Contingency Fees Explained

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Hire the Best Contingency Fee Lawyer

The lawyer that you meet with at Patterson Law is available to handle your case from the start through trial. Hire a contingency fee lawyer that will agree to handle your case from the start to the finish for a reasonable legal fee.  

Low Car Accident Contingency Fees

Top Rated Lawyers with Low Fees

The Bowie, car accident lawyers George and Maria Patterson handle almost all car accident cases for a one-third contingency fee basis plus costs with a free consultation. A contingency fee is a fee that depends on the outcome of the case. In a contingency fee car accident case, the client does not owe a legal fee unless the attorney obtains a recovery. The terms of the contingency fee agreement are detailed in a retainer agreement and this web page is not meant to be a substitute for the written contingency fee retainer agreement.   

Many injury clients focus on whether a free consultation is offered. The Bowie contingency fee lawyers at Patterson Law offer free consultations. Contingency fee lawyers generally offer free consultations. The customer should focus on the contingency fee terms and not the free consultation. Free consultations are normally offered by personal injury lawyers because the lawyer needs the consultation to determine whether the lawyer believes the case should be pursued. Other lawyers may have contingency fees of 40% or contingency fees that increase if a lawsuit has to be filed or the case has to be tried.

No Escalating Contingency Fees

Escalating Contingency Fees Pressure Clients to Settle

The personal injury contingency fee agreements offered by Bowie car accident lawyers, George Patterson and Maria Patterson do not have escalating contingency fees. The low flat contingency fees offered by the Bowie car accident lawyers encourage clients to settle their car accident cases only if a strong offer is made. Car accident clients facing a contingency fee that rises, if suit is filed may feel additional pressure to accept an inadequate settlement for their car accident case.

Escalating contingency fees are not offered by lawyers George and Maria Patterson for car accident cases because they place pressure on clients to settle. An experienced insurance adjuster will typically offer an amount that is less than what they expect the injured party to receive in a personal injury trial. The insurance adjuster makes this offer believing that the injured party will consider the settlement offer to avoid the delay, expense and inconvenience of a trial. A contingency fee that rises when suit is filed requires a client to do significantly better at trial than the settlement offer to receive the same compensation after legal fees and costs.

The ethical rule governing legal fees for Maryland lawyers states that the experience, reputation and ability of the lawyer performing the legal work is an important factor in determining whether a legal fee is reasonable.

Bowie Trial Lawyers with Reasonable Legal Fees

Escalating fees hurt injured clients

The proceeds that a client will receive after legal fees, costs and medical bills are paid controls whether a settlement should be accepted. A client may be offered $10,000 to settle a case where $2,000 of medical bills are still owed and $100 of costs were incurred. At Patterson Law the client would receive $4,567.00 after paying a contingency fee of one-third, paying costs and unpaid medical bills. If the client rejects the offer and at trial a verdict of $12,000 was issued, the Patterson Law client would receive $5,900 after the legal fee, costs and unpaid medical bills were paid. At a law firm that has an escalating contingency fee that rises to 40% if suit is filed, the same client would receive $5,100 after the legal fee, unpaid medical bills and costs were paid. This example illustrates that a client facing an escalating contingency fee may feel compelled to consider an unreasonably low offer from an insurance company.

The costs that are incurred in a car accident case vary depending mainly on whether the case ends up being tried in front of a jury with experts testifying or whether the case may be tried in front of a judge without experts. The Bowie car accident lawyers, George Patterson and Maria Patterson advance all costs that they recommend be incurred in car accident cases. The Bowie car accident lawyers know how to minimize litigation costs. These costs are ultimately the client’s responsibility and are deducted from the recovery after the contingency fee. George Patterson and Maria Patterson offer free consultations for personal injury cases and can discuss the costs that typically have to be incurred in most car accident cases and those expenses that can and should be avoided.

I truly appreciated his knowledge and experience. For his honesty, compassion, dedication, skill, and professionalism, he earns my deepest respect. Without hesitation, I would recommend Mr. Patterson to anyone who wants to be treated like a real person rather than a dollar sign.

A.M.

A Personal Injury Client

Q & A

Questions to Ask a Contingency Fee Lawyer:

  1. Will you still be my lawyer if the case does not settle?

This is a critical question. There are some car accident lawyers that will meet with you, attempt to settle your case and if they are unsuccessful they will send your case for a lawyer outside of their firm to try. The two lawyers then split the legal fee.  The client should be aware that the lawyer you retained may collect 40% of a settlement but only 20% of a verdict if the case is sent to another lawyer to file suit. Consider the following contingency fees in a hypothetical personal injury claim:

  • Your personal injury case is estimated to result in a verdict of $10,000 to $14,000 about 80% of the time the case is tried.
  • The insurance Company has offered you $8,000 as their final offer.
  • Your lawyer can either collect a contingency fee of 40% of $8,000 ($3,200) or a contingency fee of 20% of $10,000 ($2,000) to $14,000 ($2,800) if they bring in a new lawyer to try the case under a fee split agreement.
  • How many car accident trials have you tried?

