There are some law firms that state they have a “guarantee” of “no fee” if there is no recovery in a case. While they are correct in the fact that when a case is taken on a contingency basis (such as automobile accidents, slip and falls, and medical malpractice) if there is no recovery, then they do not receive any compensation for time spent on a case. However, this is a standard set by the Florida Bar and is not something special that these law firms are doing for their clients. This is an advertising gimmick and is clearly geared toward the consumer that does not have knowledge or experience in personal injury matters.
Not all cases can be taken on a contingency basis, and the percentage of the contingency fee agreement can vary depending on who you are seeking compensation from. It can also change based upon the amount of recovery and whether or not suit is filed in a case. The terms of the different rates of percentage should be clearly listed in the contingency fee agreement and/or contract that you sign with the attorney. The attorney should also give you a Statement of Clients rights. This explains your rights as a client, and is also a standard set by the Florida Bar.
An attorney can advance costs for expenses in a case, such as copies of medical records, court costs, postage, court reporters, and mediators. The attorney will be reimbursed for the costs advanced on the case separately from any settlement proceeds. If there is no settlement, depending on the circumstances, you may be required to reimburse the attorney for the costs advanced. Some examples would be if you decide you no longer wish to pursue a case, or if you take your case to another law firm.
In Summary, all law firms taking a case on a contingency basis will be able to guarantee that there is no fee, so one should not use that as a basis for consulting an attorney.
For more information, please feel free to contact our office for a free consultation. Rooney & Rooney, P.A.