How Are Legal Fees Charged In Maryland Accident And Injury Cases?
Generally, lawyers charge fees one of these 3 ways . . .
The client pays an agreed amount for each hour worked by the law firm.
A specified service is performed in exchange for an agreed amount.
Traditionally, in accident, injury and malpractice cases — the types of cases that we concentrate on — legal fees have been handled on a contingent basis.
A contingent fee means that there is no legal fee unless a condition — a contingency — is met. In this case, the condition is a successful result to the case. That is, a recovery of money damages for your injuries and losses. If there is no success — no recovery — there are no legal fees. If there is a recovery, the legal fees are an agreed percentage of the amount that is recovered. The legal fee is payable at the end, when the case is resolved.
The effect of contingent legal fees is that any client with a strong case can afford to hire a lawyer. In fact, the client can afford to hire the best lawyer that s/he can find since the percentages charged tend to be similar.
In other words, you can hire a lawyer with barely any experience and training wheels still on his briefcase. Or you can hire a lawyer with over 30 years of experience, many past successes and standard-setting client relations . . . all for the same fee, or at least a similar one.
The Santa Maria Law Center Legal Services Agreement
The Legal Services Agreement that we propose is written in plain English and answers these questions . . .
- For what legal matter do we represent you?
- In what ways will be represent you?
- Do you owe any obligations to us?
- What percentage of the recovery will the contingent legal fee be?
- Who pays the out-of-pocket expenses incurred in the case?
- Can you terminate the Agreement?