There are two things to keep in mind here. the first is that my reduced contains a lower attorney fee percentage than that typically found in personal injury fee arrangements commonly seen in Maryland. The second is that, by definition, it is a contingency fee agreement. In this regard, it's really no different than any other contingency fee plan. The appeal, and advantage, of the contingency fee agreement when used in an injury and related case is that the client- the injured person- bears no responsibility for attorney’s fees or costs at the outset of the case or on an upfront basis.
It is only where the case is brought to a successful conclusion, and there is a financial recovery for the injured person, that attorney’s fees are assessed.
If for whatever reason there is no financial recovery on the case, a contingency fee arrangement means that the client owes nothing. There may be a variety of reasons why a case ultimately bears no fruit what or there is no recovery of compensation.
- A case could be overturned on appeal
- An uninsured defendant might lack the assets to satisfy a judgment
- The client could opt to discontinue the case
- A case could be settled on non-financial terms
The second principal advantage is that the attorney fee percentages under my reduced attorney fee program are lower than those typically found in common personal injury arrangements in Maryland. By way of hypothetical illustration, only, assume there is a recovery in the form of a jury verdict after trial in the amount of $50,000 on a significant personal injury case. Under the common 40% contingency fee arrangement, the attorney fee would be $20,000, due to the attorney who tried, and won, that case. [i.e. 40% of 50,000] Under my reduced fee program the percentage would be limited to 35% or $17,500 as a fee due after a successful trial. The difference -$2,500- would end up in the client's pocket as additional compensation. Contingency fee percentages may be limited by statute in certain types of claims, and of course those limits would always apply. You and your attorney should discuss preferred alternative fee arrangements, such as flat rates, or hourly billing. But, particularly in the case of debilitating injury, the contingency fee arrangement allows the injured person the freedom to employ personal injury counsel of their choice without consideration of their financial resources- at a time when those resources may be sparse.