When Are Accident Lawyer Fees Owed?
It is hard to miss accident lawyer advertising these days. The lawyer ads are all over the internet, and in television, billboard, bus and bus benches advertising in Fort Lauderdale, and all over Broward County and South Florida. Almost every ad says that no accident lawyer fees are owed unless the attorney makes a recovery in your case. However, what most attorneys won’t discuss with you is the Statement Of Clients Rights which is also supposed to be given to you when you retain an accident lawyer in Florida.
The Statement of Client’s Rights is a form prepared by the Florida Bar, and discusses when lawyer fees are owed after an accident claim settlement or verdict. The Statement of Client’s Rights provides that:
- A contingent agreement where a client hires an accident lawyer can be canceled within three (3) days without having to pay any accident lawyer fees
- Before hiring an accident lawyer in Florida, you have the right to know about his/her training and experience, and specific experience handling accident claims similar to yours
- If your accident lawyer intends to refer your case to another lawyer or law firm, your lawyer needs to tell you about it up front. If your accident claim is referred to another lawyer or law firm, that lawyer or law firm should be on the retainer agreement
- If a settlement of your accident claim occurs, you are entitled to receive a “closing statement” which lists all the financial details of your claim – how much your accident claim was settled for, what expenses and medical bills are being paid out of the settlement, and what the net settlement recovery is to you
- You the client have the right to make the final decision regarding settlement of your case. Your lawyer must notify you of all settlement offers
- If you believe your lawyer has charged an excessive amount of attorney’s fees or expenses from your accident claim, you have the right to report the issue to the Florida Bar, which will investigate the issue free of charge to you
You obviously have many choices when selecting an accident claims lawyer in Florida. However, because accidents can cause many other issues you have to deal with – treating with a doctor for your injuries, getting your car fixed, getting your lost wages paid – you don’t always have time to ask all the questions you need to know before hiring an accident claims lawyer. Make sure you review the Statement of Client’s Rights, and know what your options are for paying accident lawyer fees.