,000
  • Client’s Recovery : $56,666.67

Beware of Interest Charges on Expenses

Typically, personal injury clients choose option 2 because they do not take the financial risk. Many law firms borrow on behalf of the clients to pay expenses to pay for the lawsuit. The law firm may turn to a third-party lender to fund the cost of bringing legal action, and often at high interest rates. When you sign a personal injury attorney to retainer, watch out for the law firm asking you to approve interest costs or expenses. This will cost you money. In these situations, the clients end up bearing the interest costs when the case is resolved, often significantly reducing the net-to-client.

At Hach & Rose, LLP, we do not charge expense interests to our clients. We have the resources to handle personal injury cases ourselves and will not go into debt at your expense to handle your case. Our goal is to recover fair compensation for you, and make sure you get what you need to pay your bills and move on with your life.

Contact a New York Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been injured due to another party’s negligence in New York, you may be entitled to financial compensation. If you wish to pursue a personal injury lawsuit, the skilled and experienced personal injury lawyers at Hach & Rose, LLP will be ready to help you. Call us or reach out to us online to set up a free, no-obligation consultation, during which we can discuss your legal options.

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