Interviewer: How do attorneys typically get paid with motorcycle accidents? Is it like a typical contingency split?
Attorneys Typically Work On Contingency Fees
Rochford and Associates: Yes, typically a person that’s been injured does not have the money to pay a lawyer an hourly rate. The hourly rate for a lawyer can be anywhere from $275 to $500 an hour, and of course people who are injured in accidents ordinarily don’t have that kind of money to pay a lawyer, so what’s developed over the years is a contingency fee system. Contingency means that if the lawyer’s willing to take the case, he’ll take it based on a percentage of whatever amount is recovered in a settlement.
An Attorney’s Normal Fee Is One-Third Of The Settlement Amount
A typical fee is one-third of whatever the settlement is. Whatever amount of money that I’m able to get for an injured client, my fee would be one-third of that amount, and so it’s to my client’s advantage and to my advantage to maximize the amount of money that we recover for injuries, because every dollar that I make, I’m going to get one-third of that. The whole contingency fee system arose from the fact that people could not afford to pay lawyers an hourly rate or a flat fee. We lawyers agree to take cases on a percentage of recovery, but that means a case has to have some value to us.
The Value Of The Case Determines If Your Case If Worth Fighting For
I end up turning down a lot of cases because the injuries are not significant enough or I don’t feel that there’s going to be enough of a compensation paid to adequately pay me and to have enough money to pay all the bills and get my client some money. With anybody that comes in to talk to me, I have to assess the value of the case or the perceived value of the case, and then determine whether it’s worth my time to take the case. I’m not willing to represent every person that comes in. It just depends on the value of the case.