In a personal injury case what is the 1/3 contingency fee? 19 Answers as of April 04, 2013

Firstly I’ve limited English. I am Turkish guy .I have a personal injury case. Before the agreement with Turkish lawyer she told me, 1/3 Contingency fee means, what we recover the amount. We will minus your medical expenses or injury related expenses then Lawyer case related expenses ,then I will get 1/3 she told me. In addition, she gave me agreement with Turkish. I read carefully and signed agreement with English. But the problem is English agreement is not name the Turkish. Turkish agreement says lawyer get the 1/3 after expenses both side (Lawyer expenses, my medical expenses). Now She turned to me 1/3 means Gross total. I am confused I feel cheated. I and my attorney orally agree the 1/3 means after all expenses (my side and attorney side)and I read and signed Turkish agreement that says 1/3 means after all expenses (my side and attorney no attorney told me your bill yours responsibility. You are going to pay yourself. We are not going to minus from Gross amount. Please advise me. What should I do?

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The Lucky Law Firm, PLC
The Lucky Law Firm, PLC | Robert Morrison Lucky
If you have an agreement signed by you and your attorney that is written in Turkish, then you should produce a copy of this agreement. Since this is the agreement that you understood, then this is what will be what upheld. The way your attorney is attempting to divide the money is the typical way that most attorneys divide the settlement proceeds. You will have to have some type of proof to the contrary.
Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Replied: 4/4/2013
Durham Jones & Pinegar | Erven Nelson
Generally, the attorney gets 1/3 of all amounts collected. The medical and legal expenses come out of your 2/3. But, you could have a different arrangement. You should call another attorney, or file a fee dispute with the Nevada State Bar.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 4/1/2013
Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
Typically, a 1/3 contingency fee means that the lawyer's fee is contingent (that means, it depends on the outcome of the case). So the lawyer could get nothing if you lose your case. The way the fee is usually calculated is that from the total settlement or judgment, the costs which the lawyer spent or incurred are deducted. From what is left, the lawyer gets 1/3 and you get 2/3. Example: Let's imagine that the case settles for $10,000 and that the lawyer spent exactly $1,000 to get medical records, file suit, take testimony from witnesses, etc. So the lawyer gets his/her $1,000 back, which leaves $9,000 to distribute between you and the lawyer.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 2/21/2013
David F. Stoddard
David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
First, the fee should be calculated based on your agreement. If she gave you a Turkish agreement with different terms than the English one you signed, I believe the provisions of the Turkish one would control, if you could prove this. Otherwise, he lawyer would be guilty of fraud. Usually1/3 contingency fees are based on the net recovery, that is 1/33 of what is left after expenses of the case are deducted, or they are based on the gross recovery before expenses of the case are deducted. Usually, whether it is net or gross, medical expenses are not deducted before calculating the 1/3. A part of your damages is getting your medical bills paid and the lawyer is entitled to be paid based on everything recovered, including the medical expenses.
Answer Applies to: South Carolina
Replied: 2/18/2013
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
One third contingent fee normally means one third of the GROSS settlement. Not one third of some net this or net that or net the other. If you don't understand the agreement get someone who speaks the language to review the written contract One third is common in north America and I thin k south America also. It is a fair fee. Without the lawyer you might have little or nothing.
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 2/18/2013
    Curry, Roby & Mulvey Co., LLC
    Curry, Roby & Mulvey Co., LLC | Bruce A. Curry
    Generally, the attorney deducts his/her fee and expenses from the gross settlement proceeds. The remainder goes toward paying costs (medical expenses) and then finally to compensate you. With that said, if your attorney made an oral agreement that her share would be deducted after expenses had been deducted, then you should attempt to hold her to her bargain.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 2/18/2013
    Law Office of Christian F. Paul
    Law Office of Christian F. Paul | Christian F. Paul
    It makes a big difference whether the contingent fee is taken before or after deducting costs, so usually the fee agreement spells this out pretty clearly. If your agreement says one thing in English and another in Turkish, and you and your lawyer disagree on which version is your real agreement, then you may have the matter decided by arbitration or by litigation. If you haven't already done so, write to your lawyer to say that you believe your fee agreement is correctly stated in the Turkish version, and ask to have the fees taken out according to that version.? You might want to have another lawyer help you with this letter, to make sure that you put your lawyer on notice not to pay out the settlement funds according to the English version. If your attorney agrees to follow the Turkish version, all is well. If not, you have a fee dispute. Your attorney then is required to keep the disputed amount in his or her trust account until the dispute is resolved. You or the attorney may ask for fee arbitration through your local bar association. Your attorney should send you a notice of this, which will give you 30 days to file an arbitration request. At arbitration, either one or three arbitrators will hear all the evidence and decide the correct amount of fees to be paid to the attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/18/2013
    Law Office of Christian Menard
    Law Office of Christian Menard | Christian Menard
    Typically, a 1/3 contingency fee pays the attorney 1/3 of the gross settlement funds. All expenses come from the remaining 2/3 with the client receiving what is left. However, this agreement is subject to negotiation between attorney and client. You say that there were two agreements, one in English and the other in Turkish. The language was different. You signed the English agreement believing it contained the same language as the Turkish agreement. You were misled. Contract the state bar and request a fee dispute hearing. You will be directed to the local bar association for the county in which you live. The amount in dispute would be the difference between the 1/3 of the gross (to which the attorney claims she is entitled) and 1/3 of the net (to which the attorney claims you are entitled).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/18/2013
    Lombardi Law Firm
    Lombardi Law Firm | Steve Lombardi
    Answer: Start off reading the contract you signed. You're in America and the native language here is English not Turkish. Why would you think the lawyer should pay 1/3rd of your medical expense? I can't think of a reason so normally the 1/3rd comes off the top, not the net.
