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What Are Typical Florida Car Accident Attorney Fees?

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Florida Car Accident Attorney Fees

Text Or Call 24 Hr Attorney Hotline (407) 383-7290

Florida Car Accident Attorney FeesMany of my potential clients do not understand when and how much I get paid.

Just like many other Florida attorneys, I use a standard form fee contract, published by the Florida Bar.  I have made a few changes to that document.  But I did not change the car accident attorney fees.

Every Orlando car accident attorney I know charges what is called a “contingent” fee.  That means that you never pay one dime, unless and until we recover money for you.

Car Accident Attorney Fees Usually Range From 33 1/3 % To 40%

Most car accident attorney fees (including mine) range from 33 1/3% to 40%.  These percentages vary, depending on how much we recover for you, and when.

For most car accident cases, the basic auto accident attorney fee is 33 1/3% if we settle without a lawsuit.  The fee climbs to 40% if we have to file a lawsuit for you (unless the defendant admits liability, which is unusual, in which case my fee goes back down to 33 1/3%)  The car accident attorney fees decrease when your recovery exceeds a million dollars (see contract section below).

Car Accident Attorney Fee Structure Based On Widely Used Florida Bar Form

Here is the fee section from my contract (taken directly from the Florida Bar form with no edits):

(a) Before the filing of an answer or the demand for appointment of arbitrators or, if no answer is filed or no demand for appointment of arbitrators is made, the expiration of the time period provided for such action:

  1. 33 1/3% of any recovery up to $1 million; plus
  2. 30% of any portion of the recovery between $1 million and $2 million; plus
  3.       20% of any portion of the recovery exceeding $2 million.

(b) After the filing of an answer or the demand for appointment of arbitrators or, if no answer is filed or no demand for appointment of arbitrators is made, the expiration of the time period provided for such action, through the entry of judgment:

  1. 40% of any recovery up to $1 million; plus
  2. 30% of any portion of the recovery between $1 million and $2 million; plus
  3. 20% of any portion of the recovery exceeding $2 million.

(c) If all defendants admit liability at the time of filing their answers and request a trial only on damages:

  1. 33 1/3% of any recovery up to $1 million; plus
  2. 20% of any portion of the recovery between $1 million and $2 million plus
  3. 15% of any portion of the recovery exceeding $2 million.

(d) An additional 5% of any recovery after notice of appeal is filed or post‑
judgment relief or action is required for recovery on the judgment.

Some People Get Confused About Car Accident Attorney Fees

I have read reviews of other law firms where clients were complaining that lawyers took a percentage of the clients’ recovery.  These people believed that they should have recovered 100%, and the lawyer should have found another way to recover their fees.  I want to clarify that this would not be legally possible or permissible.  Unfortunately, under Florida law, the only way for car accident attorneys to get paid is to charge a percentage from our client’s recovery.

Text Or Call 24 Hr Attorney Hotline (407) 383-7290

Doctors Get Paid, Too

Additionally, before we give you any money, we are often legally required to reimburse health care providers, or health insurance companies, if they paid for your care, or gave you care on credit.  However, one part of our job, which we take very seriously, is trying to negotiate with your medical providers about the amount of their bills.  We work hard on this goal, so that you get more money in your pocket.  I have no monetary or other connection to any doctors.  But part of an auto accident attorney’s job is to recover your medical bills.  If a doctor or health insurance company has already paid them, then they become legally entitled to that portion of your recovery.

There Are Costs Unrelated To Car Accident Attorney Fees

Car accident attorneys also must charge “costs.”  Costs put no money in our pocket, meaning we do not profit from them.  Instead, they include things like doctor depositions (sometimes required), court reporters, trial exhibit prep, filing fees, medical record copying fees, radiographic films, accident reports, investigator fees, copy charges, and phone charges.  Also, if we have to file a lawsuit, then have to pay a filing fee, deposition fees, and process server fees.  We might also have to pay additional investigator fees, expert witness fees, trial exhibit fees, video services fees, and various other related fees.

Unfortunately, spending money on these expenses is sometimes required to best present your case. However, we sincerely do everything possible, at all stages of your case, to help you get the most money possible. The good news is that you owe nothing toward these costs, if for any reason your lawsuit is unsuccessful.  Also, we are often able to settle cases before we must pay the biggest ticket items, such as doctor depositions, and trial exhibit preparation.  We do everything possible to make that happen, again to reduce necessary costs that must be subtracted from your recovery.  So, in a high percentage of cases, these costs are minimal.  However, when cases cannot be easily settled, and get closer to trial, they may involve higher costs, like doctor depositions, or trial exhibit prep.  We only spend that extra money if we really believe, in our best professional judgment, that you would net more in your pocket, making the expense worth the cost.

Billboard Verdicts Can Be Very Misleading

Many of the billboards advertising huge verdicts are extremely misleading.  They do not explain that all of these fees, medical bills, and costs must be subtracted from your recovery.  (They also do not explain that all large settlements and verdicts are based on catastrophic injuries or fatalities.)  I can’t speak for other law firms.  But we do everything possible to keep all of your costs and expenses to the bare minimum.  Our highest priority goal is to have you walk away with the most money possible.

If you want to know how to get the highest possible car accident settlement or verdict, read this post.

Text Or Call 24 Hr Attorney Hotline (407) 383-7290

More Information I Think All Car Accident Victims Should Read:

Avoid Settlement Mill Law Firms

Avoid Discussions With Your Insurance Company

About Me

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About the Author:

Tina Willis is a serious injury, accident & death lawyer, based in Orlando, Florida, although she accepts cases throughout the state of Florida, and in Georgia, where she is also licensed. She vigorously prosecutes serious injury and death cases caused by auto accidents, semi-truck accidents, slip and fall accidents, products & premises liability cases, as well as medical malpractice. Ms. Willis operates a boutique law firm from Orlando, Florida, focused on maintaining a reasonable case load so that she can provide personalized service to all of her clients. She spends a tremendous amount of time helping her clients understand how they can help increase the value of their cases, sometimes significantly. After graduating second in her class from Florida State University College of Law in 1995, Ms. Willis worked as an attorney for two large Atlanta defense firms, where she practiced excess insurer defense, and worked on countless multi-million dollar cases. Ms. Willis also worked as a law professor at Barry University. She has also recovered millions for her own accident clients. Ms. Willis has attained many impressive industry awards, including (1) being nominated as a “Ten Best Female Lawyers” in Florida, by the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys; (2) being selected as one of the “10 Best Florida Lawyers,” by the American Institute of Legal Counsel; (3) being selected as a National Trial Lawyers as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer; (4) being selected as a “10 Best” Client Satisfaction Award, from the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys; (5) being a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Club (fewer than 1% of attorneys nationwide are members); (6) being selected by Expertise.com as one of the 20 best Orlando medical malpractice lawyers; (7) being selected as a Number One Personal Injury, Car Accident & Wrongful Death Attorney By Orlando Style Magazine, based on client and other attorney ratings; (8) being selected as one of the “Three Best Rated” Orlando Accident Attorneys based on handpicked selection; (9) achieving a “superb” perfect “10.0” AVVO rating as an auto accident attorney (10) having many 5-star client reviews all over the Internet, and (11) being named one of Orlando’s “Ten Best” personal injury attorneys by Thumbtack rating system. Before you hire another Florida personal injury lawyer, you owe it to yourself to speak with Ms. Willis. Consultations and representation never cost you a penny until she wins your case.
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