There are many lawyers that practice in several areas, like family, real estate, contract and criminal law. An experienced lawyer is important but the experience with trying your type of case is the most relevant experience. The car accident lawyers George and Maria Patterson have tried over 150 jury trials and over 1,000 judge trials.

  1. Have your fellow lawyers and local judges recognized you as a lawyer with the highest level of skills and ethics?

There are certain honors like an AV rating, Board Certification, and selection to certain organizations that require positive reviews from Judges and fellow lawyers. You will want to select a lawyer that is respected by the Court that will hear your case and is respected by the opposing lawyer. The personal injury lawyers at Patterson Law includes a Board Certified civil trial advocate, two top 100 Maryland Super Lawyers, one Top 50 Maryland female Super Lawyer, and two top 100 Trial Lawyers by the National Trial Lawyers.

  1. Have you ever lost a trial?

The answer for the car accident lawyers at this firm is yes. Trials are risky but every trial lawyer needs to be prepared and willing to take a case to trial even if it is a difficult case. A lawyer that has never lost a case may have this record due to a lack of experience, a history of terminating representation when cases become difficult, settling cases for less than they are worth, or sending cases that need to be tried to other lawyers. A lawyer that is not afraid to take a case to trial is a lawyer that inevitably will lose a trial. Contingency fees are contingent on the lawyer settling the case or obtaining a verdict.  Contingency fees are only reasonable for lawyers that have demonstrated the ability to obtain great settlements and have successfully pursued cases in trial.

  1. Why do contingency fees increase if a lawsuit is filed?

This should be asked of any lawyer that increases contingency fees from 1/3 to 40% if a lawsuit has to be filed. The following example that is not factoring in litigation costs will explain why you should ask the question:

You have finished treatment and you still owe $3,000 for medical treatment to the doctor. The insurance company has issued their final offer of $8,000. The lawyer has told you that you can settle the case and walk away with $2,333.36 ($8,000 – $2,666.66 legal fee – $3,000 unpaid medical bills). If you want him to file suit your case will likely attain a verdict of $8,500 to $10,500. Your net recovery with the higher legal fee will then be between $2,100 ($8,500 – $3,400 legal fee – $3,000 unpaid medical bills) and $3,300 ($10,500 – $4,200 legal fee – $3,000 unpaid medical bills). The escalating contingency fee made a settlement that was for $500 to $2,500 less than the likely verdict worth considering. This is particularly true when you factor in the additional costs, uncertainty and delay of a trial.

  1. Will you be my lawyer if my case needs to be tried?

Bowie car accident lawyers, George Patterson and Maria Patterson handle their Maryland car accident cases through trial. It is important to ask any car accident lawyer whether they will be the one that tries your case, if a trial is necessary. George and Maria Patterson have tried over 150 jury trials and hundreds of judge trials. Car accident lawyer George Patterson is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Please review the verdicts and settlements page for a sample of their car accident and personal injury case results.

Winning a trial feels great, no matter the size of the case.

George Patterson, Contingency Fee Car Accident Lawyer

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Our Successes

Patterson Law takes pride with every client that recovers. Recovery is more than the settlements and verdicts obtained for our clients. Each and every one of these clients had been shepherded through a process where powerful insurance companies fought to defeat or minimize their claims. Each result represents a client’s dignity being affirmed.

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George Patterson Top 100 Maryland Super Lawyer

George and Maria Patterson have both been selected as top 100 lawyers by Super Lawyers for Maryland.

The contingency fee and free consultation car accident lawyers at Patterson Law serve clients in Prince George's, Montgomery, Calvert, Charles, St. Mary's, Howard, Anne Arundel, Queen Anne's and Baltimore Counties. Our clients are from Silver Spring, Upper Marlboro, Bowie, Forestville, Prince Frederick, Leonardtown, Annapolis, Edgewater, Rockville, Bethesda, Germantown, Oxon Hill, College Park, Takoma Park, Beltsville, Deale, Severna Park, Largo, Crofton, Columbia and Landover.

Get Started Today

If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident or suffered a serious personal injury due to someone else's negligence please contact the lawyers with reasonable contingency fees  and free consultations at Patterson Law. George Patterson has been featured in an article published in the Best Lawyers in America. The "best" injury lawyers may be reached at their Bowie office at 301-383-1522 or on the 24 hour injury hotline at 240-893-7474.

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