How is it possible for a settlement of $310,000 to be paid out $85,000 to the inhjured while the lawyer gets $133,000, plus costs?

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How is it possible for a settlement of $310,000 to be paid out $85,000 to the inhjured while the lawyer gets $133,000, plus costs?

The lawyer said that he would take 32% if they did go to court but he is taking almost 43% and he said he would only do that if it went to court but it did not she had doctor bills but it came out of that also so he got the remainder. How can she reclaim her money she hasnt gotten it yet?

Asked on September 8, 2011 under Personal Injury, Illinois

Answers:

L.P., Member, Pennsylvania and New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Thank you for submitting your question.

However, your question is somewhat unclear as to what monies were taking from which individuals.  How settlements will be distributed is usually well-defined in the fee agreement that you would have signed and reviewed with your attorney before you agreed for him to take your case.  In addition, there are state laws outlining the ways and means that an attorney can recover their fee from their client. 

Generally, once a case has settled, the attorney takes a certain amount off of the top for “costs” of preparing the case for trial.  You should be able to get a print out of all expenses that the attorney is listing as costs of trial.  If he has listed items and fees for things you believe should not be on the itemized bill, then you should communicate that to them.  Sometimes, without any harm or malice, the attorney could have made a clerical error and billed an event to the wrong file.  You want to make sure that all of the costs being deducted are actual costs for your case. 

After these costs have been deducted, then the attorney will take their percentage.  However if at any time your attorney is not acting in accord with your prior fee agreement, you have the right to pursue this money.  You should first contact the attorney in writing asking about the discrepancy, and ask that his response also be in writing.  If you are still confused by his calculations, you could contact a professional malpractice attorney in your area to assist you.

 


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