    Answer Applies to: Iowa
    Replied: 2/18/2013
    Frank Law Group, P.C.
    Frank Law Group, P.C. | Brett E. Rosenthal
    While I understand you may have been told certain things, but if you pursue fee arbitration the written agreement will control on issue of fee calculated on net or gross. My agreement calculated on gross.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/18/2013
    Henry Lebensbaum | Henry Lebensbaum
    It means the lawyer gets 1/3 of the amount before any deductions.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 2/18/2013
    Neufeld, Kleinberg & Pinkiert, PA, a personal injury law firm
    Neufeld, Kleinberg & Pinkiert, PA, a personal injury law firm | Jason Neufeld
    1/3rd of gross recovery is the standard attorneys fee in personal injury cases.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/17/2013
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C.
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C. | Jim Hasser
    The written agreement between you and the lawyer controls. What I have typically seen is that the lawyer gets 1/3 of the gross recoveries. After the fee is deducted, case costs and expenses are deducted, then any other payments you may authorize such as liens or medical bills. You get the remainder. Hope that helps.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 2/17/2013
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    Here's how it works First, the expenses are deducted, then the attorney's fee is one-third of the remainder. After that, any liens such as medical or workers comp. For example: suppose the gross settlement is $30,000 with expenses of $6,000 and a medical lien of $3,000. Here's how it goes: expenses are paid, that leaves $24,000. Attorney's fees are one-third of that, which is $8,000. That leaves $16,000 out of which the medical lien is paid, which yields you a net of $13,000. You should file a complaint with your local grievance committee, they will straighten it out for you very quickly.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 2/17/2013
    Adler Law Group, LLC
    Adler Law Group, LLC | Lawrence Adler
    Generally attorneys charge 1/3 of the gross and then also deduct the case expenses. The medical bills are for your case and are your responsibility. They come out of the settlement only if there was a proper lien. That being said the fee is guided by the retainer agreement you signed.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 2/17/2013
    Kevin J. Connolly
    Kevin J. Connolly | Kevin J. Connolly
    The fee is 1/3 of the net recovery. Let's say the lawyer spends $300 on filing fees, $5000 for the doctor's report, and the case settles immediately for $100,000. First, the lawyer reimburses himself the $5300 he spent. The net recovery, $94,700, is split 1/3 to the shark and 2/3 to you. Now if she is saying that the gets one third of the whole $100,000, plus her fees, then she is a goneff. That's yiddish for "crook." But you probably misunderstand. If you're right, she could lose her license.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 2/17/2013
    Law Offices of Tanya Gendelman, P.C.
    Law Offices of Tanya Gendelman, P.C. | Tanya Gendelman, Esq.
    Expenses off the top, then 1/3 to attorney, then medical liens.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 2/17/2013
    Maurice L. Abarr  Lawyer, Inc.
    Maurice L. Abarr Lawyer, Inc. | Maurice L. Abarr
    If you have copies of both the Turkish language agreement and the English language agreement, confront your attorney with the discrepancy and request that she reconsider her position. If she will not reconsider, you can of course complain about the situation to the State Bar of California and they may investigate. However, even if State Bar investigates, that does not mean that they will intervene between and the attorney to help resolve the situation. . . they will simply prosecute the attorney if they think there are grounds to do so. If there is not a lot of difference between the amounts, you may want to simply let it go and be wiser for the experience.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/17/2013
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