“By law, an attorney must have a written contract for the attorney fee. The contract must adequately explain the fee to be charged. The amount of the fee must be reasonable. A Judge always has the power to determine if the attorney has charged a reasonable fee. Because most attorneys have differences in fees, this article will discuss how Burman Law charges for personal injury and wrongful death cases. Contact me if you have any questions about attorney fees, court costs or case expenses.” Mike Burman
This article discusses:
- What is an attorney fee?
- What are court costs?
- What are case expenses?
An attorney fee is what the attorney at Burman Law charges to handle the case. In a personal injury or wrongful death case, no "up-front" money is required to hire Burman Law to start a case. Instead of taking an "up-front" fee, Burman Law bases the attorney fee on a percentage of the money recovered in a case. This is called a contingent fee because the fee amount is contingent on a recovery in the case. Without a recovery, there is no fee.
In a typical case, Burman Law charges a fee of 1/3 if the case is settled without a lawsuit. If a lawsuit is filed, but the case is settled before trial, the contingency fee is 35%. If the case goes to trial, then the fee increases to 40% of the total amount recovered. The contingency fee comes “off the top” which means the contingency fee is based on the total "gross" amount of money recovered by Burman Law.
Burman Law guarantees that if no money is recovered in your case, then no legal fee is owed and all case expenses and Court cost, if any, are forgiven. In other words, if Burman Law spends $15,000 in your case and does not make a recovery, then you owe nothing. We put this guarantee in writing in every injury or wrongful death case.
Court costs are paid to the Court Clerk for filing the lawsuit and to pay for serving papers. Court costs can sometimes reimburse for case expenses paid to experts, court reporters and others. Burman Law pays Court costs as the case moves forward and keeps an accurate accounting of all Court costs paid, and collected, in your case.
Case expenses are charges for incidental expenses. At Burman Law, we look for ways to save money. We always try to be frugal so we do not spend money that is unnecessary, but if we need to spend a large sum of money to increase case value, then we will do so after consulting with you. We self-finance cases, and never charge interest on case expenses. We never sell rights on your case to some finance company.
Case expenses include:
- Mileage expenses for long distance
- Medical record retrieval fees
- Charges by experts
- Deposition expenses
- Court reporter fees
- Copy charges
- Outside service fees
Burman Law always itemizes fees, case expenses and Court costs by date incurred, description and amount charged. At the conclusion of a case, all fees, Court costs and case expenses are plainly set out through a written statement. In 25+ years, we have never had a complaint over charges to a client in one of our cases. In 25+ years, Burman Law has accounted for every penny of every client's money.