How Much Are Our Attorney Fees
Our firm charges a standard fee at the end of our clients’ Jones Act or maritime cases. Our clients do not pay for our services out of pocket, but instead, the fee is taken out of their settlement. If the case does not settle, our clients are not required to pay any fee or pay us back in any way. This is referred to as a “contingency fee.” Maritime injury cases work a bit differently from other accident cases, which is why the attorney fee is slightly more.
What Do We Do For That Fee?
During your maritime case we will do all of the following:
- File your suit in court as well as all other required pleadings. This will likely also involve attending several court hearings over the course of your case on various legal issues.
- Provide you with our ‘Client Only’ video portal that explains the entire case process (our clients have raved about this unique Client Portal).
- Prepare you for your deposition, including meeting with you beforehand and sitting through the entire deposition with you.
- Identify and work with the best experts to hire in your case to prove your damages and what went wrong that caused your injury, including who’s at fault
- Take sworn depositions of key fact witnesses and doctors, building your case ‘on the record’ so it can be won in court.
- Negotiate the highest possible settlement offers for you through a formal mediation process or court settlement conference. We’re with you every step of the way during this process so you understand what’s going on and why. You won’t have any surprises.
- Proceed to trial if a fair settlement offer cannot be obtained for you.
All of the above legal work takes a tremendous amount of time and effort for us to complete. And we draw upon our knowledge of handling hundreds of maritime and Jones Act cases and use that to benefit you.
You Don’t Have to Pay for Your Case
Unlike the attorneys hired by the company who charge hourly, we pay upfront for all costs for the entire case process out of our own pockets. We advance case expenses such as
- All court costs
- All experts
- All depositions
- All client travel and hotel expenses during the case
- Medical reports
- And much more
By advancing these case expenses out of pocket, we’re able to get the experts and documents we need when we need them. This helps us gather the evidence we need to create the best case possible for you.
The downside, however, is that all our money is on the line. We pay for everything upfront without knowing whether we will get these costs back on your case. If your case doesn’t settle, we lose that money we invested.
Why do Car Accident Cases and Maritime Cases Have Different Fees?
Car accident cases = 33.3% attorney fees
Maritime and Jones Act cases = 40% attorney fees
Most people have heard of ‘injury attorneys’ who charge 33.3% for their fees. When they learn that we charge a 40% fee they ask, “why the difference?” It’s a good question.
Car wreck cases are very different from your maritime case. Typically, in car accident cases:
- a non-attorney paralegal does the majority of the work, including often negotiating with the insurance adjustor,
- the majority of such cases are never filed in court,
- experts are not hired in such cases, and
- the majority of such cases involve settlements of less than $25,000.
Your maritime or Jones Act case will be very different. In order to receive the highest settlement offer, your claim should be filed in court. Depositions will be taken on your case, pleadings will be filed in court, experts will likely be hired, and our attorneys will do a tremendous amount of work on your case. Maritime and Jones Act law is extremely specialized. Car accident law is very basic. This is why you see so many car accident attorneys and so few maritime attorneys, and even fewer specialized maritime attorneys.
Can You Hire a Maritime Attorney for Less?
Probably so. Honestly, some attorneys will tell you they will take your case for a 33.3% fee. But I suggest you watch this video to learn more about why you shouldn’t hire just any lawyer for your maritime case.
Watch out for ‘Escalating Fees’
Some attorneys will use an “escalating fee” which increases as they do more work on your case. But our contract doesn’t work that way. We charge a simple flat fee that never changes even if we go to trial and fight an appeal on your case after winning at trial. You don’t pay us more for doing our job.
Is Cheaper Actually Better?
When you choose to go with the cheaper option simply because it’s cheaper, you run the risk of hiring an attorney who may not know how to get you the compensation you need. If the cheaper attorney ends up settling your case for less, then the lower fee won’t do you much good. You’re left with less in your pocket than if you had gone with the “more expensive” and more experienced maritime attorney. And should a small 6% difference in an attorney fee really decide who you hire on your important case? The point is to do it right, and get the best result you can.
Before you decide to hire a cheaper attorney, ask yourself these questions:
- Is the lower fee worth it if the attorney isn’t skilled in maritime cases?
- Would I rather hire an attorney who has done hundreds of maritime cases or just a few dozen?
- Have there been other times when I went with the cheaper option and regretted it?
The right expert hired in your case or the right deposition taken by the right attorney can make a tremendous difference in the value of your case.
The whole point is to get you back to a much better place than you are now. We get paid based on the value we create for you and your family. We truly view ourselves as being in this together with you.